Photographing Rome



Rome. Caput Mundi. The Capitol of the World. The Eternal City where I spent most of my life, the city I have photographed the most, loved the most. In my eyes, Rome is the most beautiful city in the world. The unparalleled art, the culture, the ancient ruins, the layers of history from the empire to the dark ages, the Renaissance, the Baroque. Rome is an open museum. So much to see and learn. So much beauty.

Rome is also the first chapter of my new upcoming book getting first place for my 10 most beautiful places in Italy): Book: Italy, A Romantic Journey

But capturing modern Rome on camera can be a challenge. So many people, so many cars, so much contemporary life blocking all that history. I like to photograph various monuments and scenic locations at different times of day. My discovery walks are usually in the very early morning when the city is still sleeping. Starting out with the dawn, I have just an hour or so before the light becomes harsh and the city wakes up, flooding the streets.




I like to photograph the Pantheon in the early morning. The whole area is worth exploring and I have walked in an out the the tiny cobble stone roads that surround the piazza an infinite number of times. Each time I return, I find something new to photograph. It can be a different light, a door, a fountain or a window.




I like to photograph the colosseum in the late afternoon, just as the sun sets behind it. As the lingering light hits the ancient stone it comes alive, turning an orangey red that makes it seems to be on fire. When the sunlight beams through the arches the effect is magical.



Photography is my Yoga. My meditation. Beyond the merely lovely. I prefer to take pictures using film, because it captures light so beautifully. It’s my favorite form of expression. It’s conceptual, and I’ve learned to get it right in the camera without resorting to Photoshop. I’ve learned to focus, to see in depth. It’s not the same as taking endless shots, hoping one will be good enough to store in the computer. I take one picture at a time, and each one is worth 1000s of “digital” images.

Because I’m also a painter, I’m attracted to the painterly effects I can get with analog film. It’s a fine art. My discovery walks, are always unplugged. No phone, nothing digital. Total silence. I walk, focus and look, stopping whenever I see something beautiful to capture it, as though I need to freeze the beauty, save it, hold it. The well of beauty that I cherish needs to be replenished often.