Venice is a city afloat and as the title of Joseph Brodsky’s classic essay alludes, it is this watery foundation that is the heart of the city and leaves its mark on your soul. Around every corner your eyes are met with a rich palette of colors, and wandering through the maze of narrow stone passageways and arched bridges the sound of water lapping against stone is a constant reminder that the sea which brought life to this Renaissance town is slowly reclaiming it.
Founded in the 5th century as a defense from invaders, Venice was dredged out of a marshy lagoon and compasses 188 islands in the north Adriatic Sea. Its unique location which at first offered protection soon provided an even more valuable asset in access to the open sea, and by the 13th century Venice became a major maritime power.
During the Renaissance its wealth and power reigned supreme and it flourished as a center of art and culture that remains today. From Piazza San Marco to the Rialto Bridge on the Grand Canal, Venice is a vibrant blend of classic architecture and old-world artistry that appeals to the senses like no other city in the world.
TGIF – It’s easy to say after a long work week in which maybe things didn’t all go as planned, but we need to put things into perspective. Seventy-five years ago on this now quiet beach along the coast of Normandy, France decisions were made that have provided us with the freedoms we continue to enjoy today. This monument on Omaha Beach, Les Braves created by French sculptor Anilore Banon, is a tribute to the soldiers who made such great sacrifices during the Allied Invasion on D-Day to preserve our way of life.
Today I’m grateful to those who have given so much to allow me the opportunity to live and work as I choose. On Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day the National Park Service waives all entrance fees to the parks in honor of these sacrifices, but today is perhaps the best time to reflect on all that we have. So enjoy the day and exercise your freedom, through photography, sport or good company – and take a moment to remember those who helped make it all possible.
For all the equipment I’ve purchased over the years, from camera bodies to lenses and filters, the most important tool of my craft is one I’ve never had to buy. The world of natural light provides landscape photographers with a constantly varied selection from soft light to lightning and everything in between. And best of all there’s never a cost.
Unlike a studio strobe, it’s sometimes a challenge to harness the light Mother Nature provides. But therein lies the art of outdoor photography – knowing how to work with what you’re given or having the patience to wait for something better. In previous posts I’ve mentioned various ways to work with challenging conditions, but there is one place where the light is constant and never leaves you wishing for more – the indirect, reflected light found deep in the canyons of the Southwest.
Its consistent, beautiful glow could easily be mistaken for artificial light, and its true colors can hardly be discerned by the naked eye in the dark recesses of a slot canyon. In sharp contrast to magic hour, the best time to experience this light is when the sun is high overhead and able to penetrate these deep fissures in the earth’s crust. And only when the scene is revealed on the sensor or emulsion do you see the true beauty of the canyon light.