Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #54: Detail

When you pay attention to detail, the big picture will take care of itself. ~George St-Pierre

Has this happened to you?  You are standing in front of a person, place or thing that is so astounding, or so beautiful, or so massive, or so visually-overwhelming that you are at a complete loss of how to capture him/her/it with your camera.  This has happened to me at Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon, the Vatican, and most recently in Ravenna, Italy.

Here’s one way to solve this dilemma–focus on detail–our theme for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #54.   Sometimes one or two small details can convey the big story.

To get your creative wheels spinning, I’m going to share my experience in Ravenna, a World Heritage Site south of Venice on the Adriatic Coast.  It is well worth a visit because of its stunning mosaic artistry.  My photos come from two locations.

The Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, is an artistic marvel, but it was overwhelming–as you can see in my first image.  Nearly everyone in the crowd was gazing upward at the vast, dazzling expanse of intricate mosaics.

Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Big Picture, Ravenna, Italy

Details create the big picture.~Sanford I. Weill

Once, I decided to focus on sections of the walls and ceiling, I started to get a “grip” on the scene.  I was particularly interested in the frieze of saints at the center of this image and the repetition of windows, ceiling panels, and designs.

Saints on Parade, Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy

Details make perfection, and perfection is not a detail.– Leonardo Da Vinci, Italian inventor, architect, artist, mathematician, scientist

In this third shot, I zoomed in even closer, capturing a section of the nave.  Here you can get a better sense of the intricate, detailed, and remarkable work.  Imagine that all of these designs are created out bits of colored glass (tesserae) that are less than 1 inch in diameter.

Window Detail, Basilica of Sant’ Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, Italy

The details are not the details. They make the design. Charles Eames

The last image was shot at The Basilica of San Vitale.  Here  you can see a close-up of the panels arching overhead, and adorning two walls.

Basilica of San Vitale, Window Detail, Ravenna, Italy

We look forward to seeing your responses to this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #54: Detail.  The topic is open to any kind of detail–from people, places, or things.  It’s totally up to you.

A special thanks to all our participants for their unique, moving, funny, and thoughtful responses to our special anniversary theme.  Amy, Tina, Ann-Christine, and I are very gratified by your enthusiasm, praise, and encouragement, which has ushered us into our second year of the LAPC.  As we move forward, we are determined to select themes to help focus your creative energies and provide a welcoming environment where we can all share our work.

Have you seen these?

If you’re new to the challenges, click here to learn how to join us.  Remember to link your post here and tag it Lens-Artists to help us find your post in the WP Reader.

Next week, it’s Ann-Christine’s turn to lead the challenge, so be sure to visit her blog.  As always, Amy, Tina, Ann-Christine, and I thank you for your support of our challenge!

169 replies »

    • I was amazed, Amy! Glad you like them too. I can’t believe most tourists in Italy don’t know about them. 😊 I am so glad we took the time to go there.


  1. Amazing images from Ravenna, Patti. I was also somewhat overwhelmed by the Vatican, not quite knowing where to look or go first, especially since I couldn’t spend too much time there.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, Tina. Thank you! It was definitely overwhelming and grand. I still can’t wrap my head around the amount of time it took to create these mosaics. Less than 1 inch at a time! Talk about patience!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful … hard to imagine how much work has gone into all those details. All made by hand … stunning artwork. Hard to make a place like this justice … but you have done a brilliant job. Fantastic. Ravenna … never been. Been very little to Italy. But I have a close friend that is born there and his surname is Ravenna. Have to put Italy on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing and for the fun topic to work with this week, Patti.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Imagine how much time and effort put into these…and you have done a wonderful job capturing it all! Not an easy task. I was in Ravenna the summer of 1976, a young woman only, but I was totally mesmerized. Your super shots make me want to go again. Time flies, and so do memories…The last image is absolutely stunning!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hi, Ann-Christine. Thank you, thank you!! I hope you do go again. I would imagine the number of tourists has increased quite a bit, but it is still less popular than the sites in Florence and Rome, for example. But definitely worth a visit. I found it fascinating.

      Liked by 1 person

      • And you transmitted your fascination to us all! We have to go to Italy again…some day. It was so long ago. I will see it through you until then.

        Liked by 2 people

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