“I love photography,” says Franca Marazia. “It is my great escape.”

She focuses on the world she knows best.

“I photograph everyday objects, daily life activities, the environment that surrounds us, and the people and pets I meet along the way,” she tells me.

Marazia, 59, who lives in Hamilton, taught elementary school for 30 years. She says she is self-taught when it comes to photography, but she has had many years in which to sharpen her skills.

“I have always been photographing something, usually at family functions,” she says. “I seem to be the keeper of memories. I used photography in my classroom as well.”

Camera in hand, she usually sets out with a destination and a plan. But she welcomes the photograph that presents itself when she is not expecting it.

“Knowing the right scene is hard to explain,” she says. “It’s something I feel.”

Marazia is a regular contributor to Art in the Workplace at McMaster Innovation Park, located at 175 Longwood Rd. S. One of her offerings in the current show is “Sunset Boulevard,” taken at Pier 8 in the West Harbour.

She found a scene with a variety of shapes and textures, some of them unexpected.

Three figures sit at a table silhouetted in front of a landscape lying beyond a fence. The regular verticals of the fence contrast with the humans’ irregular shapes. A sparkling body of water leads to a horizontal strip of wooded land in the distance. This darkened land mass complements the dark human shapes in the foreground.

The sky, which fills the upper two-thirds of the composition, contributes a different combination of colours and textures, including an emphatic circle of sun.

“I had been photographing activity on the water and on the pathways,” she recalls. “Just happened to stay long enough to capture a breathtaking summer sunset. In trying to shoot its reflection on the water, one of my images included a family sitting at a picnic table. I didn’t realize what I had until I uploaded the images onto my computer.”

Marazia is never without her camera when she travels. In Viseu, Portugal, she was sitting at an outdoor café when she saw a man feeding pigeons, a familiar sight that inspired a sepia photograph.

A spacious foreground leads to six pigeons, each one attentively facing the man seated on a bench. He’s leaning toward them, looking at the food in his hand. He is as attentive as they are. Cars are lined up behind him, a background of modern urban clutter that contrasts with the timelessness and spaciousness of the event in the foreground.

In Amsterdam, Marazia found bicycles.

“It was bicycle heaven for me,” she says. “I captured hundreds of them. Such variety in design and functionality.”

In “Sunshine Yellow” she comes up close to bicycles wet with rain. In cropping the scene, Marazia draws our attention to the many circles and lines that crowd and overlap one another.

Red paving bricks and green moss add more geometric shapes and bright hues.

“I have a large collection of bicycle images. I’ve thought about why I feel the need to capture these images,” she explains. “On the one hand, I am reminded of earlier days, my teen years, when I practically lived on my bright blue ten-speed. It was my method of transportation for getting to my part-time job and for meeting up with friends. On the other hand, I am drawn in by the colour and design — the wheels of freedom.”


About Pigeon Patrol:

Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.

Voted Best Canadian wholesaler for Bird Deterrent products four years in a row.

Contact Info: 1- 877– 4– NO-BIRD (www.pigeonpatrol.ca)