Our trip to the Channel Islands this summer included a stay on Sark.
Under the effects of wind and water, Sark is becoming two islands, Great and Little Sark. They are joined by a narrow isthmus called La Coupée.
It’s a spectacular spot, the cliffs shearing off steeply from both sides of the narrow path. My photos don’t really do it justice.
La Coupée used to be so dangerous that people would crawl over it on their hands and knees. During the nineteenth century, the path eroded until it was only three feet wide. The present road dates from 1945 and was constructed by German prisoners of war. It can still be an eventful crossing even today; on busy days tourists pushing bikes, the principal means of transport on this car-free island, mingle with carts pulled by horses. The latter have right of way, but there’s not a lot of room when they pass! Sadly, I didn’t get a shot of a cart on La Coupée; I always seemed to be there at the wrong time.
I did, however, manage to take some photos of La Coupée at dusk. As the light dims, and the people leave, it becomes a spooky place and, not surprisingly, has had a reputation for being haunted. One story tells of a black dog, called the Tchico, who roams the cliffs around La Coupée at night. I didn’t see Tchico, which is probably just as well.
More about Sark next week.
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.
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.
Venice is such a super city for people watching.
I do like black and white for this kind of photography.
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.
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.
I wonder why photographers love the dilapidated so much?
“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
As I mentioned yesterday, Burano’s vibrancy is doubled by the reflections in its many canals.
It’s always fun to flip a reflections shot. Well, I like doing it anyway.
Zooming in close creates a more abstract look.
Or a wider view makes a more painterly image.
I 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.
We need not to conform! What we need is to burst out into all these beautiful colors! – C. Joybell C.
I couldn’t resist sharing more of Burano’s colourful houses, this time from a slightly wider perspective.
Some towers lean rather alarmingly.
Washing billows in the spring breeze.
With no cars, it’s a lovely place to stroll.
And cycling is popular too.
As if all this colour wasn’t enough, it is doubled by the reflections in the canals, of which more tomorrow.
One of the delights that should never be missed when visiting Venice is the little island of Burano.
Less than an hour’s Vaporetto ride across the lagoon, Burano is a tiny island where all the houses have been painted in vibrant shades. A photographer’s dream.
We have just returned from a wonderful weekend in my favourite city in the whole world, Venice. Apart from Friday, the weather was kind to us and it was a great opportunity for me to get to grips with my new travel camera, the Fuji X-E1. I have more than a few files to process and a review of this camera in the pipeline, to follow up on my review of the Sony NEX-7 in January. But I must concentrate on my studies for the next few days so they will have to wait. Suffice it to say that the camera is all I hoped and more. I am looking forward to May when I can get back to serious blogging and catching up on the blogs I follow.