VENICE, ITALY
«Streetphotography & assorted subjects»

Photos © Ruud Leeuw


 

Venice: I cannot think of anyone who may not have heard of this Italian City.
Luigi Barzini described it in The New York Times as "undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man".
This time I was less interested in the history of buildings, but was much of my time spent on observing the streets and waterways.
It allows for a whole different interpretation of visiting obvious sites such as Rialto and Piazza San Marco.
Besides streetphotography I also continued my quest for libraries and followed my fascination for photography exhibitions.
I hope you will enjoy my 2015 report on 'La Serenissima'!

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)

Streetphotography is a relative new aspect of photography I started doing. No doubt digital photography has something to do with it: shooting colour or b/w film, or slides, was expensive enough to document the immediate subjects. Street photography makes going from A to B so much more dynamic as one is always on the lookout for something to aim the camera on.
Like this man, having to toil his standup bass through the small streets of Venice, negotiating the many bridges; at some point he must have considered the choice of his musical instrument, how perhaps he'd been better off with a banjo or a flute!?

 

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)
I noticed this scene for the activity: the majority of people seem to be engaged in: taking pictures.
The tourists are the dominating factor in the streets of Venice. And more and more registered Venetians are
moving away, in part due to the inconvenience of so many tourists around; people sell their houses which are
turned into a b&b or hostel.

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)
These street artists don't want to be photographed, evidently from fear of photographers
stealing their 'picture'. While I respect that, I think this portrait does him justice as an artist.
While compiling this webpage I found I had photographed him in 2009 too!
You can find him on the Dorsoduro side of the Accademia bridge.

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)
Other 'artists' at work: the band plays on at Piazza San Marco and there is much photography going on.

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)
Another 'street artist' at work and who also does not want to be photographed by non-paying members of the public!

 


 

 

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)
Lost in thought..

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)
Making a plan for there is much to see and visit in Venice!
My mother visited Venice in a similar group of friends, during the 1990s. This trip of mine was in
part to retrace some of her exploits and indeed was found quite rewarding: Venice is an inspiring city!

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)
Trying to get some of that stuff that evidently smells so nice!


 

 

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)
There is grafitti too here

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)


 

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)
No, that is not grafitti, rather (street)art in another sense. Unexpected though and as such quite enjoyable.



 

 

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)
In case you were thinking, considering the previous images, that I had not to deal with crowds, think again!

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)
This has been taking from that bridge seen above, while people were shoving and bumping against me.
I was trying to make a slightly 'different' photo of the famous The Bridge of Sighs (Italian: Ponte dei Sospiri).


 

 

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)
The gondolier on a break in the shade.

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)
I ran into a wedding near the Celestia dock for the Vaporetti; the wedding couple appeared from the Chiesa
di San Francesco della Vigna (where I had hoped to be able to visit a library, but alas). I waited a few
minutes to witness the proceedings of this gay event.

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)
Enjoying 'gelato Italiano'. And where people are enjoying themselves, pictures are taken.

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)
'Snack bar'. I must admit I learmed only after my trip the tradition of the Italian tapas-like snacks: Cicheti.
These cicheti are unique to the bars of Venice. Next time I must explore that too. So you see, one simply must return.

As a reminder I copied this from the internet:
"On more than 20 visits to Venice, Polpo-owner Russell Norman has trawled the back-street bacari, the small bars where locals pop in for a glass of wine and a snack, to find inspiration for Polpo. He advise is: "avoid all the crappy tourist places," is Norman's advice, "anywhere with the menu in six languages stuck in the window or, worse still, one with photographs of lurid pizzas. "But there is still a side of Venice which is alive and isn't Disneyland, and it's best typified by the bàcari."
A bar crawl, or giro di ombre, is the best way to try Venice's bacari, popping into each for a cicheto and accompanying ombra (small glass of wine). And a good place to start is Ca' d'Oro – Alla Vedova (Cannaregio 3912, Ramo Ca' d'Oro), one of the best-known bacari, on the Strada Nuova, well away from the city's touristy hub."
Source: www.theguardian.com/travel/2010/feb/13/venice-bar-snacks-cicheti-wine

 

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)
A seagull digging for snacks; they simply tear those plastic bags open and make a mess while browsing.

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)
These pigeons get a little help in obtaining food.
But their excrements cause a lot of damage. This was on Piazza San Marco.


 

 

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)
Streets can be very small indeed here. This was a street seen from the Via Giuseppe Garibaldi (Castello district).

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)
Also on the Via Giuseppe Garibaldi: I found that message quite alarming, like you could enter..
but you could never leave (you know the Eagles' song I am referring to?).

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)
Talking about 'alarming'...


 

 

Street photography in Venice, Italy (2015)
That sign 'Basta Sale Giochi a Venezia' probably protests against selling so much of Venetian real estate
to outsiders, but I am not entirely sure. Googling it I found no clarification, but the sign
is on there for a number of years now it seems.

 


 
The wells of Venic
The wells ('cistern') of Venice are something unique too, see my report

 

 

 

SELFIES

Selfies spotting..
I am not a 'selfies' man myself... It does strike me as unabashed narcistic and I find the faces blocking the actual subject quite tiring, but then again shooting pics of people making their silly selfies is quite enjoyable!

Selfies spotting

Selfies spotting

Selfies spotting

Selfies spotting
ouch, she spotted me..

Selfies spotting

Selfies spotting
Many people in this speedboat seem to have little eye for their surroundings except to record it as a
literal backdrop for their social media. But how much do you take in?

Selfies spotting
Two for the price of one! She must be American, don't you think?

 

Photography in Venice
It started with this, stumbling on this poster outside on the Palazzo Grassi (Dorsoduro), near
the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute. I noticed an entrance on the Fondamenta Salute, but
while there were expositions on, it was about art and 'Refelective Landscape' was unknown to them.
Later that evening I did a search on internet and found, in Italian, a link to a University. The next day
we took the Vaporetto to Zattere and walked over to the Uni of Architecture. Only to find no exhibition
on photography there. The women at reception checked the internet again (most of it in Italian) and found
I needed to retrace my steps: it had to be there where I saw that poster in the first place!

'Refelective Landscape' exhib, photography in Venice
This time I noticed a door had been opened, entering, what I presume to be, the Seminario Patriarcale di Venezia.

'Refelective Landscape' exhib, photography in Venice
I must admit I found the surroundings more inspiring than the modest photo exhibition.

'Refelective Landscape' exhib, photography in Venice

'Refelective Landscape' exhib, photography in Venice
Both sides of the photographs held images relevant to the exhibition and the subject.

Biblioteca del Seminario Patriarcale
The visit to this photo exhibition allowed me an unexpected opportunity!
I asked I could visit the library of which I had seen signs posted. After I explained my interest someone was
so kind to give me a brief tour through the Biblioteca del Seminario Patriarcale. Unfortunately the historic
section was closed due to extensive renovations. Something perhaps for another day. (My libraries)


Back to photography!
Photography in Venice
'I Am Nothing' by Ito Lim.
I came across this exhibition by accident, passing an obscure 'campo': Campiello de la Scuola.
More details on this location, across the Scuola Grande San Giovanni Evangelista di Venezia, 'VENEZIA 2015'

Photography in Venice

Photography in Venice
Always inspiring to see photography by others; the setting here in this medieval building certainly added atmosphere.

Photography in Venice


Sebatiao Salgado
I had made my way to Piazza San Marco, fearing the crowds, but determined to visit the library on the
Piazetta. I had two unexpected but very pleasant surprises. The bookshop of the museum on St. Mark's
Square had a terrific selection of books and I bought two wonderful photobooks on Venice.
And a few doors down I stumbled on this magnificent exposition by Sebastião Salgado! I could not believe my luck!

Sebastião Salgado photo exposition in Venice, 2015
The subject was coffee, captured by Salgado over more than 10 years. The most wonderful photography.

Sebastião Salgado photo exposition in Venice, 2015

Sebastião Salgado photo exposition in Venice, 2015

Sebastião Salgado photo exposition in Venice, 2015
And of course I left this Illy-sponsored photo exhibition with a huge book on the subject and am very pleased with it.