I’m sure there is a time when Venice is quiet but we have yet to discover it. So we embraced the people – visitors and locals alike; after all, it’s hard to complain about tourists when you are one yourself although I can understand the local No Grandi Navi campaign to reduce the enormous cruise ships which cause damage with their wake and whose clients spend little time and money in Venice but because they travel in large groups make certain areas very congested.
Locals can be spotted – usually ducking down the quiet side routes.
Or having a quick fag before service starts.
I like the symmetry of Paul’s shot with the tiny figure just slightly out of line with the centre.
This shot of Paul’s has caught the light showing the texture of the worn tiles.
We can’t really do a series of blog posts on Venice without doing one focused on canals, gondole and gondoliers. Not that all those navigating upright are gondoliers. This elderly gent was a cool guy with one hand on the oar while holding his pose.
Or adjusting his shades.
We resisted the lure of the gondola trip but everywhere we looked, there were gondole full of tourists.
It could get a tad congested at junctions.
Paul got some close-ups with the tele-focus.
Gondolier Portrait, Venice. Photo by and copyright of Paul Henni.
A very determined looking gondolier.
I’m not sure I’d want to be steered around by someone born to fight but possible useful at those busy junctions.
Photographer crouching down and captured with reflection…
Of course, boats are not just for tourists – all goods brought into Venice have to come by boat.
And locals (and a few canny tourists) use the traghetto which are plain gondole used to ferry folk across the Grand Canal which costs €2 for visitors and can save a lot of walking.
The quieter side of Venice, Cannaregio, feels a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the San Marco or San Polo – it’s well worth a wander and there’s a great restaurant with live music over there, Il Paradiso Perduto, and a lovely little wine bar Vino Vera we can strongly recomment.
Our Italian trip started with a few nights in Venice. We had spent a week here 4 years previously but that was BP – Before Photography (or at least what photography has become for us – shooting in raw, looking beyond the obvious, envisaging the world in black and white). So, unsurprisingly, we took a lot of photos. This blog post focuses on Venice by night.
We have to start with a fairly classic view. We stayed in a pensione opposite the Santo Stefano church, a short walk from this bridge which attracts many tourists snapping away whether with mobile phones on selfie sticks or full frame cameras; it is a beautiful spot with domes of the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute in the distance.
The bridge is itself lit with these rather rickety-looking lights which had a slightly sinister tinge when you are passing over the deserted bridge late at night.
Once back over the bridge, the Campo Santo Stefano is a popular hangout with restaurants and the best Gelateria we found in Venice, the Paolin. Perhaps that’s why so many families lingered in the square – this one playing with toy lights.
This stall outside our pensione sold such toys along with all sorts of other vital supplies – even at night, Italians might need to buy some sun glasses.
Despite being main thoroughfares, canals are generally unlit beyond the light which reflects from the buildings and narrow lanes between the buildings. This makes for interesting reflections.
Or darkness which sets the architecture off beautifully.
As everywhere, smokers can be found lurking in dark corners.
There was an event at the local theatre which looked like a graduation party with everyone done up to the nines – this group were being waved off by their parents at the start of their evening.
Some More Images Of Leith and Our Weekend -10% Offer.
Following on from our Leith post last week, here’s another selection of Leith images for you, plus details (at the bottom) of our special weekend offer on prints. A longer post, again, but hopefully you enjoy the mini tour of an intriguing part of the city.
We start in the dark. These shots were taken about a week ago, when the cold weather was kicking in. A couple from The Shore first.
And next up is the entrance to The Port of Leith, with some nice columns of light reflected in the harbour.
The 22 bus, about to leave Ocean Terminal to head to The Gyle Centre, on the other side of town, followed by a late night bus stop.
One of the bridges over The Water Of Leith, as it heads towards the port area.
Next, from yesterday, the icy, cold blueness of the partly frozen port area.
And finally, this is the last weekend of our ‘Urban Noir’ Exhibition, so we will be present from 11-17:00 today and tomorrow and are offering 10% off print sales and orders (excluding etchings) on these days at The Image Collective, an excellent and eclectic gallery space on the top floor, opposite the Britannia; we have framed, mounted and rolled prints. We also have two hand printed etchings available framed or mounted. If there are any other images you are interesting in buying prints of that are not in the exhibition let us know.
Our exhibition in Leith has made us think about the area and its relationship to Edinburgh; they may be joined now but once Leith was separated from the city and was the major port serving Edinburgh and beyond, whether it was shipping goods in and out or people. It was briefly the centre of power while Marie of Guise, mother of Mary, Queen of Scots, ruled the country from Leith before being forced to retreat to Edinburgh Castle by Scottish Protestant nobles supported by English troops who docked in Leith. When Mary returned from France to the land of her birth, she arrived at Leith port and was distinctly underwhelmed at the lack of a reception.
Leith has a strong industrial and trade heritage with glass, soap, whisky, lead, whaling and, of course, ship building all featuring. It was also well known for its bonded warehouses for whisky, wine and port – many of these have now been converted into flats or offices.
Finally, it has a personal link as Paul’s parents married in the old Norwegian Seaman’s church which is now the Leith School of Art.
The first photos are from Leith Street, at the very top of Leith Walk. Although not actually in Leith itself, this was and remains the main route to Leith from central Edinburgh. A huge development is underway to remove the hideous brutalist St James’ Centre and New St Andrew’s House so currently, it is very congested.
This image was shot from the ‘twisty walkway’ that goes over the street and into the soon to vanish St James Shopping centre, taken before sunrise (yes, Paul was so excited by the snow that he got up before dawn…at the weekend…!) back in January this year with falling snow.
This is the ‘twisty walkway’ which is being removed as part of the redevelopment. Hopefully, it can be used elsewhere.
This disappeared in the last year or so with the opening of the new restaurant, Origano below.
Continuing down to the bottom, there is the Foot Of the Walk pub which serves breakfast. Several Leith pubs are open very early in the morning traditionally for dock workers coming off a night shift and sometimes city centre clubbers end up down in Leith to keep the party going!
Leith is not so short of pubs, they need pointing out.
Beyond the end of Leith Walk, you move into Constitution Street which is near the so called banana flats which featured in the film, Trainspotting , and some fine old buildings harking back to when well-to-do ship owners and traders set up home and work nearby.
Further on in the port area, the Water of Leith meets the sea providing great opportunities for reflective shots.
There is a wonderful old swing bridge which used to take traffic before redevelopment and building of Victoria Quay, the Scottish Government office. Now, it makes a great spot for looking back across the shore.
‘Urban Noir’ Exhibition is on display at The Image Collective, an excellent and eclectic gallery space on the top floor, opposite the Britannia, where our images are all available to buy; we have framed, mounted and rolled prints. We also have two hand printed etchings available framed or mounted. If there are any other images you are interesting in buying prints of that are not in the exhibition let us know.
‘Urban Noir’ – New Photographic Print Exhibition – November 2016
We’ve had a break from social media, including the blog, to let us re-charge our batteries after two Exhibitions back to back in July (Retina) and August (Dazzle).
Opening tomorrow night and running for November, we’ll have ‘Urban Noir’ at The Image Collective in Ocean Terminal in Leith, a nice gallery space on the top floor, opposite Britannia.
If you don’t know it, Ocean Terminal has a cinema, a range of food options and shops, nearby, there’s Leith, a fine place for eating and drinking, with some great locations for photos for any photographers out there.
You can get a preview of the images we are showing in our website gallery and these are all available to buy as framed, mounted or rolled prints. We also have two hand printed etchings available. If there are any other images you are interesting in buying prints of that are not in the exhibition let us know.