I had long wanted to visit Venice and was excited as I arrived at Piazzale Roma. I parked and took the vaporetto water bus along the Grand Canal to Rialto. Although it felt cold, I stood outside the cabin to take in the canals and buildings. The sun had just set and Venice was beautiful. Deep blue sky and blue-black water and alleyways framing the flood-lit buildings, with warm windows and still interiors.
It felt like my first visit to Cambridge, to attend an interview for a post-graduate course. After taking the overnight bus from Aberdeen, I had walked to King’s past medieval fog-shrouded colleges, with awe and joy at existing with such beauty and connection to the past. Although Cambridge and Venice continued to delight after their first impressions, neither looked quite so good again.
I arrived too late for photographs and tired, having covered 800km in two days, but I went out for dinner and to check some locations around St Mark’s Square.
The following day, I spent six hours happily lost in the maze of canals and alleys in Dorsoduro and San Polo then beside the Grand Canal and in St Mark’s Square waiting for the evening light. One day was not enough. I recalled studying Canaletto and how much time he spent in these same places. I resolved to return to Venice and to recreate some of his paintings as photographs.
As with Dubrovnik, there are more photographs than usual. The first is a simple view of San Giorgio, which I have seen many times. It is a little ‘postcardy’ but I like the colour and direction of the light and the texture in the water. The next two are intended as contemplative and I like the geometry of figures with the gondolier. The remaining photographs feature my interest in low natural light, different light sources and reflections. In the last, I am grateful to three people on the bridge who stood nearly still for 30 seconds.
I have decided to head for the Alps and Lugano, Switzerland.