Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy Monday, Sep 24 2012 

This week, I’ll be posting photos from my July trip to Rome, Italy. In a few short days, Rome became my favorite city in the world, so I’ll try to illustrate that with some images that I captured while there.

Trevi Fountain By Day

Trevi Fountain By Day

Although it may not be in the Top 2 Rome attractions, Fontana di Trevi would certainly be a contender for number 3 on the list. Undoubtedly, part of the appeal of this imposing structure is that it was prominently featured in Federico Fellini’s classic film, “La Dolce Vita”. In the iconic scene, Marcello Mastroianni and the voluptuous Anita Ekberg take a late night dip in the fountain, in full formal party attire.

If you tried to do something like this nowadays, you would be greeted with a shrill whistle from the carabinieri, and instructed to remove yourself out of the water immediately. As we’ll see in the next few days, Italians are pretty serious about preserving their monuments, and even though they allow you to get pretty close, they expect some measure of respect for their historic value.

Trevi Fountain At Night

Trevi Fountain At Night

I visited the fountain twice during my visit to Rome, because it was pretty close to the hotel in which I was staying. The first visit was at night, and that’s when the photo above was created. The fountain is tightly packed in between the buildings, so it doesn’t get direct sunlight during the “golden hour”, when the quality of light is best. So, my second visit was during the late morning hours, when I took the photo on top of the post; you can see harsh light creating some dark shadows. I just now realized with some horror that the city started a reconstruction of the facade in between my two visits – the scaffolding that is barely visible on the left of the daytime photo is absent in the nighttime version from a few days earlier.

Trevi Fountain, Las Vegas, NV

Trevi Fountain, Las Vegas, NV

In either case, the site was overrun with tourists. The streets around the fountain are narrow, but packed with cafes, gelaterias, and restaurants, so consequently, they are packed with people. It’s easy to see why — there are few better ways to spend some time in Rome than to eat some gelato in the company of Oceanus and his posse (As an aside, I thought that was Poseidon, but no – it’s his uncle Oceanus).

And a final note about the fountain. Several years ago, on one of my visits to Las Vegas, NV, I snapped this photo of what is obviously a replica of the Trevi Fountain, at the entrance to the Forum Shops – the indoor mall inside the Caesar’s Palace. It comes as no surprise that there is a replica of Trevi in Vegas.

If you’ve been to Rome, or Italy, please share your experiences in the comments below.

Nevada, USA Monday, May 16 2011 

This was the fourth consecutive year that I took a photography-focused trip with my friends Tyler and John. Even though we’ve been there before, we decided to come back to Zion National Park and explore it a little bit more. More on that later.

As on the previous trips to Southern Utah, we flew into Las Vegas, rented an SUV and drove north. This time around, we decided to stop at the Valley of Fire State Park, which is only a few miles off the main interstate.

The park is the home for many interesting rock formations, and several examples of petroglyphs, drawings carved in stone by ancient peoples inhabiting this area. This shot was taken from an elevated platform by the Atlatl Rock, where some of the petroglyphs can be seen up close.

Nevada, USA

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada, USA

There are several things seemingly illogical about this photo. Clearly, there are no petroglyphs immediately visible. In fact, I was turned the other way, into the desert, bathed in the mid-day sun. Further, despite the fact that the whole idea of the Valley of Fire is that it’s the bright red sandstone that gives the rocks their attractive color, I was shooting through a roll of Ilford FP4 Plus black and white film.

But, I’m pleased with the way this turned out. The film’s sensitivity to red end of the light spectrum rendered the sand nearly white. The desert, dotted with bushes and dissected by a straight road against the backdrop of rocky hills and distant mountains, gives off a quintessential American vibe; even more specifically, a Nevada vibe.

Color of Nevada

So, it’s the wrong time of day to take a landscape photo, there is no clear subject, there is no color, and there are certainly no petroglyphs. And yet, at least for me, there is a story. For comparison, I included the digital color shot.

(NOTE: Ilford FP4 Plus film processed by the Dallas lab BWC.)

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