Monthly Archives: January 2015
Week 03 / 52
This fungus commonly is found on cut and fallen wood and on wounded areas of living trees; it also is capable of colonizing sapwood of trees and shrubs stressed by water shortage, sunburn, freeze damage, or wounding. The fungus, which causes a white, spongy rot of wood, can actively invade and rapidly kill the cambium (the tissue between the bark and wood), causing cankers with papery bark and dieback. The annual conks are thin, leathery, stalk less, bracket like, 1–4 inches across, and often found in groups. The upper surface is velvety with concentric zones of various colors, and the lower surface is cream colored.
F/5.6, 1/20 sec, ISO – 100
An exceptionally large and elaborate Gothic cathedral on the main square of Milan, the Duomo di Milano is one of the most famous buildings in Europe. It is the largest Gothic cathedral and the second largest Catholic cathedral in the world. The street plan of Milan, with streets either radiating from the Duomo or circling it, indicates that the Duomo occupied the most important site in the ancient Roman city of Mediolanum. Saint Ambrose built a new basilica on this site at the beginning of the 5th century, with an adjoining basilica added in 836. When fire damaged both buildings in 1075, they were rebuilt as the Duomo. In 1386 the archbishop, Antonio da Saluzzo, began the new project in a rayonnant Late Gothic style that is more characteristic of France than Italy. Work proceeded for generations. The main spire was topped in 1762 with a polychrome statue of the Madonna, to whom the Duomo and its predecessor have always been dedicated. Even now, some uncarved blocks remain to be turned into sculpture. Gothic construction on the rest of the Duomo was largely complete in the 1880s.
F/4, 1/500 sec, ISO – 100, Photoshop CS6
The imposing town castle is located in the extension from the Milan’s cathedral – Via Dante – Largo Cairoli – Piazza Castello. Milan’s castle was designed by Galeazzo II Visconti in 14th Century during the Renaissance period and it was built as a defensive castle. Throughout its history, the castle was destroyed and built up again modified. The castle houses the Museums of the Castello with rarities such as the last masterpiece of Michelangelo, the unfinished Pietà Rondanini and the frescoes by Leonardo da Vinci and Bramante. Particularly impressive is the tower with the entrance Torre del Filarete, named after the Florentine architect and sculptor Antonio Averlino (called Filarete). Leonardo da Vinci worked from 1482 – 1499 and from 1506 -1513 at Milan’s Castello Sforzesco under the Duke Ludovico Maria, nicknamed Ludovico il Moro and took care of the cultural life and the arts in the mansion. During this time, Leonardo also worked on the development and expansion of the system of canals – Navigli – and the construction of locks as well as the study of man.
F/5, 1/500 sec, ISO – 100, Photoshop CS6
The Bridge of Sighs, known as the Ponte dei Sospiri in Italian, is one of the most famous bridges in all of Venice. The bridge connects the Doge’s Palace to the Prigioni, the prisons that were built across the canal in the late 16th century. Antonio Contino designed and built the Bridge of Sighs in 1600. Though highly ornamental, built of fine, white limestone with lattice-like screens covering two small rectangular windows, the footbridge served a very practical purpose. It was used to lead prisoners from the examining rooms to their cells in the Prigioni. Legend has it that the bridge earned its name from the fact that prisoners who crossed through it, on the way to their prison cells or the execution chamber, would sigh as they caught their last glimpses of Venice through the tiny windows.
F/9, 1/400 sec, ISO – 100, Photoshop CS6
The history of Florence stretches back as far as the 8th Century BCE when a primitive settlement lived in the valley, close to the Arno. “Florentia” is recorded as an official Roman colony in 59 BCE and was designed according to the typical Roman road system, which can be seen in many Italian cities today. There are two principal roads: the cardus descends from the Baptistery to Via Roma and continues on to Via Calimala, while the decumanus stretches from via del Corso to via degli Speziali until it reaches via degli Strozzi. The Forum (public meeting place and market) was built at the point where the roads meet, on what is now the Piazza della Repubblica. During Roman rule, Florence was the most important city in Roman Tuscany.
F/5, 1/1600 sec, ISO – 100, Photoshop CS6
Some of the most and beautiful cathedrals in Italy were built in this style, between XII and XIII century. What is really stunning is the set of building systems the architects and stone masters invented to climb up and make the cathedral also a point of view of the whole town.
F/3.5, 1/4000 sec, ISO – 100, Photoshop CS6