Venetian Ghetto

Venetian ghetto
This image was captured in the Ghetto of Venice, an sequestered spot within the city that allows the visitor to escape the crowds thronging the main pathways and alleys. It is an atmospheric place and, of course, has an interesting history, which I will soon explore in another post. Until then, I leave you with Shylock’s famous speech from The Merchant of Venice:

Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs,
dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with
the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject
to the same diseases, heal’d by the same means,
warm’d and cool’d by the same winter and summer
as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed?
If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us,
do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?

William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act III, scene i.

People of Venice

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The plague doctor

I am sure I have told you before that I am most definitely not a street photographer. But it is a genre that I admire. It is good to challenge oneself every now and then so, during our recent trip to Venice, I turned my new lightweight toy, the Fuji X-E1, on the people.

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The market seller

Venice is such a super city for people watching.

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The coffee breaker

I do like black and white for this kind of photography.

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The dog and art lover

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The not impressed

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The lunchtime debaters

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The reader

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The friendly listener

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The story teller

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The taxi hailer (and antique camera-owner)

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The lawkeepers

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The heavy lifters

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The master craftsman

Venetian textures

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Venice is such a visual feast. Once you have done with the watery vistas, the colourful reflections, and the people, there is still delight to be had in the smaller details.
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Sometimes the more crumbling parts are almost more rewarding than the well maintained. For a while you might be tempted to try to get all the verticals and horizontals in your photos just right until you realise that they were never straight anyway.
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I wonder why photographers love the dilapidated so much?
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“Il y a, à Venise, trois lieux magiques et secrets : l’un dans la “rue de l’amour des amis”, le deuxième près du “pont des merveilles” et le troisième dans le “sentier des marranes”, près de San Geremia, dans le vieux ghetto. Quand les Vénitiens – parfois ce sont les Maltais – sont fatigués des autorités, ils vont dans ces lieux secrets et, ouvrant les portes au fond de ces cours, ils s’en vont pour toujours vers des pays merveilleux et vers d’autres histoires…”
Hugo Pratt, Corto Maltese: Fable De Venise

People of Burano

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This is the last in my series about the colourful Italian island of Burano.
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I am not a street photographer and none of these shots would even begin to qualify as decent candid portraits, but they are the best I could manage, awkwardly trying not to be noticed as I furtively snatched an image or two.
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I wonder what it is like living on a tiny island where every day the day trippers vastly outnumber the inhabitants.
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Do the locals heave a hearty sigh of relief when the late afternoon’s long shadows see the departure of the last vaporetto and the colourful streets no longer echo with the babble of multiple foreign tongues?
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Tourism and the sale of intricate lace, to tourists, are the principal/only industries on Burano so the relationship with the tourists must necessarily be one of polite encouragement.  Certainly we didn’t feel any animosity.  But it must be a strange existence.
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Tourism websites are rather coy on the question of the origins of the tradition for colourful houses. They seem to agree that it began during the middle ages and had something to do with distinguishing dwellings from each other. Apparently the colours follow a well-established pattern and if one wants to paint one’s house one must apply to the government who will then provide a list of permitted colours.
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I leave you with a few more shots of the colourful island.

Pure draughtsmen are philosophers and dialecticians. Colourists are epic poets. (Charles Baudelaire)

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The picture will have charm when each colour is very unlike the one next to it. (Leon Battista Alberti)

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Color is all. When color is right, form is right. Color is everything, color is vibration like music; everything is vibration. (Marc Chagall)

Burano reflections

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As I mentioned yesterday, Burano’s vibrancy is doubled by the reflections in its many canals.
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It’s always fun to flip a reflections shot.  Well, I like doing it anyway.
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Zooming in close creates a more abstract look.
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Or a wider view makes a more painterly image.
ItalyI have so many images of this lovely little island, but I don’t want to bore you! Tomorrow I will take a break to share with you some exciting news but then, if you can stand it, the weekend will see us back in Burano for one more visit.
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We need not to conform! What we need is to burst out into all these beautiful colors! – C. Joybell C.

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