Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pompeii 5











Pompeii 5

In Pompeii excavators found many frescoes that showed erotic art much of which is considered pornographic today. For many years, the art was closed to the public, but today it is open even though minors still need the permission of parents before viewing. Our tour didn't take us to see this art, but I was able to photograph a few frescoes that were on outside walls.

The first two photos show the same piece of art. I wanted to show you how faded it looked on the walls after being buried for 1700 years. In Picasa, a free program from Google that I have recommended in the past, a click on one button adds more contrast and colour to the scene. I've uploaded a few more of the frescoes to my Blog this morning - Photo of the Day Blog.

There are still quite a few columns standing in this ancient city and I made photos of several which I have also uploaded to my Blog this morning - Photo of the Day Blog.

Photos of the Day are for sale as stock photographs
and photographic enlargements.
They can also be purchased as slide shows
and/or wallpapers/screensavers.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pompeii 4






Pompeii 4

When archaeologists were excavating the buried city of Pompeii, they noticed an occasional void in the ash that contained human remains. They realized that these were spaces left by decomposing bodies so they devised a method of injecting plaster into the spaces which would preserve the forms of the human bodies. Our tour allowed us to view a few of the plaster casts that were on display. There was such a crowd that it was difficult to get a decent image because I was literally being pushed out of the way by other tourists.

There were two of the forms enclosed in glass cases and again, it was difficult to get close enough to make a decent image. I decided quickly that a wide view without crowds of people was impossible so I decided to make close views. The wide angle lens on my Canon EOS camera was too wide because there were people all around and the case was very dusty, which caused too many reflections. I decided to use my Nikon Coolpix to zoom in as close as possible to the forms in the glass cases. I was surprised to see actual teeth and part of a skull in one of the casts.

I can not even imagine the horror these people felt as the nearby Mount Vesivius erupted violently and very quickly afterwards a rain of volcanic ash buried their city. Now, nearly 2000 years later, we can see the forms of some of the people who lost their lives that day. The person in the second image looks as though he may be praying or holding his hands over his face. I wonder what was going through his mind at that moment in time.

Photos of the Day are for sale as stock photographs
and photographic enlargements.
They can also be purchased as slide shows
and/or wallpapers/screensavers.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Pompeii 3










Pompeii 3

The first photo this morning shows the city square of old Pompeii with Mount Vesuvius in the background. With clouds around the crater, it looks almost as if the volcano is letting off steam. You can see that there is quite a crowd of people visiting Pompeii at 10 AM. When we were finished our tour, there were many more busloads of people arriving so I was glad we decided to take the early tour that day.

The second image is a closer view of the scene taken with the Nikon Coolpix because I was able to zoom in and eliminate most of the people in my way. It's too bad the people in the shot weren't wearing white togas because I think they are near a temple and with togas it would look much the same as it did in 79 AD.

The other photos show the columns that are still standing after suffering devastating earthquakes, then being covered in ash and lava for 1700 years. Some of the Roman lettering is still visible after all that destruction.

Photos of the Day are for sale as stock photographs
and photographic enlargements.
They can also be purchased as slide shows
and/or wallpapers/screensavers.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pompeii 2









Pompeii 2

This morning I am sharing photos of the Roman city of Pompeii which was covered by 4 - 6 m (12-19 feet) of ash and pumice after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. It was accidentally discovered in 1749 and has provided lots of information about lifestyles at the height of the Roman Empire. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is one of Italy's most popular tourist sites with approximately
2 500 000 visitors a year.

After four days of tours I had settled into the routine of taking my Canon EOS with a 17-40 mm lens as well as my new Nikon Coolpix with a 36X optical zoom. It was working very well - the Canon was fast and easy to focus while the Nikon was excellent for zooming in on a subject or in situations with low light. Today's images are a mixture of photos taken with both cameras.

The first few images show part of a courtyard near the entrance to the city. I liked the old columns and made several photos of them, however, because there were several tours there, it was difficult to make an image without people in the scene. As I walked along the historic streets in this ancient Roman city I thought about the people who, surprised by a volcanic eruption, were covered in ash and killed as they were going about their daily business. Our tour guide said that they weren't sure how many people escaped, but around 1000 people died as the city was buried in 79 AD.

Photos of the Day are for sale as stock photographs
and photographic enlargements.
They can also be purchased as slide shows
and/or wallpapers/screensavers.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pompeii 1













Pompeii 1

Since I was a school kid I have heard about Pompeii and how it was covered in ash from Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD so when the opportunity arose, that was the tour I wanted to take. The tour began with a short description and demonstration of an artist creating cameos from a sea shell in a jewellery factory and store located just outside the Roman ruins.

The first photo shows the cameo as the artisan took a second to view his work. There are a couple more photos of the gentleman who was working on this particular piece. Thiugh on a much smaller scale, I realized that cameos are sculptures made of sea shells instead of marble. After the demonstration was finished everyone had a chance to view the items in their store. These items included beautiful cameos of all shapes and sizes, chess boards and pieces, lamps and many other items. I made a few photos of the chess pieces and uploaded a couple more to my Blog this morning.

I haven't mentioned it before, but in a few places I visited it was apparent that Europeans displayed art that here in North America may not be considered appropriate, especially where there may be children. The art in the third photo was on the ceiling of the cameo factory and I thought it was beautiful. I don't think many people noticed it until I started making a few photos. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any details about the artist but, if you like the work, I've uploaded a couple more to my Blog.

Photos of the Day are for sale as stock photographs
and photographic enlargements.
They can also be purchased as slide shows
and/or wallpapers/screensavers.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rome 7








Rome 7

This is the last in my Rome series for now. I will return to more photos of Rome when I start my European Churches theme in a few weeks.

The first photo shows a statue of Moses by Michaelangelo that was photographed in St. Peter in Chains Church. Even Michaelangelo thought this was his most lifelike sculpture and, as the story goes, tapped the knee of the sculpture and said "now speak" because he felt that life was the only thing left in the marble. There is a small scar on the knee thought to be made by Michaelangelo's hammer.

The second photo shows the Roman Coliseum which is the largest amphitheatre built in the Roman Empire. It is considered one of the greatest feats of Roman architecture or Roman engineering. Unfortunately our tour didn't go inside this large structure that was completed in 80 AD and was capable of seating 50 000 spectators.

The art in the next few photos were part of the Arch of Constantine located near the Coliseum and was built around 315 AD.

Photos of the Day are for sale as stock photographs
and photographic enlargements.
They can also be purchased as slide shows
and/or wallpapers/screensavers.