LAPC #233: One Lens Walk

For this challenge, I’m taking my Fuji for a walk to the Cappelle Medicee in Florence. Our artist-friend told us, “You have to go there.” So, we went. It was a breathtaking experience.

We arrived at the Cappelle Medicee in the late afternoon. This site contains two chapels, which are the final resting places for illustrious members of the wealthy and powerful Medici family. It also includes a museum to display some of their treasures. The interior was dimly lit. I was happy I brought my 35mm prime lens. It has the widest aperture (1.4), which lets in the most light.

As soon as we walked into the museum, this statue of Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici caught my eye. She was the spirited daughter of Cosimo III, the Grand Duke of Tuscany. Born on August 11, 1667, she was his only child.

I captured this image with an ISO of 3200 and a speed of 1/9th of a second.

Then, we entered the Cappella dei Principi (The Chapel of the Princes), the larger of the two chapels. It was conceived by Cosimo I deโ€™ Medici, but built by his son Ferdinando in the 17th century. In this photo, you can get a sense of its size and its grandeur. The entire surface of the chapel is covered in marble or precious stones, like lapis lazuli, quartz, alabaster, coral, mother of pearl. It was intended to inspire awe of the power, significance and affluence of the Medicis. And, yes,….it did.

For this shot I had to step back almost to the entrance of the chapel to get a wide view. With prime lenses you can’t be lazy. You have to move your feet to set up the shot!

The next shot was easier. I just had to look up and shoot. The dome of the Chapel of Princes is the second largest in the city of Florence. It’s surrounded by scenes from the Old Testament decorated with gold.

In small spaces near the altar, reliquaries and other treasures are on display. These treasures come mainly from the collections of Lorenzo Medici, nicknamed Lorenzo the Magnificent. Other treasures came from his son Pope Leo X and his nephew Pope Clement VII. (Needless to say, the Medicis’ power extended all the way to the top of the Vatican.)

To capture Pope Leo X’s papal mitre studded with jewels, I had to stand close to the exhibit case. I used the burn tool in Photoshop to minimize the glare of the glass exhibit case.

The second smaller chapel was actually built first. The Medici’s commissioned Michelangelo Buonarotti (yes, that Michelangelo) to design and decorate the space in the 1400’s. It was intended to contain the tombs of illustrious Medicis.

The chapel was blissfully quiet and nearly empty. We enjoyed some of Michelangelo’s greatest works in silence, awed by his talent and the muscular power and beauty of his sculptures. Here you can see Day (on the left) and Night (on the right). Above them, Lorenzo the Magnificent, dressed for battle, is striking a thoughtful pose.

Once again, I had to step back to capture these 3 massive sculptures. Surely, my zoom lens would have been easier, but the photo would have been underexposed and a bit grainy.

Over time, I have learned to value my prime lens for low light situations and when I want more control over the aperture settings. A special thanks to Anne who invited us to “take a lens for a walk.” This was a great opportunity to test the capabilities of my prime lens and appreciate its advantages. True, I have to move around more to set up a shot, but the results are worth it.

We hope you join us this week and share your experiments with different lenses. Be sure to include a link to Anne’s post. She gives us many beautiful examples of using different lenses on her 2 cameras. If you’re new to the Lens-Artists Challenge, click here for more information.

Last week, Sofia invited us to look back in time. Your posts and thoughts and images were, as always, varied and so creative. Next week, it’s Donna’s turn to host her first LAPC challenge as a member of our team. Be sure to visit her site next Saturday at noon EST for her challenge. Until then I am hoping you have a week filled with good health, sunshine, and plenty of inspiration!

74 replies »

      • We are settled into St. Augustine for the month. Leaving on Saturday, though to get on a cruise ship to the Caribbean for a week, then north to visit family in North Carolina.


  1. I guess the word that comes to my mind on this one is DAZZLING Patti! You’ve captured the magnificence beautifully so you obviously chose the right equipment for the day. I suppose the Medicis must have forgotten that Jesus was all about humility and simplicity and caring for others rather than himself LOL. Can you imagine what it would cost to try to build that chapel today??? I must admit it is truly glorious to behold. Your day was the perfect opportunity for the one-lens challenge and you delivered an incredible example for us all. Great work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Tina. I’m delighted that the dazzle came through in my photos! It really is stunning. So much for humility and simplicity, eh?? The family is fascinating, though. We’re reading about them now. They were driven out of Florence in the 1500’s, which was why Michelangelo was hiding supposedly underneath the chapels. A man without a patron was in danger when the regimes/power elite changed. Fascinating. Have a great, sunny week.


  2. These are exceptionally beautiful photos of this wonderful part of Florence. You really capture the opulence of the Cappella dei Principi. Your tech-talk of course goes way above my head, as I only have the one lens – and it looks to me as though you could do very well with the minimum of equipment!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Margaret. So, you have visited the Cappelli? It’s interesting how it’s not on the tourist radar. I’m so happy you enjoyed the opulence! It is truly stunning. What camera do you have? Sometimes the one lens is all you need! Have a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Don’t forget I once lived there too, and you remember all the little short cuts to get you ahead of the game … though it has changed – a LOT. I have a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ80. I like it, and it’s light enough and small enough to be tucked into a bag, or even pocket. I’m not sufficiently dedicated to give up that convenience! Though I admire people who are.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh yes of course you would have been here! I’ve heard good things about the Lumix. It’s easier to carry and use for travel photos…I am sure. All the gear does get heavy.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful choice of camera, lens and venue Patti! Magnificent opulence. You, your camera and lens did a great job in bringing this to us. My Nikon doesn’t do well in low-light. That’s why I switched to Fuji. Now you might be enticing me to get a 35 mm lens.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your interior shot of the chapel is really beautiful as is your ceiling image. And for low light, the prime was a good choice for those treasures. Fuji does so well in low light and the primes are fantastic for clarity. They take a little work to frame, but are well worth it. The 90 and 50 f/2 are great, too. Terrific post, Patti. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love my prime lens for low light situations as well as flower portraits and I agree that I often have to move myself in order to capture a wider view! I like your photos and the history. Florence must be a fascinating city to live in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Jude. We are incredibly fortunate to have a long stay here. It is fascinating. We’re digging deeper into Florentine history. Amazing stories about Savonarola and the Medicis. I hope all’s well with you.


    • Many thanks, Amy. ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€. It was so good that we were almost alone in the chapels, so I could take as many shots as I needed to frame the images the way I wanted to! I appreciate your encouraging words.


  6. Wow, this looks a wonderful place, and your photos surely do it justice! I’m glad you took a lens perfect for the low light conditions. I’m amazed though that you found it so quiet – do people not know about it?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your photos do justice to the beauty you photographed, Patti. I’d never heard of a prime lens. You said, ” I used the burn tool in Photoshop to minimize the glare of the glass exhibit case. ” With Photoshop you can get rid of or minimize glare after taking the shot?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Janet! I really appreciate that. Yes, you can use the burn tool to darken the lighter areas. Sometimes a filter will help by increasing the clarity, sharpening the image, and reducing the glare. It’s a little of this and that!


    • So true, IJ. It really does. At first I relied on my zoom lenses, but now I’m exploring primes. I like thinking about the technicalities and sometimes I get frustrated that I’m not able to get the shot I want, but there are always alternative views/perspectives/ways to frame a scene. Thanks for your kind words too.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Iโ€™m never quite sure how respond to your posts. The photos are truly a work of artโ€ฆ theirs and yours. I appreciate your wisdom with photography and always learn something new.

    Your knowledge of Florenceโ€™s history is phenomenal. I know to walk the footsteps of historic places, make it a pleasure to learn. To share it is your giftโ€ฆfor us. Have a good week.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I seem to be having a problem with my WP feed, I keep on missing out on posts, but I’m glad I’ve found ours now, Patti. Wonderful photos for a really interesting walk. I think the dome is my favourite, the splendour well captured.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi baby ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ’‹๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ’‹ honey pics me baby I’m urs honey


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