Known as the Eternal City, Italy’s Rome is one of the world’s most visited places. And with so much history found here, it’s the ideal place to take photos!
This is a city where you’ll focus on traditional architecture, culture and, of course, food. So learn about Rome photography in this guide.
Here are the best photo spots to help you get those stunning photos!
Today stands as one of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions. It’s not as popular as the Colosseum, or the Vatican, but still attracts large crowds.
The statues of the fountain make excellent backdrops for portrait photos. This is not lost on the throngs of people take photos of themselves and each other at this photo spot.
As a photographer you have two options, to embrace those crowds, or try to avoid them.
- Include the crowds – Crowds can provide an important narrative element to a photo, giving the image context and life. To get the best of crowds in a photo you’ll want to get above them.
- Avoid the crowds – There are two main ways to increase your chances of photographing a monument without the crowds. The first is to wake up early in the morning, the second is to travel during the low season.
Best time to visit – Early in the morning, before the crowds.
The Vatican Museum
The Vatican museum houses one of the world’s most important collections of artwork. There will be parts of this museum you won’t be able to photograph. Even those you can, crowds of people will still make it difficult.
There is some amazing roof architecture worth capturing, but the real gem for photographers in this museum is the spiral staircase.
The Vatican Staircase
The Vatican staircase is going to be one of your main Rome photography targets. It’s beautiful to photograph from the top looking down, from the bottom looking up, and midway along.
It’s also crowded with people, and they don’t really add to the photo. There is the option of arriving early, the problem is other people may arrive early as well. That’s because the queues to get in are often very long indeed, giving regular tourists the motivation to arrive early as well.
So what are the other options? The answer is layering and using this to remove the people.
Removing People From a Scene
The following is used to take the classic photo of these stairs, from the top looking down.
- Compose your photo, you’ll want to go as wide as you can to capture those swirling stairs.
- Make sure you’re nice and steady and can hold your position for the duration of the photo sequence.
- Take a series of photos, you’ll likely need at least 20. Take a burst of 5 or 6 photos as the crowds move down the staircase, wait a while and then take another burst of photos.
- Ensure your composition stays exactly the same throughout. As you can’t use a tripod, you will have to concentrate on staying very still.
- Import these images into Photoshop. You’ll need to make sure the photos are all aligned. Layer the photos on top of each other, then go to Edit>Auto-Align Layers.
- Now select all the images again. Next, go to Files>Script>Statistics. From the menu that appears choose the median option. This will remove the non-stationary objects from your image, in theory leaving you with an image containing no people.
- It’s possible you will have some areas of the image that either still contain people or a blurry area where people moved. Should this be the case you’ll need to clone out the areas of concern, but these should be small after using the automated script.
Best time to visit – Arrive early to avoid waiting several hours in a queue.