Tuesday, November 21, 2017


When in Rome….get a hotel room within walking distance to your main subject locations! I went out at 6pm—two hours before sunset—to photograph some of Rome’s iconic features.  The Colosseum was a total zoo; hundreds of tourists and tour busses disgorging more tourists! So, I walked to the Arch of Constantine seeing great light crossing its surface….

f9.5 @ 1/250sec., ISO 400
Going for a different composition I zoomed-in and went vertical. I love that tree framing the arch. This also got rid of a lot of tourists!

Don’t forget the details….

 f11.0 @ 1/250 sec., ISO 400
On the other side the arch was getting great light skimming its interior. So, I zoomed-in for this close-up.  

I did the short hike to Palatine Hill and was rewarded with very few tourists! This was one of my favorite compositions….

 f13.0 @ 1/350 sec., ISO 400; lens @ 24mm
I love how that tree fit the arc of the arch. However, to get the tree there I had to move in close to the arch and use my lens at 24mm causing a lot of distortion on the arch. Hurray for Photoshop’s distortion correction feature!

Five days later we did a day trip to the classic site at the top of my list….Pompeii.  We got there at 10am and had good light and nice clouds in the sky. It turned out that a lot of the best features in Pompeii were interiors so, time of day wasn’t as critical as the landscapes. Case in point….

 f9.6 @ 1/60 se.c, ISO 400; lens: 20mm
This is a section of a round room with a large open, round, skylight. I love the soft light and the mysterious shadows in the alcoves.

When the light outside isn’t so good...

 f4.0 @ 1/60 sec, ISO 400
Change your camera position to get good directional light (with shadows!). The tourists were taking their pictures from the opening of this structure on the right. All that give them was flat, boring, shadowless lighting.  I moved 90 degrees to the other side where the light was creating really nice textures and produced the three dimensionality due to the shadows.

When outside this is what I’m looking for….

f19.0 @ 1/180 sec., ISO 400; Lens @ 24mm
The morning sun at 10am was just high enough to light over these low walls and yet give me good shadows to create texture and dimension. In addition, a bonus, I had good clouds!

TIP:  In an image with foreground objects (those pots) leading into a lot of mid-ground and background detail I want maximum depth-of-field. For this image I had my aperture set to f19.0 using my 24mm lens.

In a future blog I’ll share some fine art photography from our travels in Mexico and the Caribbean.

’Til next week….

Author:  Jerry W. Venz, PPA Master Photographer, Craftsman
Training site: http://www.LightAtTheEdge.com
Client site: http://www.TheStorytellersUsa.com

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