WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Shadow of Venice

Wordpress Weekly Photo Theme: "Shadows"
Venice, if ever a city conveyed a sense of shadows, this is it. A labyrinthine city of narrow passages that come to an unannounced halt at the water’s edge, where the sun only shines fully at noon, a city that revels in its own shadows.

One of WordPress’s many projects for 2011 is the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge in which a theme is proposed and bloggers post an image with their interpretation of it. This is my first entry because this week’s theme, Shadows, grabbed me and I knew just the image it had to be.

This shot was made on a bridge over one of the many canals that wind their way through Venice, Italy. It was shot about noon with a Canon 7D and a Canon 16-35 mm L lens at 16 mm, F/10, 1/200 sec.

38 responses to “WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Shadow of Venice

  1. OOOhh nice photo. When did you get that lens? You dark horse you

  2. I like “shadow” photos. This is a good one.

  3. @Matt-THANKS!! You know how much that means coming from YOU!
    And I’ve had that lens for ages–it was my first L lens! In fact, it was my main lens for this trip. Only got the 70-200 out of the bag one day.
    I think the 24-70 f/2.8 is next… would’ve been the perfect in betweener!

  4. Thanks South America. Shadows always make for some interesting, thought-provoking images!

  5. You recently mentioned how you learned something every day. Ditto here … I didn’t know that one could address a nice lady as a “dark horse”. I’ll make a note of that. You are an anthro, and I am a layman’s anthro, 🙂

  6. Shadows are so much what photography or “painting with light” are about. The three places I studied photography all began their courses with lectures on shadows and the use of them. The early Magnum photographers, Bresson, Capa, Chim, Rodgers and others all used shadows in their images in the 30’s and beyond.
    Movies from the 40’s and 50’s were full of shadows. Watch “The third man” for amazing shadow use or even the French film “Rififi”
    “Dark horse” is in this case solely a reference to Margaret’s skill

  7. Could not resist posting this link.
    Easily my favorite piece of acting of all time from Mr Wells.
    Probably the best British movie ever made and in this Brits opinion, in the top ten ever globally.

  8. Ah! Nothing like having 2 gentlemen arguing in defense of my honor. Thank you both.
    Matt-thanks for your comments about painting with light, which is so critical in any good photo, regardless of the composition! In fact, there were times during this trip that I drove C crazy because I literally started chasing light! In one part of Tuscany it had been dark and drizzly on and off all day and then suddenly just before sunset the sun burst through the clouds. We were in the old part of Renaissance-era Lucca, and I could see the most gorgeous light over the rooftops and literally started running down narrow alley ways. He kept trying to stop me and I’m shouting! Just 15 minutes! It’s only going to last 15 minutes! And in fact, that’s all it did.
    Can’t say I got the shot I was looking for, but no one can say I didn’t try!

  9. Matt- thanks for the link. Love film noir!
    And have you ever seen any of Mexican film maker Arturo Ripstein’s work? Check out his 1996 film Profundo Carmesí–Deep Crimson in English. He not only draws on film noir (although it’s shot in deep, dark, and utterly rich color) but also artists like Edward Hopper. Hm, I’m going to have to go back and watch that and others again! A photographer’s film maker!

  10. Matt – Thanks for clarifying that. As you can tell, English is my second language and after more than 30 years trying to master it, I often come short. C’est la vie!
    Margaret, your writing ability goes without saying, your photography skills are excellent, but what about your ‘adobe’ making skills?

  11. great photo! I’m planning a visit to Italy (Palermo actually) next month. Let’s see what photos I’ll be able to shoot 🙂

  12. @John- thanks… Are you talking Adobe as in mud or Adobe as in Photoshop? I know my way around one of the two pretty well, the other, well, not so much!

  13. @TRKN- thanks! We didn’t make it to Palermo, but absolutely LOVED Rome, Florence & Venice (with corresponding surrounding areas). A photographer’s paradise! I’ve already posted some images and will be posting more over the next couple weeks. Good luck with your trip and will be looking forward to seeing your results!

  14. No, no, I meant adobe as in ladrillo de barro, Capire?

  15. haha- yes, John-te caché, but I like the desktop Adobe better, although Matt’s wife got me to muck around in cow manure about a year ago! (For the record, she makes her wine biodynamically!)

  16. Holy mackerel (or should I say Congrio) ! I thought I had heard of just about everything about by now, 🙂 What is biodynamically made wine, and does it taste like “Thunderbird”?

  17. Thunderbird! WOW, many a night in my youth was spent in parks drinking that horror!
    Biodynamic wine, is the same as any other wine in that in can be great, good, mediocre or bad. However it is made in a much better way to the environment, and probably for us the drinkers. I know very little about it really. The King of Chilean biodynamic wine is someone both Margaret and I know well. Alvaro Espinoza. Whose wines are in the first part of my description.

  18. You beat me to it Matt- I was googling around for something about Clos Apalta & biodynamics and can’t seem to find anything on the company site other than a brief mention in the pdf catalogue (great photos, BTW)
    Why is that? (no mention of biodynamics, not the photos)…
    Anyway, John- you’ve got some google wine geek homework ahead of you! Biodynamics is a kind of agricultural practice laid out by Rudolph Steiner in 1924. It’s fully organic, but goes well beyond that. It’s key tenet is that a farm is much more that dirt with plants & animals. It’s all part of an integral whole that fits into a part of the universe. It’s a fascinating topic and much to big to go into here.
    As Matt says, there’s no reason that biodynamic (or organic, for that matter) means better, but it often is in the sense that the people who tend the vines have a much closer relationship with them and know exactly what’s going on with them and therefore tend to coax them into being the best they can be (kind of like raising children!).
    Matt’s wife, Andrea León, is a winemaker at Clos Apalta, which was named the #1 wine in the world in 2008.

    Thunderbird must not be written in the same paragraph with Clos Apalta!
    PS: 100% agree with Matt about Alvaro Espinoza! (In fact he was my thesis adviser in the Sommelier program!)

  19. Well done for getting Clos Apalta and Thunderbird into one paragraph. I managed the one sentence! Alexandra will be delighted I’m sure.

    The Lapostolle site (www.lapostolle.com) Is about to be relaunched. It will have much more information on biodynamics, and again be around 96% my images.
    Great thesis adviser to have, you must have had a fun time.

  20. Oh shoot… and I was going out of my way NOT to do exactly that!!
    And yes, Alvaro–and Marina–were great. The only thing Alvaro asked of me was that he NOT have to go to Santiago! So I either went to Antiyal or drove to Emiliana in Colchagua meet with him and other members of the team. this was back in the days before Lapostolle & others had made the move to biodynamics… he never invited me to stuff manure into horns like Andrea did though!

  21. Thanks Matt and Margaret for this briefing on biodynamic wines. My beloved wife ‘talks’ to her plants every day. According to R they grow better and healthier, and who am I to disagree?
    I buy into the “integral whole that fits into a part of the universe”, and I honestly believe we all part of much more significant whole.

  22. WOW, that’s a really clever photograph!

    Hey John, I also talk to my plants everyday…I’m not quite a tree hugger, but I think it does work. I was discussing one plant with some friends as we stood pondering as to why it had not flowered in 3yrs. I said I was going to dig it up if it did not flower this year…it did!!

  23. Hi Pip- thanks!
    And yes, talking to plants is just, well, normal, as far as I’m concerned. It would just be rude not to! I mean, the DO share your home, right?
    Do you remember the book called The Secret Life of Plants?
    But just so everyone is clear, biodynamics goes far beyond conversing with plants…

  24. Hi Margaret,
    If I understand correctly it’s organic gardening/farming which I firmly believe in as we are killing the planet. We digress a long LONG way off topic from the picture of shadows LOL 🙂 sorry… 😳

  25. Hi PiP: well how about this… I am sure beyond a SHADOW of a doubt that organic is better for us 😉
    Biodynamic starts with organic and goes far, far beyond that. It takes the positions of the astral bodies (planets, etc) into account and farm activities are guided by a special calendar. Not as strange as it seems- if the phases of the moon can move the ocean (tides) why shouldn’t it affect plants?
    Then it has another dimension that people find very weird, but basically it draws on principles that are similar in theory to those of homeopathic medicine (infinitesimal doses, etc.). A big and very interesting topic. Quite a few Chilean wineries are going further and further toward BD certification these days!

  26. …and there’s me thinking it was all to do with soil and balance…I will have to look into this further…sounds interesting…thanks Margaret. It’s amazing what blogging conversations bring to light! LOL 🙂

  27. well, balance really IS the key!!
    Depending on your level of interest, you could just check wikipedia to get started on more info, and then move on to:
    and oh, I’ll just leave it at that for now… looks like another post topic to work on!
    And yes, one of the things I love about blogging is the sense of community and the way the conversations take off in different directions, just as they would if we were sitting around a table talking!

  28. Hi- nice narrative on your travels; makes me want to pack up and go! Another piece of music that introduces another great piece of British cinema is the intro to Smiley’s People(?). The treble singer in this is extraordinary.

  29. Hi Piglet in Portugal. Funny to see you use that pseudonym. I call my Irish wife ‘chancha’ which in Chilean Spanish also means piglet, and yes, she does know what it means. The older (more mature) I get, the broader my mind opens. Therefore I DO believe in talking to plants, speaking to nature and all those things. I believe that as a species, we are only beginning to comprehend our true nature and the universe in which we all live. As far as I am concerned, and from an evolution point of view, we are still in diapers!

  30. Margaret – I messed up again. There is no Jay Sandie. I am John Carr and I use this email when I first sign up for newsletters so that if I later unsubscribe, I don’t get spammed.

  31. @John Montpetit- Hey there! Tanto tiempo pues! Nice to see you pop ’round again! And I’m just getting warmed up on the travel stuff–unfortunately, after completely disconnecting for a few weeks I know have to pay the price by doing some serious down-buckling and work-doing! Will have to look for the Smiley’s People reference–don’t know it!
    @Jay Sandie-Carr- oh you are just full of tricks! Well I don’t think either PiP or I will spam you! But I can’t believe your wife lets you call her chanchita!

  32. I not only call her ‘chacha, but would you believe “chancha cochina”? I can have my declaration notarized, sworn on a bible and emailed to you if you’d like. She’s been to Chile more than a dozen times and has discussed this and had it explained to her ad nauseam. There is a big word that just came out of nowhere.

  33. You have one very understanding wife there mister!

  34. On a more serious note, I guess we could go on and on about this here, but it wouldn’t help a thing. Spanish is not English translated and vice versa. What I call ‘R’ is an endearment, and she gets it. If you were to describe a certain type of religious artifact you could rightly call it a “tabernacle”. However, I would warn you to be extremely careful using that term in Quebec, unless you don’t mind being violently thrown out of the house or ending up in jail. Cachai?

  35. True enough–terms of endearment are a story all on their own!
    See? I never run out of topics around here!

  36. True enough!

  37. Ok, one more bit then. I love my ‘chancha cochina’, 🙂

  38. ¡No me cabe la menor duda!

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