Hello, hello, kind folks, here are some warm hues and tones imported all the way from Rome to cuddle the sweet winter chills away.
For this submission, I have opted for a photograph that is taken in the "Souvenir Postcard" tradition. This form may also be more personally familiar as the "family tourist scrapbook heirloom". It's one of a list of must-have tourist pictures that I tend to take when traveling to and visiting places. Additionally, this photograph also serves as a homage to the vibrant illustrations found in the Dorling Kindersley encyclopedias; a style of visual imagery of which I am very fond and with which I grew up.
The place depicted in the photograph is the famous Colosseum in Rome. It is also referred to as the Flavian Amphitheater. The fellow who is pictured here is a Praetorian guard. The Praetorian guards were the only military force allowed in the city of Rome. [source]
Now, on to a story about the Colosseum itself! Built in around year 70 to 80 AD, the Colosseum is a structure known as an amphitheatre. amphitheatres were used for the purposes of entertainment, sports, and performances. The Colosseum was once used as a stage that held shows depicting sea battles. To do this, they filled the entire bottom cavity of the Colosseum with water to create a pool; a realistic backdrop for the boats to depict battle sea scenes. However, some time later, they built walls and partitions in the space of the bottom cavity to form working quarters and sections to store animals. Thus, it was no longer possible to form the water pool and the battle sea shows ceased.
To wrap up this piece, here is affixed a poem written by Lord Byron in reminiscence of the Colosseum:
Descriptive Poems: III. Places
Lord Byron (1788–1824)
But when the rising moon begins to climb
Its topmost arch, and gently pauses there;
When the stars twinkle through the loops of time,
And the low night-breeze waves along the air
The garland-forest, which the gray walls wear,
Like laurels on the bald first Cæsar’s head;
When the light shines serene, but doth not glare,—
Then in this magic circle raise the dead;
Heroes have trod this spot,—’tis on their dust ye tread.
Here are some Technical Notes
LENS USED: Nikon 55mm f/2.8, Micro-NIKKOR
*this is a wonderful lens with excellent color reproduction and contrast. The image quality of resulting from the lens is exquisite. But do take note that it has no autofocus and thus you'll have to manually focus all the time. It is perfect for macro and still life work, though, since the subjects sit perfectly still.
Now for the fun part!
All editing was done in GIMP.
In editing this, I used a picture I took of ice crystals forming outside of an airplane window to form the stars you see in the sky. The image layer of that texture was set to the "screen" blending mode and the contrast of that image layer was increased so that the whites of the ice crystals really popped out.
I referred to some photos and paintings of Praetorian guards to inform the hand-colouring of the figure. The hand-colouring layer was a transparent layer set to the "overlay" blending mode and after having painted the colors in, I duplicated that layer in order to increase the saturation of the colors of the figure's uniform.
For the colors, first add a very slight vignette. Then to warm them up, create a layer filled with a warmish, yellowy orange color. Set this layer to "overlay" and then play with the opacity of the layer until it suits your tastes. For more information, you can do a google search and look up some tutorials on how to achieve a warm-toned effect.
Next, go to hue and saturation, and selectively increase the saturation of the yellow tones. And then selectively increase the saturation of the blues and cyans (in unison) and also slightly bring up the reds and the greens. Tweak the values around until you're happy with the effect.
Then, sharpen up the whole image and voila! You are done!
Thank you for viewing and I wish you an awesomely productive and interesting day!
PS: if you happen to be a total Roman History enthusiast and find some wrong facts in my exposition, do not hesitate to point it out! All in the name of good information!