Today’s Commons Picture of the Day is a beautiful panoramic shot of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, photographed by Paolo Costa Baldi (user: Paolostefano1412). Costa lives and works in Caracas Venezuela, but he took the image while traveling with his sister in Italy. He first became interested in photography at the age of 18, and he has been an avid photographer for almost 10 years now.
Costa took multiple shots on his Nikon D90 and then stitched the individual images together into a single panoramic using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. The day he visited the Colosseum was ideal in terms of atmosphere and lighting conditions, says Costa, and the beautiful cloudless sky provided the perfect background for the picture.
There were still challenges to getting the perfect shot. “Panoramic shots are always complicated when there are people around,” he said. “You have to be careful not to show the same person in two different locations at the same time, and not to cut people in half when stitching single images together. The place was packed with tourists since it was August.”
In addition, Costa was working without a tripod, so he had to hold the camera up with his hands, trying to keep the horizon steady and horizontal while rotating the camera through the 24 or more shots that were stitched together to form the final product.
Costa said he and his sister had to wait in line for more than two hours in very hot weather just to enter the Colosseum that day, but once inside, he said, “my camera started bursting shots like crazy.” When taking this picture, he hoped to communicate to viewers the immensity and beauty of the Colosseum. “I want them to feel as I felt there,” said Costa, “to know that the Colosseum was an incredible place where incredible events took place many centuries ago. It still hasn’t lost its magic and overwhelming atmosphere despite the years.”
Costa has been contributing his pictures to Wikimedia Commons for a little under a year, and already 11 of his photos have been selected as Featured Pictures. He primarily enjoys taking pictures of natural landscapes and other natural phenomena, but he also enjoys street photography when he visits interesting cities around the world. “I enjoy showing the world to other people through my eyes,” he said. “I think life is too short, and the world is just too big to visit all the wonderful places.”
Costa’s passion for sharing his experiences and his knowledge is what motivates him to contribute to Commons. “I feel good contributing to the world,” he said, “showing beautiful stuff I see through my pictures, giving other people the opportunity not only to enjoy well-taken shots, but also increasing their knowledge and opening their minds.”
Story and reporting by Elaine Mao, Communications Intern