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.

Raging Waters, Yosemite Wednesday, Jun 23 2010 

Although it was well into June, Yosemite still had enormous reserves of snow. So much so, in fact, that the Tioga Pass road, connecting the Valley with the east end of the park, was open literally two days before we drove across it to Lee Vining. The drive was incredibly picturesque, and since we were headed east, the afternoon sun was behind us and the Dana Fork went the other way along the road.

Dana Fork is usually a mountain creek feeding the Tenaya Lake, but after copious amounts of snow and the first long string of warm, sunny days, it was a raging river barreling down the mountain, flooding meadows and jumping over boulders and tree trunks.

On two separate occasions that evening, as well as the following morning, Scott, John, Tyler and I made a quick stop to explore the rapids for some photographic opportunities. The other three made good use of their neutral density filters, which block out a lot of light coming into the camera, allowing long exposure times, which in turn yield milky smooth water effect.

Since I wasn’t a card-carrying member of the ND club, I focused on only moderately long exposures, in the range of 1/30th of a second. That’s still long enough to show some water flow, but short enough that camera shake isn’t an issue, especially with a 17-40mm f/4L lens. This scene was the one I particularly liked, with a nice separation of the clouds from the sky and plenty of nice looking pine trees. A narrow aperture brought out the natural sharpness of the FP4 film, so I didn’t bother with any post-production manipulation.

John, Tyler, Suad and Scott

John, Tyler, Suad and Scott

As a blog special, here’s a photo of all four of us on the eastern entrance to Yosemite, which is the highest point on the Tioga Pass Road. It marks the first time I’ve been at more than 3000 meters elevation.

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