Monthly Archives: December 2012

Merry Christmas

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

There isn’t much for me to say today really, except here’s wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

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copyright Shivani Shah

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The Pantheon And The Panthéon

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The Pantheon in Rome is a gorgeous church in Piazza Della Rotonda. What I couldn’t get over every time I passed by or went in was that it is over 2,000 years old and still being used as a place of worship. The grand columns of the portico and the light filtering through the oculus are simply breathtaking. I was seriously in awe every time I saw the building.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

Just around the corner from the Pantheon is Sant’Eustachio Il Caffè, which is home to quite possibly the best coffee I’ve ever tasted. Just thinking about it makes me want to go back!

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

I also visited the Panthéon in Paris, an equally impressive structure in the heart of the city. It appears to be bigger than the Roman Pantheon, and the crypt is certainly large enough to get lost in (I almost did).

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copyright Shivani Shah

I was most grateful to have a wide angle lens in both these buildings – my trusty nifty fifty got some great details but buildings this magnificent need to be captured entirely as well.

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copyright Shivani Shah

The wide angle also allowed me to get my favourite photo from Paris – looking down Rue Soufflot from Place du Panthéon, with the Jardin du Luxembourg and Eiffel Tower in the distance.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

Of Sculptures. And More Sculptures.

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copyright Shivani Shah

If you’ve been to Rome, you’re more than likely to notice sculptures. Everywhere. From the fountains to the museums, Rome is full of some of the most breathtaking sculptures I’ve ever seen. I don’t have a single artistic bone in my body, and certainly not the hand-eye co-ordination required to be able to even mould Play-Doh, so I was just in awe of these great, ancient pieces of art just adorning the streets and piazzas and so accessible to everybody.

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

Although the Vatican Museum has some gorgeous paintings by the masters of art, the smaller selection of sculptures certainly deserve their place in one of the world’s most famous museums.

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copyright Shivani Shah

If I had to choose the sculpture I liked most (and I certainly didn’t see them all), it would be down to the Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain) and Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers), and I don’t think I could pick between the two.

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copyright Shivani Shah

If you’ve been to Rome, do you have one sculpture that just took your breath away?

PS: Please forgive the inundation of photos from Europe. I took a LOT of photos while there, and Rome and Paris are just so gorgeous that I love sharing them.

Blog Update

For some reason, WordPress does not like me just now. I’ve tried to post five different times, but it’s not allowing me to insert the images where I want them to. Once I figure out why, I will be back up and running.

Black And White And Shades Of Grey, vol. 3

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The 2,200 photos I took on my recent European vacation reinforced three things I’ve realised over the course of my travels: (1) I love street photography, (2) I’m more than a little apprehensive of taking photos of strangers, and (3) I tend to convert most of my street photography into black and white.

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copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

copyright Shivani Shah

I’ve said it often and I’ll say it again – colour can sometimes be distracting. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything or add to the photo if a man’s shirt is blue or a lady’s dress is green. If you take those details away, you’re more likely to pay attention to his or her expression or actions, and that for me is what makes the photo better.

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copyright Shivani Shah

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You can also use black and white to focus on the details you think are important to the photo, like in the one below. The couple in the shadows in the foreground makes for a nice contrast with the Eiffel Tower lit up in the background.

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copyright Shivani Shah

The bright, bright street lights and dark blue sky were all I could see when the photo was in colour. That’s certainly not the case any more.

This certainly isn’t a rule, though. One of my favourite street photography blogs, Shoot Tokyo, has a large collection of colour photographs that are just absolutely incredible. In my own work, I made the deliberate decision to leave the photo below from Sri Lanka in colour.

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copyright Shivani Shah

It just wouldn’t be the same if the bananas were in grey, would it?