Nov 252013
Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-105mm

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-105mm

First of all let me say this, its not allowed to PHOTOGRAPH inside the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. You are allowed to take you camera in, but security guards are everywhere and the moment you start shooting they will approach you and ask you nicely to delete whatever inside your Camera. But that doesn’t mean it stopped me from at least trying to get a shot of one of the most famous PAINTING in existence. I ended up getting two

The Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, is a cornerstone work of High Renaissance art. The ceiling is that of the large Papal Chapel built within the Vatican between 1477 and 1480 by Pope Sixtus IV after whom it is named, and was painted at the commission of Pope Julius II. The chapel is the location for Papal Conclaves and many important services.

Central to the ceiling decoration are nine scenes from the Book of Genesis of which The Creation of Adam is the best known, having an iconic standing equaled only by Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the hands of God and Adam being reproduced in countless imitations. The complex design includes several sets of individual figures, both clothed and nude, which allowed Michelangelo to fully demonstrate his skill in creating a huge variety of poses for the human figure, and have provided an enormously influential pattern book of models for other artists ever since.


Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-105mm

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-105mm


I have set the camera to the lowest Aperture and highest ISO possible to give me a shutter speed of atleast 1/200. This way I knew I more or less guaranteed free shaky image, especially holding the camera at my waist and pointing the lens upwards the ceiling. And I was right and I was happy with the results.

PS/ for those who are not aware, Sistine Chapel, is where the ritual of choosing the POPE takes place





  17 Responses to “Sistine Chapel Ceiling (Italy, Rome)”

  1. the story behind the photo is exciting too !

  2. Gud one……

  3. It is such an impressive accomplishment. When do we hear about this week’s course?

  4. that was a risky but rather a rewarding attempt! nice shot knowing that you just did it by chance of luck.

  5. Salaams! What was the aperature? BTW, I can relate. I was trying to take photographs inside parts of the Topkapi in Istanbul where it’s not allowed. Yeah, they were nice about it πŸ™‚ I got off a few before they saw me πŸ™‚

    • Saffiya as I said, because it was indoor, I had to go down to the lowest aperture the lens could give me. The 24-105m had an aperture of 4 and that what I used, I need the shutter the most to avoid shake, I even increase ISO as well. And yes Topkapi is not allowed, but HAREM your are allowed and I got good photos inside HAREM

  6. Seriously impressive considering the circumstances. Must have been exciting to get those shots. I know would have been. Is it because the constant flashing from cameras would degrade the paintings or what?

    • Maryam

      Yes very exciting, its was an achievements, not many photos of the ceiling available in such quality. I don’t know why they dont allow, maybe as you said of the flashing reasons. But I am not sure. Thanks

  7. Great Salim! Wonder how did u manage with that bulky 5D! I was carrying one 60 D, but was difficult to evade the security guards! It was easy for me to take with my I phone and managed few shots with reasonably good results!

    • Sashi, When I was there, that was four years ago, they allowed to take the camera in, they just had gaurds making sure no one was taking photos. I dont know now, maybe they stop you at the gate. But as I said, I had the camera with me, is the issue of taking the photo that was challenging. Thanks

  8. Salim, u r indeed an intrepid photographer, in fact I have a postage stamp of the creation of ‘Adam’ which I would like to post

  9. Just for clarification it is the one where God is reaching out to Adam giving him life

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