Susanne Armberger: Napule 2018

Rediscovering Naples

Storyteller: Susanne Armberger, Austria

Person walking by Piazza del Plebiscito, Naples, Italy

What were the reasons for your travels?

I generally love traveling, and of course it is always also a welcome opportunity to take photos. Mainly my style of travel-photography is what is known as "street-photography", however, depending on what I see, I also do architecture and landscape. Traveling is inspiring, it refills the battery, it makes you see things from another angle. You can have interesting encounters or wonderful moments of quiet thoughts and meditation, and you can always discover something—also about yourself.

Coastal view in Naples, Italy

What compelled you to share your travels in a photo book?

I was in Naples after a break of many years, but still it had the same magic to me as by then. Naples is a very special place, where time seems to have stopped somewhere 50 years ago. It still has the atmosphere that you can see in old movies from the late 1950s or early 1960s, of those typical Italian movies with their weird characters. When you walk through the tiny streets in the city center you would expect young Sofia Loren to come around the corner or Totó, a great Italian actor. So I had to create this book and wanted to show this typical atmosphere of "Napule" as Naples is called in the local dialect. I did it in black and white so to underline this feeling of the past.

People on pier, Naples, Italy

What is your favorite image in the book and why?

My favorite image is the one above. It is so typical for Naples: the inhabitants having a great time at the seaside, but not going to a sandy luxurious beach, just staying in the middle of the city, sitting simply at the pier and having fun. This picture probably looked more or less the same 50 or 60 years ago, and most probably it will still look the same in a decade or two.

Pizzeria in Naples, Italy

What is your favorite story behind a single shot in the book?

In the image above I am showing a simple pizzeria in the center. I had been there years ago and I had a very good memory of it. That was for me one of the reasons why I took a photo of it. And exactly in the moment that I took the shot, the waitress was running through the image. Which made me like it even more!

Crowd gathered in street by sea, Naples, Italy

What inspires you to take photos?

I love photography as it is spontaneous and can catch great moments. It can be a moment of caught reality or something very artsy, depending on the way you look at something and how you capture it.


What do photos mean to you?

Photos can be as much an artwork as a painted picture, and a photographer can be as much an artist as a painter. It’s only a different way of creating. However, it means mainly this to me: Photography is about seeing, about observing, about perceiving, about life… is this not what art is about anyway?


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