Walk anywhere near the Duomo in Florence, Italy and you will see people backing up trying to take a picture of the whole church. They will be standing near the baptistery ignoring the beautifully carved bronze doors with their body contorted trying to get a picture of the whole façade. I guarantee they can’t do it – unless maybe they are a professional.Even if you manage to get a good photo of part of the church chances are the picture is going to include some of the street vendors that are hanging around in the area. Sure you can Photoshop them out, maybe you can just Photoshop the whole picture so it looks perfect, but that is sorta cheating. Okay, so go ahead and take a few pictures of the whole church then stand back and look, really look at the details of the church. Then start taking photographs of small sections of the Duomo. The white, pink and green marble is beautiful. And the statues that decorate the outside of the church are worth at least a few minutes of attention.
I love how different statues are all looking in different directions. I also think the swirling poles that outline different sections of the church are remarkable. The façade was completed in the late 1800’s while most of the church was completed in the mid-1400’s after well over 100 years of construction.
It is particularly easy to take pictures of the doors of churches since they are at eye level. Most of the church doors in Italy, especially on the cathedrals are intricate and worthy of a photo. The doors are normally huge so you will only be able to see about a third of the door at eye level. Many doors are made of bronze making them seem even more imposing, though some of the older churches have wooden doors. Since you are usually standing in line waiting to get in the church you will have a lot of time to decide what you like and to plan out your pictures.
More than once I have been wandering around taking my pictures of a one foot section of a church that takes up 2 or 3 city blocks only to find myself attracting other tourists who are suddenly interested in what I am doing.
Even the simple things can be beautiful like this very small segment of the very large cathedral. I have found that the key to most good photography is to take a lot of pictures. That is the beauty of digital cameras. You can take and delete pictures all day long.
You can go to the Piazzale Michelangelo or the Boboli Gardens where you can indeed get a picture of the Duomo, Campanile and baptistery all in one shot.
These days you have so many options for taking pictures. Sometimes I use my phone, other times my iPad Mini and then there are times I use my Nikon Coolpix. camera.