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This short trip from the month of March to the city of Rome. . . (read more)Read More
I would have to say that in my opinion St. Peter's in Rome takes the prize as "Most Photogenic Interior." I have been looking at my photo collection, and I have a disproportionate number of the inside of this awe inspiring structure. There is so much to look at, I wonder if paying attention to the Mass would be secondary? I do know that one of the Calvinist reactions against Catholicism concerned adornment. Compare this sparse interior in a Calvinist church in England.
I like this view of the interior of the dome because you can clearly see the Latin Bible verse which came to be known as "The Petrine Doctrine." Peter became the first Pope in a 2000 year succession of Popes.
"Tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam mean et tibi dabo claves regni caelorum" ("You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church, to you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven." Mt 16:18)
Jesus may have been making a little joke when he said this to Peter because "Peter" was derived from the Greek word for "rock." Was Jesus smiling when he said this? I ask this because in the Middle Ages there was actually a theological debate about whether Jesus ever laughed, since there is no specific documentation of this in the New Testatament.
This is an early morning shot of a back lit tree in the Borghese Gardens in Rome. There is something prehistoric-looking in these leaves. I don't know what kind of tree this is but it could be a relative of the locust, which grows in some places in South Dakota.
I was waiting for my tour group to gather after a tour of the Roman Colosseum. As always, the ancient building was crowded, noisy and swelteringly hot. I turned away from our group and found these two tourists sitting in the flood of light entering the colonnade, no doubt plotting their strategy for their visit to Rome. This photo makes the Colosseum look quiet, cool and relaxing. Maybe that's the magic of photography. Or may it's the deception.
There are many things I like about this photo: I like the repeating lines of the columns and the repeating bright and dark made by the Roman sunlight. I also like the pock marks that show the age of this place. Finally, I like that by accident the three primary colors are present in this photo, though in very muted shades. Can you see them?
By Scott Shephard
I was waiting for the next metro at the Cavour metro stop in Rome. Having some time to kill, I took a few photos, including this one. The Roman metro stations are fairly dark so I used a slow shutter speed and in this shot I panned as the train came into the station. The graffiti ends up being blurred but the rather bored looking woman visible through the window isn't.
Canon 5D 1/8s f/4.0 ISO1000 24mm
I have already posted a photo of the dome of St. Peter's from the inside. This is what you see when you stand on top of the dome. The climb up is a bit strenuous but well worth it. Though I would suggest you consider going up in the morning because you can avoid the heat and the crowds.
You can see two countries in this photo - Vatican City and Italy. The "border" is a white line at the open end of St. Peter's Square (which is actually an ellipse). The "square" and the colonnades that enclose it were designed by Bernini, who also designed the baldacchino visible in my interior shot.
What was I thinking when I got to the top? I was thinking that it's a good thing that there is a sign by the dome ticket window warning people with heart problems that the climb may kill them. I was also thinking that it's too bad Michelangelo, who designed the dome, didn't live to stand where I was standing. I wonder if Pope Benedict has been up here?
Do want to view a narrated video of this photo? Try going here. (This is a bit of an experiment and it is clearly un-rehearsed!)
Canon 5D 1/640s f/5.0 ISO400 24mm
Visiting St. Peter's is an overwhelming experience and I'm guessing that the architects had that in mind when they planned this massive place. The dome that appears in this photo was designed by Michelangelo, but sadly he died before its completion. The structure with the darker, bronze pillars rising from the left corner of the photo is called the baldacchino, and was designed by Bernini. It is close to 10 stories tall (98 ft.). That, alone, give you a sense of the scale of the dome.
On the technical side, this camera and lens combination was the first time I was truly amazed by the capabilities of the Canon 5D. I shot with a high ISO and low shutter speed to get this shot and I was impressed by how little digital noise that showed up in the photo and how sharp the photo is - in spite of shooting without a tripod at 1/40 of a second.
Canon 5D Canon f/4.0 1/40 Canon 17-24mm 4.0L (17mm) ISO 1000
The Pantheon was built close to 2000 years ago and I am still awed by its design every time I walk in. In fact, I would have to say that the Pantheon is my favorite structure in Rome. For this photo I stood towards the wall of the building and pointed the camera towards the ceiling. I wanted to get some of the oculus ("eye") in the shot, though the bright light flowing in caused a little lens flair. I shot using my 24-105mm lens and I was wishing I had the 17-24mm lens that I had decided to leave at home, though the image stabilization built in to the lens I used allowed me to use a an otherwise impossible shutter speed.
Canon 5D f/4 1/30 24-105 4.0L (24mm) ISO 650