Dispatches: Early Days In The Eternal City

(c) JerseyStyle_Photography_Rome Wine_032013

Very important stuff going on in The Eternal City, right now.

Whether you’re Catholic or not, religious or not, it’s an exciting process going on in a city that’s more than two and half thousand years old.

Whenever I’m in Washington, D.C., walking the streets, I’m always struck by how much history has taken place there.

Seven years ago, when I was in Rome with Leslie – who was pregnant with Olivia then – I wasn’t just struck by the historical notion, I was stopped almost dead in my tracks.

It’s just incredible to walk the same areas where so much – good, bad, otherwise – has happened.

Not to mention get to quote Gladiator when in and around the Coliseum.


Back then, I had a Canon 20D hanging off my arm. It was my first digital camera, the next step after the Canon Rebel film rig I started with. When I dipped back into these photo folders, one thing really struck me.

Wow, I had no photographic eye back then.

Also, I didn’t shoot very much. Oh, and, I didn’t shoot RAW either.

(c)JerseyStyle_Photography_street vendor

Mostly I shot the touristy shots. Lots of verticals. Nothing really that got my camera in a new place.

Sure, the image of the street vendor roasting chestnuts is a bit interesting.

And it’s hard to go wrong with a high-structured B&W of the Coliseum. (What I remember about getting that shot, though, was the young dude playing Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze on his single-amp electric guitar that night. The tune echoed off and around those ancient walls and everytime I hear that song, I think of Rome.)

While I wish I had done a better job at capturing the people and the city….I can’t really complain. I was a new shooter that was still then – and am still now – developing the eye. Yes, I look back at these images and cringe a little, but it is what it is. It’s all part of the development.

One portrait I do like was of a local artist, Sarti. We came upon him in one of the squares and started looking through the work he was selling. I don’t know art from anything, but we liked some of it. Figured we could pick something up to frame if we ever got a house. I also asked Sarti if I could take his portrait with this piece.

“Sure, sure” he said. “Grazti.”


We did eventually get that piece framed, and we did hang it in the breakfast nook area of our first house. Often when I looked at it, I thought of Sarti. I still like it because of what it is, where it came from and who did it.

I’m happy I got some images that I like. I have a lot more memories too. Such a different time for us, BK – Before Kids. Its was our last “big trip.” Since Leslie as pregnant, I had to, ahem, take over her share of the wine tasting. At the time, I was working at a job in a role that was going through some transistion. I had to call in to the HR department – from my vacation in Italy – to see if I still had a job when I got back.

I remember standing in the morning sun in the our little hotel rooom, dialing the number.

“What if they tell you you don’t have a job,” my wife asked.

I shrugged. “What can I do? I’m in Rome. I’ll go get a bottle of wine.”

“What if you DO still have a job?” she asked.

I smiled. “I’m in Rome. I’ll go get a bottle of wine.”


So, with all this going on in Rome now, I thought back to all this. I’ll keep eye on the smokestacks at St. Peter’s Square and Vatican over the next few days. See if the black or white smoke comes out…

I’m sure the Papal Conclave will be looking to get a nice bottle of Italian vino soon too.

Β© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All rights Reserved 2013


One thought on “Dispatches: Early Days In The Eternal City

  1. Rome is so beautiful I’m sure you’d have enjoyed it. πŸ™‚ Exceptional photography as well I must say, as I noticed some really good use of shutter and focus settings on the photographs which I learned over at shoot digital pics like the pros that helped me relate to the settings with which some of the photos might have been taken. πŸ™‚

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