As I’ve only had one wedding in October, it’s been a nice quiet oasis between a nuts summer and a busy upcoming November.  So I’ve  taken it as an opportunity to both get ontop of the summer’s wedding workflow and to take a few well earned breaks, in my busiest year yet!  A few weekends ago Clare & I headed up to the Lakes with some buddies for a good stomp and some good pies (blog here if you missed it) and last weekend we took a three-and-a-half-day, long weekend break in Venice.

I’ve never been to Venezia before in spite of only hearing good things.  But I’ve had expectations built too high before for certain cities (eg. San Francisco), only to find the hype makes it underwhelming.  So I tried to keep my expectations realistic; that it’d be brimming with tourists, packed with cliches and expensive.

It turned out I was blown away by how very beautiful the place was.  A majestic tomb of a powerful, ambitious city of yesteryear, living on in the shadow of it’s past.  Friends told us: “Just wander till you get lost, and if you hit the edge, turn round and get lost in a new direction!” And that’s so the way to see the place.  The back streets and minor canals have just as much character as the major sights around St Marks Square and the Grand Canal.  In fact, I love any city that’s packed into ancient, narrow, windy streets.  In many ways, Venice felt a lot like Barcelona, but with the noise & smells of busy traffic switched for quiet canals, floating with gondolas.

No doubt much to Clare’s joy, I took A LOT of photos.  I couldn’t help myself!  For the geeks out there, I tried to travel light and took only 3 lenses – the 50mm f1.2, the 16-35mm f2.8 & the 24-105mm f4IS – and found they more than covered the bases I was hoping.  Nifty 50 took shallow Depth of Field duties, 16-35 on ultra-wide context scenes and the 24-105 for telelphoto candids and scene compression.  When I got home I literally had thousands of images and decided to cull out into two galleries – one colour, focussing generally on colourful holiday scenes (which I’ll be blogging about soon) and one black and white, of arty people and place shots.  I processed them into the trendy ‘clipped blacks’ style all the post-vintage crowd are currently loving; flattening the image of blacks and washing it in filmic grain.  I’m still not convinced I’d use if for professional wedding work, as the effect divides folk in taste, but I do love the way it gives a real timeless vibe to some the images; to the point that some of them look like they were shot in 50s Venice.

Either way, I’ve only been able to narrow it down to 100 favourite greyscale images, (hence 100 Shades of Grey – arf arf), and instead of unfurling an uber blog roll of 100 images to scroll through, I’ve created a wee flash slideshow.  Click anywhere on the image below to start it off and kick back to enjoy the slideshow.

[ NB: If you’re on an iPhone or iPad I believe the flash sideshow has a fallback gallery you can see – but if not, any normal computer browser will show this outside of iOS ]

I hope it gives you a feeling for Venezia, and possibly even inspires you to visit, if you’ve not already!   It really is quite magical.

…watch this (web)space for the colour highlights soon!

Cheers for viewing


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