Tag Archives: #Rome

A Year Ago Today: Rome

On 6 April 2017, I spent the morning in Rome researching for my new book on European Railways.

You can order Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe from Kalmbach Books.


These photos were exposed using my Lumix LX7.

Roman City Gate.
Antique Roman trams and city wall.
Narrow gauge interurban tram at Centocelle, which was effectively the end of the line on the day I visited.
An Alstom-built electric railcar at Roma Termini.
Rome’s Airport train at Roma Termini. Then off to the airport to Dublin.

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Rome on Film.

Using my Nikon N90S with a Nikkor AF 35mm lens, I exposed these Provia 100F slides at Rome’s Porta Maggiore in September 2017.

I often expose color slides in addition to digital images.

I scanned the slides using a Nikon scanner with VueScan software. My initial scans are made at very high resolution (4000 dots per inch or higher) and then using Lightroom I scaled these for internet presentation.

Are these photos better than the digital images? I don’t know. My film photos have different characteristics than the digital images. Also, I like to give slide shows and I find it’s much easier and more satisfying to project original color slides than put together digital presentations.

Slide film works well in certain contrasty situations such as this one.
An antique narrow gauge tram makes a station stop near a centuries old Roman wall at Porta Maggiore.

For more on VueScan see: www.hamrick.com

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Revisiting the Rail Confluence at Rome’s Porta Maggiore.

Back in April (2017), on the advice of Stephen Hirsch I visited the tram junction at Porta Maggiore in Rome, and those photos appeared in an earlier Tracking the Light post.

On my recent trip to Rome with Honer Travers in September we revisited this interesting location where several tram routes cross against the backdrop of a 3rd century Roman Wall and the Porta Maggiore city gate.

For added interest, the approach to Rome Termini runs on the east side of the wall and there’s a constant parade of Trenitalia passenger trains.

I like to use the Roman Wall as a frame.

Lumix LX7 photo. Note the FS train on the far side of the arches.
An out of service tram glides along the wall.
That’s the Porta Maggiore (old city gate) behind the tram.
A few  of the older trams still feature this unusual style of pantograph.
A vestige of a narrow gauge interurban line runs through the wall at Porta Maggiore.

I made these photos using my Lumix LX7 digital camera, but also exposed a few colour sldies.

The tram junction sits in the middle of a roundabout (traffic circle) with some of the most irrational driving I’ve ever witnessed. Despite the road chaos, we were able to nip across the street for a gelato (ice cream).

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Rome: Nice Light and Colorful Trains.

A couple of weeks ago I made these views of some colorful Trenitalia trains at Roma Termini.

Bright Mediterranean light is pleasant to work with. In this situation I’ve taken the classic approach with the sun over my left shoulder. It was nice to have some interesting, yet static subjects to work with.

I made several digital views with my Lumix LX7, but also exposed some 35mm color slides on Fujichrome Provia.

Lumix LX7 photograph.
Lumix LX7 photograph.

These are the digital images. We’ll need to wait to see how the slides turned out.

Notice my placement of the shadows in the scene.


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Roma Termini—September 2017

Rome’s largest station is a vast stub end terminal aptly named ‘Roma Termini’. In addition to nearly 30 platforms, this features a huge shopping mall that is integrated with the terminal facilities.

Rome’s metro lines cross here and there’s a surface tram terminus on the west side of the station.

in late September 2017, I exposed all but one of these photos using my Lumix LX7.

My aim was to capture the bustle and atmosphere of this enormous transport node. At peak times 30 trains an hour depart the station.

Roma Termini is one of more than a dozen major railway stations featured in my upcoming book on European Railway travel.

One hour’s worth of arrivals and departures.

Close up of an FS electric exposed with my FujiFilm XT1.

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Taking a Spin on Rome’s 19—Five new photos.

Rome’s tram line 19 still uses some pretty old streamlined cars.

Not only do these make interesting photographic subjects, but because they have opening windows the make for a great way to see (and photograph) Rome’s neighborhoods.

Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo.
Lumix LX7 photo.
FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm f2.0 lens.

I wonder how many cities in Europe still have trams in daily revenue service that are more than 65 years old?

I made these photos in September 2017 using my Lumix LX7 and FujiFilm XT1 digital cameras during a spin on the 19 while exploring Rome with Honer Travers.

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Roman Forum

Here’s something different for Tracking the Light.

A tourist snap.

Nothing fancy. Nothing tricky. No special equipment or techniques to describe.

This is just a view of ancient Rome from a footpath exposed a week ago using my Lumix LX7.

There’s no rails in sight. (Although Honer Travers and I rode a tram to get here.)

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Traveling on Trenitalia from Fiumicino Airport

Rail-connected airports have become common on the European continent.

The ability to walk directly from your terminal to a waiting train that takes you directly to your destination is a very civilized way to travel.

Trenitalia’s first class Leonardo Express rests to the left of our double-deck local train (R22112) at Fiumicino Airport.
On board the double-deck I photographed this display screen.
My view of the lower level of the double-deck train.
A photo of the top deck before the train filled up.
The FS (State Railways) Roma Trastevere Station at the time of our arrival. Handheld photo made with my Lumix LX7 in ‘night mode’. (which assembles a composite image in-camera.)

In recent months I’ve learned the intricacies of navigating Trenitalia’s automated ticket machines.

While these have an English language option, to buy a ticket typically requires more than a dozen steps, including ‘continuing’ through various warnings that advise you about pickpockets, unauthorized persons supplying information, and reminders to validate your tickets (you’ve been warned!).

So last week (September 2017) when Honer Travers and I arrived at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport, we were well armed with the knowledge to obtain the correct tickets. We rapidly paged through the automated machine and without difficulties had tickets in hand in just minutes.

We boarded our double-deck local train and were on our way to Roma Travestere.

Buying local transit tickets the next morning wasn’t as painless, as the automated machines we found did not seem to work as intended.

Photos exposed using my Lumix LX7.

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Sunrise Glint; Trams in Rome.

On April 6, 2017, I was up early to make photos of streetcars plying Rome’s streets.

Here, I’ve taken position where streetcars nip beneath the throat to Rome’s main passenger terminal. My goal was to work with the rosy rising sun to make some glint photos using my Lumix LX7.

These photos are all from the camera produced Jpg files. A little work in Lightroom might make for improved presentation, but that’s a topic for another day.

Any favorites?

I’m looking toward the rising sun working with glint, flare and silhouette—great elements to play with in the composing of interesting and potentially dramatic photographs.

By standing in the shadow of the railway overpass, I’ve blocked the sun from hitting the front element of the camera lens, thus eliminating the effects of flare, while retaining the glint on the side of the street car. I made several variations of this type of image, by playing with the light.

These narrow gauge cars work the vestige of an old interurban line.
Narrow gauge cars paused at a signal.

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Roman Trams

Well sort of.

Rome is one of the world’s most pictured cities, yet rarely does its tram network feature in photos.

So, on my brief visit to Rome I made many photos of its colourful urban rail-transit system.

Where else can you see multiple tram lines pass through a 3rd century city gate? Thanks to Stephen Hirsch for suggesting this photo location at Porta Maggiore.

Exposed using my Lumix LX7 in early April 2017.


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