10 Travel Photographs

Last in this series…

One thing that I have noticed on trips abroad or even on a visit to central London, just down the road so to speak, is that tourists themselves are potentially a good photographic subject when travelling. I am an inveterate street photographer! Capturing the locals as they go about their business is great and can really give an understanding of the atmosphere of a place. Catching the tourists – and they often outnumber the locals at historic sites – can be a rewarding study of human behaviour 🙂

The Forum in Rome is always full of tourists and people selling water (it gets hot down there). As an historically important site it is special but I wonder how many other visitors were surprised like me at how small an area it actually covers? On my first visit I was expecting something on the grand scale of Ben Hur or Quo Vadis. Of course, when you look beyond the Forum and go up to the palaces on the hills around then you start to get a cinematic sense of scale. But down in the bottom of the valley, it all seems rather small. Much here is about the detail – the carvings on individual stones – the inscriptions – because the buildings have long ceased to be imposing, now just shadows of their former grandeur.

As we walked amidst the ruins, admiring those details and trying to avoid spending too much time in direct sun, I came upon these two young ladies posing for each other…

…In many ways they were bringing life to an otherwise dead world. I wonder if they knew they were posing in the Temple of Vesta and the conotations of being a Vestal Virgin? But then I wonder if they were students putting together a portfolio of images for their course. Tourists, like locals, can be fascinating subjects 🙂


  1. I laughed at your observation that the young women may not have known the significance of the spot where they were photographing one another. It’s likely I have been to many travel/tourist spots and not known the story of where I’ve stood. It’s an interesting thing to contemplate. Your photo of them, Martin, really captured their sense of fun with one another.

    1. They were certainly enjoying themselves Debra 🙂 We don’t always know the story behind ancient ruins do we, and in some cases, neither do expert historians. Much of the past is hidden from us and interpretting the clues left behind can be very difficult even when a society, like the Roman’s, has left a written legacy. Today, we’re only now learning some of the secrets of WWII and there will be many that are lost for ever!

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