The stories behind the images

The stories behind the images
chairs, rome

Saturday, November 13, 2010

the splendour of the pantheon

The story behind the image:

Dianne and I visited the Pantheon twice during a recent visit to Rome. It is one of my favourite places in the city.

When I lived in Rome I would visit almost every day. It's such a beautiful building, and even when it's full of tourists its elegance and splendour can still be appreciated.

Capturing the essence of the Pantheon is difficult, as it is such an expansive interior. For me (remember photography is personal) the key elements to capture are the marble columns, the oculus, the richness of the colours, and the tourists.

The image above is obviously of the columns and oculus. It was taken down low and I shot wide, leaning off one of the columns which I also used for support. I was able to include two strong elements to identify the Pantheon in a single shot.

Here is another, this time including the beautiful and distinctive marble foors. I also included the tourists. I shot low and wide off the floor (when doing this you really have to have an interesting foreground subject as it is going to be a sizeable part of your image - in this instance it is the marble floor and the directional lines) - and I waited for a tourist to do something interesting.

When including people (particualrly tourists) in your images make sure they are adding to the story you are telling. My tourists above consist of a group, which is a very common site in all the monuments in Rome, and an individual looking up at the oculus. Looking up is something that all tourists do in the Pantheon, so I also got this shot below:

Dianne took this shot below, and I love it. Dianne was obviously wanting to capture the detail in the ceiling and oculus, and then a fellow shooter popped their camera up into the shot uninentionally of course. A lovely example of a random action creating an unexpectedly delightful photographic moment.

Dianne also captured the rich colours:

A personal theme I enjoy exploring in my photography is capturing the less "exciting" aspects of these amazing beautiful historical buildings in Italy. Below is an image of one of the cleaners of the Pantheon. Whilst tourists are gawking in amazement at the sheer beauty of the Pantheon, this gentleman goes about quietly cleaning.

Lastly, when you think you've got all your shots, think again. There's always one more. In this case, I looked out towards the exit:

Remember that telling the story of a monument can be broader than just getting the classic shots.

(The Pantheon is currently under restoration, so the outside entrance has scaffolding. When faced with a situation like this, stick to shooting inside. Scaffolding just doesn't add to the story of the elegance of the Pantheon!)

Equipment and settings used (for pantheon image at top):
Camera - Canon EOD 5D
Settings - f2.8, 1/160, ISO 800, auto white balance, neutral picture style, shot in RAW
Lens - Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L USM LENS
Focal length: 24mm

Photoshop post-production:
Levels, Alien Skin Black and White Film filter - Kodak TRI-X 400, pushed 2 stops

Happy Shooting from Lisa and Dianne at Capture Italy