The Hidden Galaxy

Before arriving in Naples, I had researched a building that I wanted to photograph…specifically, its large, grand staircase. The building location is not well known and even though I had found the address online, I walked past it twice before I found the (somewhat) hidden entrance. Tucked in between two retail shops is a small walkway that opens into the interior courtyard of the building. I did not see a way to get inside though and I was a bit puzzled as to how to find this staircase.

Walking back towards the street, I noticed a security guard’s office. I approached him with my camera in hand to ask about the staircase. He instructed me that I could not go up the stairs as it is a private residence. He did, however, agree to allow me take a photo from the lobby floor and pointed to another (somewhat) hidden hallway located behind me. 

At the end of that hallway, I entered the lobby and finally saw the staircase with this slender, oval design! It was beautiful, but not large at all. My assumptions were wrong. In reality, the lobby was rather small and narrow…this presented a challenge.

I expected my widest lens would be fine for this shot, but it was not wide enough! The only possibility to fit the staircase in the frame was to get on the floor…so that is what I did. Lying on my back with my legs under the stairs, I slid left & right and back & forth get in this position. With my head near the center of the lobby floor (and with the camera pressed against my face), I was just barely able to squeeze the entire staircase into the frame. 

I suspect it would have looked comical to anyone watching this, but in the end, I got the image I wanted. Thanks in part to a kind security guard and the fact that I have a small head. :) Hope you agree that the results were worth getting a little dirty.