It has been awhile since I did a deep dive into one of my own photographs. I like to do this as an educational tool, but I need to be in the right frame of mind. The objective is to find what works with the image and what doesn't. Sometimes I find that my link with the image is emotional and that the photograph really is not well taken. Other times I find the key that makes the photo work compositionally.
So here we have an image I like to call "People & Light". As many might notice, the image was taken in the Pantheon in Rome. This is an amazing building, built in 126 AD and it is a marvel of engineering and mathematics. The best part, it is free to enter as it is a Church now, and while people should be respectful of the services that are conducted there, it is free to walk in and look around.
I took this image many years ago using my D300 camera a the 24-70mm lens that I still use. They do not allow tripods and there is little light for a camera with such basic ISO performance.
What I wanted was an image that would do this building justice and I only found two unique attributes. The first is the ceiling that is a massive dome with a hole in the center. I first shot this ceiling and then realized that this is what everyone shot. So I looked around and my eyes settled not he door.
The image was to highlight the size of the building by keeping the tourists in the shot. The massive door in the background gives a sense of scale compared to the people, and the columns outside help break up the bright light flooding in. I would not have the dynamic range to keep the highlights outside the door and the darkness inside in the same image. So by allowing the light to be blown out, but shooting at an angle I was able to break up the bright light a bit.
The door frame support columns, fall on the lines of thirds along the vertical. Horizontally the horizon is below the bottom third, accentuating what is on top. While the people are in the frame, they help the shot as they give everything perspective. A bit advantage is that no one is looking at my while I take the image. Tourists looking at the camera when an image is taken can be very distracting.
Even the square hole on the upper right side of the image, was left on purpose. This is the hole that Michelangelo made in order to study how the Pantheon was built.
Due to the poor lighting, some of the people are hidden in shadows. If you are going to have people in the frame, it is important to be able to see them.
The curve of the building gives a bit of tension in the shot. I like this tension but it contrasts with the people standing around. If the image had some movement, a person walking or running, this would tie in better with the tension of the curve in the building.
I believe this is one of the best images I have taken of the Pantheon. It is a rather unique vantage point while making it instantly recognizable. Overall a nice capture with some interesting elements that allow the viewer enough to look at to stick around for a little while.
Patrick...confirmed film & digital photography addict.