All Saint’s Day, 01 November 2011


In honor of All Saint’s Day today, I present the following:

FM2 Rome Gold200 PantheonInt01B

Photo Information:

Location: Rome, Italy [1]
Camera: Nikon FM-2
Lens: Nikon Nikkor 28mm f/2.8
Film: Kodak Gold 200 [2]

For those of y’all who don’t know, the Pantheon in Rome was re-dedicated by the Roman Catholic Pope Boniface IV to the Virgin Mary and all Catholic martyrs, somewhere around 610CE. This event is generally considered to be the origin of a feast day commemorating all the Catholic saints, though the date of the festival was not set in November until later. While I’m not an observant Catholic anymore, I still remember many of the traditions associated with the religion (hey, I was raised that way…can’t erase nearly two decades of education on the subject).

As for the photo, I shot it while I was participating in a study abroad program in Rome as part of my graduate studies in architecture. [3] It’s a rather well-known image for architects and artists, as the “spotlight” effect created by the oculus on a sunny day has been noted for centuries. It was a bit of a fortuitous moment for the shot; I had been kicked out of a guided tour of the Vatican [4] at the time, so I hiked over to the Forum and Pantheon and hung around there, instead. Since it was a sunny day, it was a good time to get this shot (I had known about it from long before form my introductory architectural history classes). I had to use a wideangle lens for the shot, since the interior, while fairly large, didn’t afford me enough distance to get far enough away from the oculus and “spotlight” to capture both using the normal lens that I typically prefer. I converted the color original to black and white, since there isn’t much in the way of color in the upper dome for the lack thereof to matter. [5] That and, y’know…I love black & white photos.



[1]: Yes, that Rome.

[2]: I know…the cheap Kodak color film! *gasp* Actually, at the time, I wasn’t much of a film junkie, so I didn’t much care what film I was using, so long as it was cheap and readily available. Keep in mind, this was nine years ago…digital cameras did exist at the time, but they were fairly crude (by today’s standards, anyways), and (more importantly) expensive, so I didn’t have one. At the same time, I had inherited a number of stellar film SLRs from my Dad, so it just made sense to take advantage of what I had. I will also point out that for a cheap film, the Kodak Gold produced fairly good results. Just goes to show you don’t have to be a snob about your film…just use what you’ve got!

[3]: I will freely admit that not much in the way of traditional studying got done at the time. Unless one can “study” Italian wine by consuming two bottles a night.

[4]: No, I didn’t do anything outlandish…apparently, God doesn’t approve of wearing shorts in his house.

[5]: Once upon a time, it is believed that the interior of the coffers contained bronze stars or some other form of decoration – presumably, if they used some form of interior illumination, these would’ve provided some form of reflected light from the interior of the dome.


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