Karen and I went to Italy this past May for her birthday trip. That means I was allowed to take pictures, but not so seriously that I failed to pay the requisite amount of attention to her. I took along my new Fuji X-Pro II and mostly took grab shots as we did touristy things. It worked out ok, though, as I am still married, and I got a few nice pics to boot.

I had been to Italy before but she had not, so we hit a lot of the “Italian bucket list” locations.  We landed in Rome so that meant we had to take the requisite trip to see St. Peter’s Basilica.

Even though it was early in the week, there were still throngs of people. We had to fight our way to the front of the barricade to see the incredible altar and canopy by Bernini. All visitors to St. Peter’s must make this pilgramage as it is worth the journey. There was a veritable Maginot Line of people holding up their phones and tablets to take pictures of the incredible scene.

Tourists viewing altar through mobile device, St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, Lazio, Italy

Tourists viewing altar through mobile device, St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Lazio, Italy

As we worked our way up to the front of the barricade, we came across this unforgettable sight. Even at my widest lens setting, I could not get the whole spectacle into the frame, but I got enough to scar me forever.

Tourist showing butt crack while viewing altar at St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, Lazio, Italy

Tourist showing butt crack while viewing altar at St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Lazio, Italy

I am not sure what to say about this, other than to quote Job 39:5: “Who has sent … the wild ass free? or who has loosed the bands of the wild ass?”.

We eventually got to the front rail and I was eventually able to take multiple images of the dome, altar and main nave. I could then digitally stitch them together into the image below using Adobe Lightroom. I had to hand hold the camera, since tripods are not allowed, but it worked out ok. That Fuji performed admirably – this was at ISO 5000.

St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, Lazio, Italy

St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Lazio, Italy. Fuji X-Pro II. 17mm equivalent. ISO 5000. f.4 @ 1/50 sec. Multiple images stitched together.

What a scene. And well worth the journey.