A Nighttime Stroll in the Colosseum

Today I wanted to share a nice little peek in to our nighttime stroll through the Roman Colosseum.  I like to think we were pretty exclusive VIP’s to get to see this wonderful piece of history at night, but the truth is anyone can!  If you visit Rome, Italy, and would like to experience this, you will need to be there on a Thursday or Saturday (May-Oct), and either pick up tickets at the front gate (they start selling tickets for the night tour once the sun goes down I think – we got ours at around 8:30 PM), or book online.  Just browsing for a few minutes I came across this site that sells tickets online.  Since it can fill up pretty quickly, I would recommend buying online.  The tour lasts about 45 minutes and takes you all around the inside of the Colosseum.

Now, on to the tour.  The last time I was inside the Colosseum I was just a boy, so I really didn’t remember much.  Every time I go to Rome (about 10 times now since 2009) I mean to go see it, but the crowds always dissuade me.  This tour is pretty intimate, no more than 12 or so people a group.  The tour was full of photographers (can you blame them??) and one guy even had his heavy-duty tripod (of which I was tremendously jealous of at first).

Before the tour started, I dialed in some settings on the D800 and slipped on the 14-24mm f/2.8 wide angle lens.  Shooting almost everything at above 3000 ISO, I was a bit worried about the quality of the photos.  When I started reviewing the shots I was taking, I was quite pleasantly surprised at how good they looked.  After some cleanup, noise reduction, and lighting modifications, they looked pretty close to how I remembered them.  The colors were actually that vivid and beautiful in real life.  It is pretty amazing what a so-so, amateur photographer (me) can capture with the amazing equipment these days :)

Photo-wise, this tour is very accommodating.  At each “stop” you are given about 4 minutes to shoot away, and while the guide is talking you can always walk around to get a people-less shot.  Do yourself a favor and bring a wide angle lens, you will be happy you did! Anyways, I hope you enjoy!  I would love to hear from you in the comments below.

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Well, there you have it.  I hope you enjoyed!  Check back tomorrow!


  1. Jared Loftus says:

    These photos are awesome! I love the mood and the texture that the light gives. I will definitely have to check this out when I’m in Rome.

  2. Justin says:

    An amazing set – such a surreal place at night, the way it is lit. Thanks for taking me there.

  3. Mark says:

    All fantastic shots Adam, all are incredible, thanks for sharing.

  4. I remember being there with so much crowd…these pictures look so pleasantly different from that memory! All the shots are stunning, so tough to pick the fav…perhaps the third last shot…

  5. ken bello says:

    Outstanding shots, Adam. The 800 can do high ISO very well in spite of all those MPs.

  6. fabrizio says:

    This is an extraordinary tour and a great documentation of this incredible monument. Of course, at night everything looks much more impressive, and your shots testify.
    Technically the shots with an ISO so high are perfect.
    However, a very charming post, congratulations Adam.

  7. Karylle says:

    What a lovely set of photos you have here! They are great shots and I just hope I can come to those places someday in my life..

  8. Adam. These shots are stunning! As amazing as the Colosseum is during the day, it must be a different world at night and you have done extremely well at capturing the mood and the feeling of being there experiencing it!

  9. Dave DiCello says:

    These are just outstanding Adam! So much history there!

  10. Edith Levy says:

    When we visited the Colosseum last year it was the middle of the day and blazing hot. I love this nighttime images. Great job Adam.

  11. A.Barlow says:

    So cool man. Like how you captured this place.

  12. Rick Louie says:

    Those are some awesome looking corridors! I’ll have to remember the night tours. Very cool!

  13. Fantastic series of shots, Adam! The colors and amount of detail is amazing. I really like the shots looking down the pathways under the arches – these really capture the feeling of the place.

  14. Wayne Frost says:

    Glad to see you are putting the D800 to good use, and nice to see the resulting hand-held low light images.

  15. Anne Jutras says:

    Adam, what an amazing place! Must have been something to visit that old place, with such an history behind the scene. :)

  16. Amazing photographs Adam! I’m floored at the job the 800 did with the high ISO. Beautiful work guy!

  17. Beautiful night shots! The detail you are pulling at night with that D800 is amazing.

  18. Jan Winther says:

    Absolutely spectacular shots!! I have a hard time to pick a favourite. Great choice to go shoot this after sunset.

  19. LensScaper says:

    Awesome series and the colours are tremendous. The D800 obviously handles the high ISO brilliantly.

  20. Mark Neal says:

    Quite a WOW post, Adam. These are some great images.

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