Photoshop textures experiment, your input please

Here are a couple of old shots that I have been using to play with textures. The first is of the Colosseum in Rome, and the second of the Pantheon. Please let me know which versions you prefer; the “before” or “after” shots (just leave a comment).

Colosseum with texture

Colosseum without texture

And now the Pantheon…

Pantheon with texture

Pantheon without texture

Temple of Hercules Victor

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The Temple of Hercules Victor in Forum Boarium was originally thought to have been a temple of Vesta. Although the temple is in the middle of Rome, the marble used to build the temple was from Athens!

The temple is located in the oldest forum in Rome, as was built around 2BC. Driving past the temple is a little strange, because on the one side you have a wonderful garden, and on the other a large and busy freeway. But then I suppose that can be said about many of the sites and places in Rome, whereby you can drive past an archaeological dig right next to an office building.

In case you are wandering, Hercules was the protector of the olive trade.

The Roman Forum

The Roman Forum was the commercial hub of the ancient Roman world. This was where you would go to do anything from buying a few pigs, to visiting the Senate House to file a legal document. This is where the center of Roman Law was debated, and where citizens could petition Caesar.

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The Forum was also the home of many temples paying homage to the various gods, and where the famous Vestal Virgins kept their eternal flame burning (of course they were beaten if they let it go out!).

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It is also where Julius Caesar was killed, the spot is marked by a small grave, and to this day is covered with notes and flowers.

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Trevi Fountain, Rome

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The famous Trevi Fountain in Rome. Although the fountain is really beautiful, this is the part of Rome that made me feel most uncomfortable. There were hordes of people in a rather confined area, and far to many shady vendors walking around. It just felt like a ripe place for some pick-pocketing.

Having said all that, we didn’t have any problems. The fountain is very beautiful, made up of water gushing over wonderfully carved marble statues and figures, creating both a soothing and cooling effect.

The popular story has it that if you throw a coin into the fountain, your return to Rome is assured. Although I did not throw a coin into the fountain, I certainly plan to be go back to Rome.

St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City

Vatican City (like the rest of Italy) is incredibly accessible and aware. It is also free to disabled people. Lois and I bought tickets online several weeks before our visit, which is the best way to avoid the entrance queues. Anyway when we arrived, they promptly sent us to the front of the queue’s, refunded our tickets, and gave us complimentary tickets. You can easily spend several days in the museum’s alone; there is simply so much too see, from Egyptian mummies, to frescos, artwork and astonishing statues. The highlights of the museum’s themselves being of course the Sistine Chapel. Alas, I do not have any photos of the Chapel because they asked us to refrain from taking pics inside, which I respected.

I was however allowed to take pictures inside St Peter’s Basicalica, so here are a few highlights.

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The outside of one of the most beautiful dome’s in the world.

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The dome from the inside of St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, designed by Michelangelo. Although he died before it was complete.

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Detail of the artwork and architecture. The writing is over 7 feet tall.

St Peter's Basicalica - detail

More detail

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Finally, Michelangelo’s Pieta. The Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus.

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