Epic Imagery is not Everything in Photography!

Italian Drain

Sometimes a great shot is at your feet

I am returning to my photos of Italy in this post but with a difference! I have been sorting through the thousands of photos captured during a magical two-week trip through Rome, Florence and most of Tuscany. There are lots of shots of historical sites, museums, churches, picturesque villages and countryside – epic imagery! However, I now find myself appreciating the little “detail” photos—small discoveries that popped up at unexpected moments—it reminds me that we have to be ready and open to discovery, even when confronted with obvious photo opportunities!

Bell Tassel

Inside the Basilica di Santa Croce, a small pull-cord tassle begs for attention

These small gems are perhaps more valuable! The easy shots are always present, in your face, demanding to be captured and necessarily so, as part of the record of your passing through. I’m not suggesting that you ignore the obvious shot, just remember to slow down and smell the roses (or oranges), as it were…

Potted Plants - Florence

This scene presented itself while strolling through Florence.

I am fascinated with textures. I spent a lot of time photographing Italian walls; they seemed to speak of ancient memories that still linger in corners and other forgotten places…

Wall Detail at Pompeii

This corroded wall detail from Pompeii came alive with contrast enhancing moves in Lightroom.

Sometimes these “discoveries” don’t make themselves known until after you skipped over them many times. Quick tweaks in your image editing software can sometimes reveal the “diamond in the rough” and bring it to life. I find that Lightroom is excellent for quickly reviewing and tweaking images just to know if something is there or not!

Italian Graffiti

This artistic graffiti caught my eye and came alive after contrast enhancement in Lightroom.

The trick is to be visually curious—keep your camera at hand and be ready to slow down and even stop when something catches your eye. Think of it as a meditation on visual wonder. There is something marvelous waiting to be discovered around every corner if you are open to it.

Draps and Tuscan Light

Its all about the light!

The quality of light is a huge component in the little detail discoveries. Sensitivity to light is crucial to capturing a truly magical moment. The most mundane subjects take on an aura of the supernatural when the light is right…

Mystery "No" Sign

Who knows how long this sign has been here and what it was originally meant for.

Again, light is king!

Window Dressing

Early morning at the bathroom window.

Sometimes its a particular color that catches our eye! I know, I’ve often said that the lights and darks are the most important thing in photography, but color can and does lure us… no need to resist! You must, of course, control the luminance to maximize the effect!

Blue Curtains

Color can grab us...

Certainly, light and color together can make for a moving experience, and can conjure up vivid memories of a time and place…



Late afternoon light enhanced this image of a wall ready for repairs.

Of course the ultimate details can be very small and require a little effort to find… This last image of a little bug in the garden of the villa reminds me that Pinocchio had an important little friend!



I followed this little bug for quite a while until he posed on these leaves.

I encourage all of you to keep your eyes open to the details, little scenes, and intimate moments. These small gems are often overlooked when confronted with a wealth of visual splendor. Resist the urge to hurry to the next photo opportunity, slow down and savor the details underfoot or off in the corner. Stay loose and HAVE FUN with the process of capturing pictures.

I’ve posted a gallery of more normal vacation photos here.