The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

View this profile on Instagram

The Torch (@sju_torch) • Instagram photos and videos

Photo Courtesy / YouTube Jojo Siwa
Jojo Siwa’s Bad Karma
Catherine Pascal, Staff Writer • May 3, 2024
Torch Photo / Anya Geiling
Live Show Spotlight: Roger Eno
Anya Geiling, Contributing Writer • April 30, 2024
Torch Photo / Olivia Rainson
Speed Dating Your Prospective Professors
Isabella Acierno, Outreach Manager • April 29, 2024

Artist spotlight: Sean Hanratty’s black and white photos

Rome has been one of the locales for artists since the Renaissance. Apart from Paris, it may be one of the premier cities for aspiring artists in Europe, from painters to photographers.

Last spring, Sean Hanratty was fortunate enough to take advantage of the study abroad program St. John’s offers in Italy. His black and white photos are currently on display along with several other artists in the basement of St. John Hall, towards the theology department.

Hanratty, currently a third year photography major, spent his spare time in Rome examining the eternal city through the lens of his rangefinder.

“I just would walk around and look for anything that caught my interest; something that might make for a good picture” he said.

The aspect of his work that is most obvious at first glance is a sort of intimacy.

The closeness is obtained by the sleekness of Hanratty’s Bessa-R Voigtlander rangefinder.

This type of camera is lighter and less obvious than the traditional Single Lens Reflex camera that is a staple to many street photographers.

As it is, Hanratty’s inspirations are based in street photographers Robert Frank and Gary Winogrand.

The images also stand out due to the high contrast of the prints. The technical aspect of this has to do with a process called pushing the film.

To explain this briefly, in the pushing the film process, the film is tricked into thinking it has a different type of film and accepts the light longer and accentuates the highlights.

The result is an image that has deep blacks and full whites that captures the viewer’s attention.

Being in Rome last spring was a time of great importance in the world and therefore Hanratty had many photographic opportunities

“After the death of the Pope, I would go around taking pictures of peoples’ reactions,” said Hanratty.

You can see these reactions in the people, and the approach he used does not seem intrusive.

Also, Hanratty had the opportunity to go to some of the many peace rallies held in the Italian capital. It presents a third-party view of the happenings in Iraq, and the photos document the events.

As with all St. John’s photography majors, Hanratty is spending his mandatory year at the International Center of Photography in Manhattan.

The world-renowned school offers students a chance to further pursue their photographic studies.

“I am taking a color class there,” Hanratty said.

Color facilities are highly difficult to maintain due to processing and chemical costs.

For his future work Hanratty is interested in using studio lighting outside of the studio.

“I’m getting really interested in studio work,” he said.

Hanratty hopes to follow in the footsteps of Phillip Louis DiCorcia, who was known for setting up flash traps and photographing unsuspecting pedestrians.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Torch
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of St. John's University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Torch
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

We love comments and feedback, but we ask that you please be respectful in your responses.
All The Torch Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *