Light, shadow, shape and texture, overwhelmingly surrounded by the sights of Rome. Architecture, people, ruins and religion. I am not so naive as to think that I could see it all in one day. Having spent one day in Rome, I am not so naive as to think that I could see it all in a week, or a month, or even a year. Rome has been around for a very long time. It would take a long time to see it, really see it. It would take longer to photograph it, really capture the essence of it. Yet, while I was there, with my camera, I stopped time. I saw things others have photographed with much more skill than I possess. Yet, I saw things others may have missed. This series is the first of four galleries of stuff–cool stuff–you may see in rome, if you are looking.
The sun was getting low, the shadows long. My own shadow was unrecognizable; however, this shadow reminded me of me, when my head gets too big.
I may have an obsession with cobblestones, their shape, their patterns and the stories they could tell of who passed their way.
Perhaps the same stones, yet viewed a different way–even the streets in Rome resonate with antiquity.
Unveiled in 1667 in the Piazza della Minerva, the Elephant and Obelisk was a commissioned work designed by Bernini outside the Santa Marie Sopra Minerva church and is the shortest of eleven Egyptian Obelisks in Rome.
In the Piazza della Minerva in Rome, round steel balls and barriers with chains protect the Elephant and Obelisk by Bernini.
Barriers, shadows and chains bar entry to the piazza.
Even with 2000 years of decay, Roman architecture still makes a bold statement, influencing much of the world.
Whether you are looking in or looking out, the setting sun emphasizes the color, contrast and climb to the sacred heights of the Eternal City.
Throughout Rome on many buildings and walls, if you look up, you can see detailed artwork of the Virgin Mary and the Baby Jesus, usually illuminated by a lamp or lantern.
Another example of framed wall art in the style of the Masters. This portrait of Mary is about 15 feet off the ground. Someone has to maintain the flower box.
The stone shelf was empty, except for the bottle which was also empty.
Not sure which language or which beverage, but the empty bottle could be a metaphor for the effects of alcohol.
On a narrow Roman side street, this drinking fountain or water spout had so much character I couldn’t resist the photo. What I couldn’t figure out was if the water was safe for drinking.
From this angle, the water looks pretty good. Throughout Rome, there are water fountains readily available so the weary wanderer should never get dehydrated.
From this angle I’m not sure I would drink the water. However, the fountain is still pretty interesting.
At one point in the distant past it may have been a carriage outside the door, and, the barber may have offered blood letting. Somehow I found my way into the shot.
Brass doorknockers may aid admission through these old oak doors.
This stone lion stands guard on a bridge cross the Tiber River near the Castel Saint’Angelo.
We wandered down a narrow alley in the bleached out color of night, looking for the Spanish Steps. The Graphiti said we were lost.
In one man’s Roman trash, you might find a designer zebra stripped suitcase for a reasonable price.
Cell phone service in Rome was frustratingly inconsistent. When we saw this icon for the local provider, I realized why. Their phones are rotary.
I thought, since it is New Years Eve, I would post a photo gallery of shots from some of the places I’ve been around the world. Sort of a “Best of” gallery from previous posts. I’ve been only blogging since August, so I have yet to post shots from everywhere I’ve been. And, I have yet to even start posting video from all of these places. That is what 2014 is for. Resolution 🙂
The world is a big, beautiful place, filled with interesting people, amazing sights, random coincidences and occasional tender mercies. I have been blessed to travel. I have been blessed to make friends on every continent. I hope to keep the friends I have made and make more as time goes by. However, my greatest blessings are found at home, with a warm fire, a good meal and my family, who love me.
If you’ve listened to selected shorts on PRI for awhile (http://www.wnyc.org/shows/shorts/), you’ve heard Roger Kellaway’s, “Come to the Meadow.” The music is lyrical, whimsical and evocative. I can see wildflowers and feel the wind in his composition. The music, for me, paints a spring song in the meadow, evergreen and blooming. Yet, when I found myself in The Meadows on a cold November morning, I was captivated by the patterns, shapes and lines of summer grasses, now glowing golden in the glorious morning light. Come to the meadow with me, on a glorious autumn morning. Bring Roger Kellaway, if you can. There are more seasons in the meadow than you might expect.
It was noon and the sun was directly overhead. Hot. And Humid. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The hard light cast hard shadows. Appropriate–in Alex, life is hard. One of the poorest urban areas in South Africa, Alexandra Township is part of Johannesburg and is home to nearly 200,000 souls. Many do not have running water, or proper sanitation. Many live in informal shacks made of corrugated metal or cinderblock brick. Unemployment is high. Drugs are rampant and gangs compete with law for control. When I entered Alex to take pictures, I stood out dramatically–white on black, with hard shadows. The harsh light was not what I would have chosen for good pictures. Nevertheless, the time of day was a metaphor for life in Alex–harsh and hard. In this post I wanted to show some of the conditions inside. Partial understanding comes through knowing. Tomorrow I’ll show their faces.
There are numerous cross-cultural references to the Tree of Life. I don’t know the actual name for this tree, but the symmetrical shape reminded me of drawings I’ve seen from many parts of the world. In a land teeming with such diversity of life, the symbolism was not hard to find. Africa is an amazing place, bursting with life, much of it tenuous. This tree, thriving amongst the harshness, was an inspiring reminder of my own mortality.
A Red-billed Oxpecker hitches a ride on a willing Water Buffalo. The Oxpecker lives in a symbiotic relationship with the Water Buffalo. It eats the bugs off the back of the large beast for food. The Water Buffalo benefits from a good cleaning.
We came upon this Leopard eating the hind quarter of an Impala at the base of a tree. Up in the tree, twenty-five feet above us, the gutted and thrashed Impala was still starring at us. The Leopard killed the Impala, gutted it and hauled it up the tree. The Impala weighed almost as much as the Leopard.
He didn’t like us watching him eat so he took his dinner and sauntered into the bush. We followed. He decided to ignore us and sat down to finish his meal. When he was done, he just sat there, resting.
People, places, things–I think I’ve pretty much covered it. This will be my last post from Paris–a collection of random stuff–shapes, lines, designs, stuff–much of it transportation related–since we were running, literally, around the city. The city of lights, the city of love, good food, great architecture, interesting people–Paris has it all. Some may wonder, then, why shoot this–stuff? Storytelling, for me, begins with the wide shot and gets more specific. I am fascinated by shapes, lines, interesting stuff. It is so easy to miss the interesting stuff. It is even more difficult to see the interesting stuff, in interesting ways. The story of my visit to Paris–a story I will never forget–and, one I hope to visit again–concludes with the specific, yet random–from my treasure box of stuff.