John Sandell photography
Flying Buttresses

Flying Butresses, Milan Cathedral. Milan was the first stop on my tour of Italy in 2010, affectionately referred to as Grand Tour II and documented on the Grand Tour Blog. I took a few photos inside the Duomo – Milan's enormous five-aisle cathedral – but it's very dark inside, in stark contrast to the highly decorated pinky-white marble exterior, and photography (which is not officially allowed but everyone is doing it) is not helped by ugly bright mercury lights high up at roof level. It's impressive, but not to me very attractive.

After the inevitable security checking I climbed the 160+ steps to the roof, which was a wonderful experience. First to the roof over the side aisle, then to the central roof over the nave. There are pattern pictures everywhere, looking down through the remarkable intricate tracery of the buttresses, and interesting shots of people on the lower level. I saw this lady with her bright pink umbrella approaching in the background and (unusually for me) had the shot lined up perfectly over the path I knew she would have to walk.

Technical: NIKON D300, f=24.0 mm, ISO640, 1/100 sec @ f8.0

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