Il Colosseo Sotto La Pioggia
In the Eternal City of Rome, there’s nothing more iconic, more recognized, or more mesmerizing than The Colosseum. It has stood for centuries and in that time, it has also become one of the most famous (and most visited) historical structures in the world. I try to visit each time I’m in Rome and for me, spending time near Il Colosseo is always food for my soul.
So when I woke up at 4:45am to the sound of the pouring rain, I accepted the fact that shooting would likely be impossible. Instead, I resolved to simply visit and enjoy the view of The Colosseum, regardless if the rain held up. With a sleepy expression, my wife agreed and after a few shots of cold (pre prepared) espresso, we stumbled downstairs to the car.
Shortly after we arrived, the rain slowed to a manageable drizzle. And by the time I setup my tripod, the rain had completely stopped, leaving beautiful shiny reflections on every surface that perfectly complemented the fast moving dramatic sky.
Technical Mumbo Jumbo
Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: 14-24 f/2.8 (Shot at 20 mm)
Exposure: 2.5 seconds at f/5.6
Technique and Details: Digital Blending & Luminance Masking using 4 exposures (-1, 0, +1, +2).
It was very important to me that the natural beauty of this place showed through so I made sure to keep the processing as minimalistic as possible. Blending the exposures manually allowed me to retain all of the original image integrity without any sacrifices to clarity or sharpness.
A few blown out highlights were adjusted using a single Luminance Mask and exposure -1. I also recovered some shadows and details using exposures +1 and +2. After that, I used NIK Software’s “Detail Extractor” to add a little more drama to the sky and cobble stones.
Software: Lightroom, Photoshop, NIK
Espresso: Lavazza Oro brewed with cold Icelandic Tap Water