For those that have never seen Trevi Fountain in Rome- this is just a small representation of it’s beauty. Click on the photo itself to purchase a piece of beautiful fine art or download a smaller version for your desktop.
In the great symphony of life, we all have important parts to play, just like these repair workers inside The Vatican. When we do our tasks well, we infuse them with our unique energy, making each act a gift. Each of our personalities and talents are suited to different roles of support. Even leaders and star performers support others in their own way. We can look around us at any moment to see that while we nurture some people with our work, others are supporting us with their gifts. Doing any job from this place within us allows us to do our part with humility and gratitude, while also learning lessons that move us steadily toward our goals.
We happened across this rather unusual scene during a visit to the Vatican in Rome. We were surprised to see this heavy machinery setup with the swing stage suspending a worker who was diligently making repairs to this beautiful edifice. Guess even “The Big Guy” needs a hand sometimes! Quietly sneaking up on the scene, we surprised the gentleman on the right (we assume he was the Boss due to his supervisory posture) and quickly composed and executed the shot. The motion blur was deliberate and lends a sense of life and action to the scene. The image was processed in Nikon Capture NX2 for White Balance correction, exported to Photomatix Pro as a NEFF, then final touch up in NX2. Shooting inside churches (or The Vatican for that matter) is tricky. If one is allowed to use a Tripod, then by all means, do so….these places are dark and slow shutter speeds with small apertures are inevitable unless one begins to push the ISO (or as we used to call it, Film Speed) to higher values (more and more grain). White Balance can also be set to Auto and then later corrected provided your shoot in RAW (NEFF for Nikon) and have the tools to correct in post processing.
It always seems that when you are in a hurry and running late, you hit nothing but stop signs. Although they might be annoying, they are there for our protection. We need stop lights throughout our day as well. Overwork and busy schedules need to be interrupted with time for leisure and reflection. Without this we can become seriously sick with stress induced illness. There are two ways of making it through our busy life. One way is to stop thinking. The second is to stop and think. Many people live the first way. They fill every hour with incessant activity. They dare not be alone. There is no time of quiet reflection in their lives. The second way, to stop and think, is to contemplate what life is for and to what end we are living. Take some time throughout your day to give yourself a “mini-vacation” – get alone, get quiet and rejuvenate your spirits!
This was shot in Rome using a medium length telephoto lens with its aperture wide open. Shooting wide open allows the maximum amount of light to pass through the lens and at the same time decreases the Depth of Field (depth of areas that are in focus in the foreground and background). You may notice that this stop light’s red signal is perfectly in focus and the busy street behind is gorgeously blurred, drawing all attention to the signal and allowing the imagination to create its own version of what is happening in the background. This technique is often used in portrait photography so as to lend a pleasant blurred background to the subject. Sometimes this is also referred to as “Bokeh” – you might recall seeing some images from, say, Christmas, where background Christmas lights were beautiful glowing blobs of color. This is achieved by shooting wide-open, allowing the focus to be only on the subject leaving the background out of focus and non-distracting. Some specialty Prime Lenses (Non-zoom, fixed focal length) have aperture settings down to f1.4 – this is ideal for great Bokeh and also allows shooting with natural light, (large aperture = more light to the sensor), which for portraits can often be very flattering!
Vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps – we must ascend the stairs!
Often there are times when we feel that we are spinning our wheels in terms of our progress. This can be especially true following a period of major growth in which we feel as if we’ve gained a lot of ground. In fact, this is the way growth goes—periods of intense forward movement give way to periods of what seems like stagnation. In those moments when we feel discouraged, it’s helpful to remember that we don’t ever really go backward.
It may be that we are at a standstill because there is a new obstacle in our paths, or a new layer to get through, but the hard work we have done cannot be undone. Every step on the path is meaningful, and even one that seems to take us backward is a forward step in the sense that it is what we must do to move to the next level.
This image is from the Barberini Museum in Rome, Italy. This was shot at night very soon before the gates of the grounds closed for the evening. Using a tripod to stabilize the camera, several exposure were taken to compensate for the hard lighting conditions. Luckily, we did not need to elude the No-Tripod Police of Rome as we were seemingly the only ones there.
Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy: pure creative energy and is an underlying force infused in all of us. When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the gifts that were bestowed upon us. Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source and as we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.
Clean out a corner of your mind, and creativity will instantly fill it! And remember, creativity and inspiration exist, but they have to find you working!
Now a bit about this Basilica which we explored during a trip to the wonderful city of Rome…and imagine the creative inspiration and hard work which took place over the many years to realize this magnificent basilica!
The Papal Archbasilica of St. John Lateran is the oldest and ranks first among the four Papal Basilicas of Rome. An inscription on the façade, Christo Salvatori, indicates the church’s dedication to “Christ the Saviour”, for the cathedrals of all patriarchs are dedicated to Christ himself. As the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, it ranks above all other churches in the Catholic Church, including St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City. For that reason, unlike all other Roman Basilicas, it holds the title of Archbasilica.
(Shot handheld with a Nikon D90, wide-angle lens, three exposures were combined to capture all of the subtle details)
We would like to wish everyone a Blessed Easter and heartfelt thanks to all of the wonderful friends who have supported and encouraged us throughout the years! This is also Erik’s 50th Birthday – he has said that now he is starting to count backwards and is looking forward to his 49th Birthday already! (His goal is to get to -20).
This was shot during a trip to Rome and is The venerable Colosseum. This is where the Emperor of Rome used to watch The Games. It was built with 80 arched entrances allowing free and easy access to the 55,000 spectators. Over the course of The Games, over 700,000 contestants were killed, and countless lions, elephants, hippos, bears, zebras and elk. Crazy. It is just a overwhealming feeling being there – really beyond words, hope this picture captured some of the ancient drama.
During our travels to Rome, we had to pay homage to St. Peter’s Basilica! It is beyond words and capturing its magnificence is really hard, if not impossible. It was curious that there were no restrictions regarding photography and even the use of a flash. Naturally, “NO-Tripods” but that is not really a problem as there multiple places to stabilize a camera. It was a cold and rainy day in December and this deterred all but the heartiest of Tourists and we found the place virtually empty. This was a 3 exposure High Dynamic Range shot as we wanted to grab as much light as we could.
Saint Peter’s Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world. While it is neither the official mother church nor the cathedral of the Pope, Saint Peter’s is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic sites. It has been described as “holding a unique position in the Christian world”and as “the greatest of all churches.
In Roman Catholic tradition, the basilica is the burial site of its namesake Saint Peter, who was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and, according to tradition, the first Bishop of Rome and therefore first in the line of the papal succession. Tradition and some historical evidence hold that Saint Peters tomb is directly below the altar of the basilica. For this reason, many Popes have been interred at St. Peter’s since the Early Christian period. Contrary to popular misconception, Saint Peter’s is not a cathedral, as it is not the seat of a bishop. It is properly termed a papal basilica. The Archbasilica of St. John Lateran is the cathedral church of Rome.
Make sure to check out our other pictures of Rome – they are awesome! Just click on the Tag Cloud as a short cut and thanks for the kind visit!
Kathleen and Erik