Monday, May 27, 2013


I took one look at Venice, and fled to my usual quiet retreat of Torcello: yes, there are tourists there, too, but they haven't just come off a huge cruise ship.  For someone who first came to Venice in the 70s and 80s - and, especially, who did research here in the winters - summer crowds (ordinary tourists! The Biennale!  er - Victorianists ..) are hard to handle.  I've been photographing these statues in Torcello for over thirty years - seductively placed in a vineyard/orchard/meadow - my favorite ever image was a series of black and white shots that I took in the depth of winter when they were all covered up in plastic against the elements, including this guy:

What I most wanted to track down was a shot that I lost six years ago, when Alice and I were here - at the end of the long wild strip behind the church, where plastic bottle and other detritus washes up, there was, sitting on the smelly mud, a small chair with a battered plastic doll on it.  It looked like a cross between voodoo and an installation.  It wasn't even a very good shot - I messed up the lighting - it needed fill flash - but it would have been lovely to have had the chance to redo. But of course it wasn't there - just the amazing views of the flat and lonely lagoon, with Torcello's tower looking slightly spiky because of restoration:


Back via Burano (more lost shots - I waited in vain for a replica of the umbrellas hanging on a washing line).  Everyone's shots of Burano are the same, I'm sure - the challenge was to find something happening (I thought that something would be a storm, too, but that didn't materialize).

There's always the cliched standby of photographing tourists and tourist stuff, as in lace parasols.

Basically, though, how could one not, simply, enjoy (re)photographing the colors.  I don't remember taking this shot before - indeed, I know I didn't - but it was curious: I certainly couldn't have recollected all of what I'd lost before going back there - but my eyes were drawn, as if by habitual motion, to very much the same thing.

And yes, these days, I download everything to Dropbox, AND don't re-use memory cards, just in case that computer hard drive fails, irrevocably.

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