Today’s transformation article is a short one.
The subject is the Fontana della Api, or Bee Fountain. You can find this charming little fountain in Rome just off of Piazza Barberini on the Via Vittorio Veneto, a quiet, tree-lined Roman street.
Here is my original snapshot.
[click an image for a larger view]
This fountain was sculpted by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in 1644. The inscription on the shell reads, "Urban VIII Pont. Max…built this little fountain to be of service to private citizens. In the year 1644, XXI of his pontificate." The service it provided was to water horses.
And since, as I’m sure you are aware, 1644 is the year that Pope Urban VIII died, it is one of the last works he commissioned. And thus ends the lesson in history. And, you were aware of that fact, weren’t you?! Thought so.
I was intrigued by this little fountain because of its unique subject – that being an open seashell with three bees drinking from the water spouts of the fountain. Here you can see one of those bees sipping away at that fresh Apennine water.
My transformation of this photo was pretty straightforward.
My first inclination was to crop the photo into a square image, as none of the area to the left and right seemed to be important to the image.
There were several elements I wanted to remove for my final image. Do you see the woman walking in the background to the left? Out of here. The sign in the doorway just to the right of the shell? Out of here. The bit of bright sky at the top left? Out of here. See the bit of drain screening in the water just below the bee on the left? Out of here.
For the final transformation, I darkened the background a good bit. And finally, I wanted to bring out the texture within the sculpture, as it looked rather flat to me. So that’s what I did.
I find this image, with the bees, the open shell, and the autumn leaves floating in the quiet water of the fountain, to be one of peace.
You can find this photo on my website in the Rome gallery.
Ciao for now,