I don’t clear off on photographic jaunts with anything like the fervour with which I used to clear off on photographic jaunts. (Reasons: don’t want to, can’t be arsed, I have deep concerns about my cat beasties’ mental well-being in that such jaunts involve them being abandoned for days on end – albeit with a splendid twice a day cat visitor. They sulk though, they do. Furthermore, I have other demands on my cash, more intricate and devious demands. I also have stuff I want to do, stuff which involves staying at home and engaging in big, serious missions, world-changing schemes, serious stuff. Stuff I have to achieve. But mostly, I don’t go away anywhere near as much as I can’t be arsed, as stated.)
To be honest, I’m rather glad not to be haring off on so many jollies with all the attendant mind-fuck stress, cat-abandonment, money-frittering etc. that such jollies would, without fail, entail even though some of them were part-subsidised on account of my ex-bloke being a photography holiday tutor. And the source of much of the mind-fuck stress. Moving on.
Good God, I mean, look at the tally, 2007-2013:
Kerala (x 2)
Venice (x 2)
Iceland (x 4)
Dorset (x 467)
Hampshire (x 896)
Jersey (x 2)
Dorset – have I done Dorset?
North Norfolk coast
Alfriston and the Cuckmere Valley
New Forest (6,134)
Walton on the Naze – drawn to exotica I clearly am
Compared to some people’s venturings – outrageous! Shameless, crazy, lazy-arsed holiday-ing for an utterly indulgent, ludicrously wealthy, more free time than is decent bastard!
Compared to other’s – peanuts! They’d knock that lot off in a weekend, or so you would imagine by the way they portray themselves on social media, #travelbrag (big-headed fuckers.)
But on those rare occasions when I do go away now a chum, who, on the face of it (note that), is a well-meaning, kind, normal (compared to some), compassionate, rather sweet person writes over Facebook Chat, without fail,
“I can’t wait to see the photos!”.
Note the exclamation mark of enthusiasm. They can’t wait the photos, they say – as if they really mean it.
Well, they may not have been able to wait but they’re waiting still because they haven’t seen them yet. None of them. They haven’t asked to see them either. How does this ‘can’t wait’ thing manifest itself anyway in physical terms? An increasingly puce-faced, vein-throbbing, crossed-legged experience with the faintest hint of micturition? Thought so. Hope they’re holding on.
They certainly haven’t seen the last batch from Venice, November 2017 and the first jaunt for quite some time. I haven’t inflicted even one of them on them over Facebook Chat. Not one sumptuous view from the steps of the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute in the sestiere of Dorsoduro looking down the Grand Canal taken during the pre-dawn Blue Hour. And what a loss to them that is. I haven’t made any effort whatsoever to show them anything whatsoever because I know that they’re not actually interested in seeing my #travelbrag, more free time (and money) than is decent, show-off, ‘look at the skill with which I wield my fancy, and ludicrously expensive, equipment and the artistry thus produced taken somewhere they’ve never visited and have no interest in visiting either’ snaps.
By what mechanism do they expect to see them anyway? They don’t do Twitter, the chief repository of said images, and if they’re even aware that I am the custodian of this very fine site I’ll be amazed. They’ve never said. But it’s a nice thing to say isn’t it, “I can’t wait to see the photos!”, even if they don’t actually mean it.
Goddamn. The people I know. Don’t get me started.
(By the way, I’ve just hit my head on a cupboard when I threw it back in laughter on re-reading the above.)
Bollocks to ’em. Here’s what they’ve missed:
That wonderful edifice the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute which isn’t visible here although the view from its steps is. Taken during the pre-dawn Blue Hour, a snap helped along by the welcome addition of a wet pavement.
The island of San Giorgio Maggiore over the water. Yes, I took a vaporetto from over there and it landed over here. Then I took it back again. There’s a person standing there with a phone on a stick. And there’s someone else over there with a tripod. Snappers, snappers, everywhere you look.
Worthy of your visitation: https://www.theveniceinsider.com/san-giorgio-maggiore-worth-visit/
Seldom do I venture into black and white, the world of monochrome. But this scene somewhat lends itself to shades of white to black and every grey between. Mono, as we all know, gets rid of clutter, distractions, stuff you don’t wanna see and if the contrast is good enough and the colour version is substantially less interesting – go crazy, go mono. Oh yes, it’s St Mark’s Square looking towards the Campanile (the tall thing) and my hotel which lurked down a tiny calle, if you’re interested.[/caption]
The truth about St Mark’s by real people: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g187870-d191175-Reviews-St_Mark_s_Square-Venice_Veneto.htm
I had to do it and I wish I’d seen more of the pusscat crew. I’m told that in olden times Venice was absolutely overrun with pussahs. It isn’t now and given the paucity of green and the dearth of gardens, I’m glad. And let us not forget the paucity of Veneziani – Venetians who actually reside full-time in Venice. But that *minor* debate is for another time. This lovely beastie was encountered somewhere in Fondamente Nuove in the sestiere of Castello which I trundled through with my bag on wheels prior to a day’s jolly on the island of Burano (more of which below.) And there’ll be more of the ‘bag on wheels’, not my habitual mode of photographic equipment transportation, some other time.
This is quite brilliant: https://theculturetrip.com/europe/italy/articles/what-happened-to-venices-street-cats/
Now that’s a bit quirky isn’t it. Well, the light was bright and it seemed like a good way to avoid the crowded clutter of Riva degli Schiavoni – that main drag along the waterfront. Riva degli Sciavoni, if you’re interested, means Route of Slavs named in honour of the worthy Slavs who built it. The Danieli, the orange building, is where I intend to stay next time – in a fantasy universe. For more fascinating facts on this most notable of promenades:
Another one of these – my favourite spot in Venice, possibly. Again, taken during the pre-dawn Blue Hour and this may well have been the morning I arrived an hour early due to some brain-cock-up confused by Euro-time or other. I attempted to sleep in the vaporetto stop for a while until some comedian in a boat banged against it (vaporetto stops float, like houseboats, for info.)
https://www.rometoolkit.com/venice_visit/venice_water_transport.html features that very stop.
Any more from my fine output? Oh go on then.
View from the Campanile, a tiny sliver of Venice looking towards the Punta della Dogana (Customs House), the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute which has received many mentions already, and the island of Giudecca upon which is found the Cipriani Hotel where Elton John (etc.) hang out. For reviews of the sticky up thing by real people:
Burano Blue Hour – the little island much trumpeted for its tiny houses (featured) wherein fishing persons lived and may still live for all I know. Much tourism is conducted on the island of Burano. A lot of tourism.
Burano Boys although they won’t be – they look like the sons of wealthy tourists who may well have been staying in a former fishing person’s dwelling. I don’t do a lot of ‘street’ photography. To be honest, it creeps me out the idea of sneaking around, pointing your item at people who have no idea they have an item pointed at them and ‘capturing’ their souls for ever and eternity (plus everything else about them.) I’m particularly creeped out by Third World people photography where men (mostly) skulk through humble streets ‘capturing’ mostly young women and children. They wouldn’t do it in Europe. They wouldn’t get away with it. I shall be returning to this very subject some other time. Meanwhile, here are two boys captured by a creep on the other side of the canal with a long lens. Sorry about that. I liked the pastel colours, the boys’ interaction, one of the boy’s lack of interest in his surroundings and the bubble.
For those inclined: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/s/Burano–Italy
Hey, I loved doing this. One of those (rare) moments when I thought – I AM the business! I am doing something really rather special and I knows it! Okay, it’s not award-winning and no doubt some other bugger has done it before and I know the full moon is rather tiny but it’s the angles that count. And the long exposure sky wafting along. Meanwhile, on the ground 479 billion people, or so it seemed, were frolicking around St Mark’s Square. Okay, quite a lot of people were frolicking around St Mark’s Square and some fantastically irritating people were flogging things you throw into the air which have some sort of light device on them. They buggered quite a few otherwise adequate St Mark’s shots and one of them hit me on the head. The vendor apologised. From left to right – The Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark, to give it its fancy name, St Mark’s Campanile – the bell tower of St Mark’s Basilica, a flag pole.
Should I be lucky enough to venture to Venice again I may well stay in the sestiere of Dorsoduro. There is much to recommend Dorsoduro like this fine scene and were I to stay in Dorsoduro I wouldn’t have to venture far to experience this super pre-dawn Blue Hour location. What’s the name of the street? Can’t remember. Note the full moon disappearing over the rooftop. I should have got there earlier.
The Gruaniad (as Private Eye have called it for a number of years) has this to say: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2014/jul/05/-sp-venice-city-guide-a-day-in-dorsoduro
More Burano. Pretty innit? Slightly to the left is a very fine restaurant indeed:
Campanile view, another one. Worth the few Euros if you don’t vomit at the thought of the very great height and a long-ish lift ride. Block your ears when the bell starts clanging though.
Don’t look at the third picture down, just don’t do it: http://www.reidsitaly.com/destinations/veneto/venice/sights/campanile.html
Campanile View 3: super light up there, ooh yes. Looks like the sort of place you could get really lost in. You will.
Google stuff (really good, I’m not just saying this to improve my SEO): https://www.google.co.uk/maps/about/behind-the-scenes/streetview/treks/venice/
That ubiquitous scene – looking down the Grand Canal towards, yes, I’ve mentioned it once or twice before, the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute. How many snappers were there on the Accademia Bridge? A thousand, or so it seemed. Just pick your spot, be respectful of others and don’t ask me to take a photo of you and your undoubtedly lovely partner – a couple hovered for ages waiting for me to acknowledge them standing next to me looking hopeful. Can’t you see I’m busy? In the zone? I’m a serious snapper, fiddling with filters, all that. Bugger off. I obliged, charmingly. Eventually.
View across the water from a vaporetto bowling along towards the island of San Giorgio Maggiore. Luminous light. Beautiful light. I took this picture from a watery bus, in effect.
Frustratingly out of date but it’s the thought that counts: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/turner-and-venice
Rather flat light just after the pre-dawn Blue Hour during and after which once feels very virtuous indeed. That big view from the Punta della Dogana (the Customs House, now a fancy gallery) over to St Mark’s across the Grand Canal and, not a lot of people know this, the St Mark’s Basin where the Grand Canal and the Guidecca Canal meet. You learn stuff when you enter into the world of my blog, you do. Here’s a better picture:
Okay, last one. That big circle in front of the, guess where, Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute. It’s the sort of thing a less bold snapper than myself might hesitate to include as it is rather dominant but it works. So there.
Quite a lot of buildings aren’t there in my old snaps? Were I to go again I might do things differently. There again, I might not. So, I started out with a minor pop at one of my fellow humans, and if you’re reading this “Hi there!”, and ended up saying more than I expected about dear old Venice. I had a Venice blog in mind for another occasion. I now have several Venice blogs in mind where these illustrations may well make many more appearances. Same pictures, different words – perhaps. I shall clear off now. Thank you, kind reader, for joining me on my jaunty photographic jaunt. I’ve quite enjoyed myself. Thank you.