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Evening light and gondolas on the Grand Canal, Venice, Veneto, Italy
Evening light and gondolas on the Grand Canal, Venice, Veneto, Italy

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.

 

©Russ Bishop/All Rights Reserved

2019 – The Year in Pictures

It’s hard to believe another year is coming to a close, but looking back on 2019 I’m filled with gratitude and amazement for the visual opportunities that I’ve been fortunate to witness.

Over a decade ago Jim Goldstein began this popular project, which has evolved over the years to include numerous friends and colleagues whose work continues to be a source of inspiration.

Here I’ve selected a few of my favorite images released in the past year. These are not necessarily my best or most popular, but each represents a special moment in time in which the beauty of this amazing world (both natural and man-made) passed before my lens.

Please share and enjoy! And feel free to let me know your thoughts. You can click on any image for a large high quality view, to learn more about it or share individually. I look forward to your selects in the weeks ahead, and wish everyone a wonderful holiday and Happy New Year!

-Russ

 

Sunset over the bay at Zaton, Dalmatian Coast, Croatia
Sunset over the bay at Zaton, Dalmatian Coast, Croatia

Fishing nets drying in the sun, Sipanska Luka, Sipan Island, Dalmatian Coast, Croatia
Fishing nets drying in the sun, Sipanska Luka, Sipan Island, Dalmatian Coast, Croatia

Soaptree Yucca (Yucca elata) and dunes, White Sands National Park, New Mexico
Soaptree Yucca (Yucca elata) and dunes, White Sands National Park, New Mexico

California Poppies and Goldfield, Antelope Valley, California
California Poppies and Goldfield, Antelope Valley, California

Akaka Falls and kahili ginger, Akaka Falls State Park, Hamakua Coast, Hawaii 
Akaka Falls and kahili ginger, Akaka Falls State Park, Hamakua Coast, Hawaii
Slickrock formations in upper Antelope Canyon, Navajo Indian Reservation, Arizona
Slickrock formations in upper Antelope Canyon, Navajo Indian Reservation, Arizona

Pololu Valley and beach through hala trees, North Kohala, Hawaii
Pololu Valley and beach through hala trees, North Kohala, Hawaii

Slickrock formations in lower Antelope Canyon, Navajo Indian Reservation, Arizona
Slickrock formations in lower Antelope Canyon, Navajo Indian Reservation, Arizona

Evening light on Wukoki Ruin, Wupatki National Monument, Arizona
Evening light on Wukoki Ruin, Wupatki National Monument, Arizona

Sunset over Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, California
Sunset over Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, California

Evening light on the Fire Wave, Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada
Evening light on the Fire Wave, Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Giant Sequoia in the Congress Grove, Sequoia National Park, California
Giant Sequoia in the Congress Grove, Sequoia National Park, California

 

©Russ Bishop/All Rights Reserved

Cinque Terre – Jewel of the Ligurian Sea

Evening light in Manarola, Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy
Evening light in Manarola, Cinque Terre, Liguria, Italy

Hanging cliff-side along the Italian Riviera, the sleepy hamlets of Cinque Terre are a traveler’s paradise. Set aside as Italy’s first national park in 1999, these five quaint fishing villages (Italian for “Five Lands”) dot a magical strip of coastline accessible only by boat, train or foot.

Riomaggiore, Manarola, Vernazza and Monterosso are all right on the water, while Corniglia sits atop a promontory surrounded by vineyards high above the Ligurian Sea. The only way to reach the latter is via the Lardarina, an intimidating 377-step brick stairway, or the park service shuttle bus from the train station. Cars were banned in all of the villages years ago, which has helped retain the old world feel that has existed here for centuries.

Walking is very popular in the region especially on the main coastal paths where centuries-old terraces cling to the rugged cliffs above the sea. The Sentiero Azzurro (or Blue Path) is the primary trail that connects the five villages and offers sweeping views of the coastline. Harbors filled with colorful fishing boats and trattorias serving local seafood specialties and Liguria’s famous pesto are the reward at the end of the journey.

Frequent trains link all five villages, and you can purchase an all day pass that also includes a hiking pass at the tourist information offices located in each town. A more expensive, but equally scenic option are the boats that travel along the coast several times throughout the day.

The towns of Cinque Terre date from the early medieval period, and the area was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997. Though no longer the undiscovered find it once was, Cinque Terre’s charm and classic Italian hospitality still retain the feel of old Italy and make this a prime stop on any European adventure.

©Russ Bishop/All Rights Reserved