It’s All Relative


This is one of the minor domes in St Peter’s Basilica, in Rome. If you haven’t been there, the place is incredibly huge, just such an enormous space, it dwarfs the human scale. But that was the whole point, I suppose.

Often I’d walk around Rome and think: if that unremarkable building over there were in the US, it would be the considered a national treasure; the oldest building in America. In Italy, it’s just another building, lost in the crowd of its more splendid neighbors.

About the photo: You’re not allowed to take tripods into the major churches (or maybe any of the churches in Italy). So to get this long exposure shot I laid my camera down on the floor and hoped for the best. I actually got chastised by a Vatican Police officer, who said “No, no, you can’t put things on the floor.” But he was nice enough to allow me to complete the exposure before I picked it up, so that was great of him I was really disappointed by a number of churches which didn’t allow photography at all in them. I can understand why they wouldn’t, but it kills me that they’ve built these amazing spaces, some of the most amazing in the world, and you’re not supposed to be able to take pictures of them. Much better to have hours when photography is allowed, at least. If the issue is that they want you to BUY postcards or posters instead of taking pictures, charge a photographer fee; I’d happily pay 10 Euros to shoot many of the places I was allowed to enter but not photograph.

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