On the Summer Solstice of 2017, I took these five photographs on one roll of Agfa Precisa CT 100, my Pentax K1000 and SMC Pentax-M 1/2 50mm lens. It was my first time in Italy and I was completely in awe of this complex city.

I’m from the suburbs of Richmond, Virginia. The oldest building is St. John’s Church built in 1741, where Patrick Henry gave his famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech. Even though Richmond has a rich history, for American standards, it doesn’t compare to Rome.

In Rome, the oldest completed building is the Pantheon, rebuilt in 125 AD by Emperor Hadrian. Everywhere I walked, I encountered a history spanning 28 centuries! I found Rome filled with contradictions. Ancient ruins are the background to the scooters and graffiti. The intense sunlight softened by the muted earthy colors of stone and brick. Tourists wander the same streets as the proud Romans.

I captured this day in Rome using an in-camera multiple exposure technique. For this shoot, I combined three layers of exposure on each of the frames. I basically shot the film once, rewound and then re-loaded the film, shot a second time, and finally repeated the steps for a third time. I knew I wanted to see the Pantheon but I didn’t have an exact plan of what I would photograph.

There are so many variables when shooting multiple exposures: the mixing of light and shadow, colors, foreground and background, and other compositional elements. I try to keep all these things in my mind when shooting. I try to stay present and capture the moment without thinking too much about the end result.

This roll was taken in three locations within Rome. The first layer is around the Piazza del Quirinale, the second layer inside the Pantheon, and the third is at Forte Prenestino, which is a medieval fortress occupied by a group of artists. I shot the first layer in the morning, the second in the afternoon, and the third in the evening.

~ Catherine

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About the author

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Catherine Bruce

Since my father gave me his own Pentax K1000 in 1996, my passion for analogue photography began. I am based in Berlin and am an active member of two film photography clubs, Stattlab, e.V. and Foto Klub Kollektiv. I have been multiply exposing film for 13 years...

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