As the news from around the world keeps skewing towards negative, I am going to continue with my attempt at escapism through past travel snapshots.
I have quite a few excellent shots in my portfolio that were taken in Venice (for instance here or here). And still, I count this technically rather flawed shot among my favorites.
This is Sotoportego del Cavalletto, a passage near the northwestern corner of Piazza San Marco that is likely traversed by every single visitor to Venice. The pretty little bridge with flowers in front of us is for private access to the building.
Although a comparatively large expanse of Bacino Orseolo is no more than a couple of dozen meters behind us, the canal that we are crossing here is quite narrow. It is almost always in shadows, so any shot that includes a bit of sky in the distance is likely to blow the highlights. Which is exactly what happened here while I paid it no attention. Composing the shot without the sky would be a much better idea (I might have gotten more of the gondola in the frame, too). So would be taking an exposure bracket.
And yet, neither the technical flaws nor the obvious notion that millions of other people have taken the exact same shot make this perspective any less enjoyable for me. When I look at it I see both a slice of tranquility and a pretty detail of an instantly recognizable location. It’s been a better part of a decade since I last stood on that bridge, but it takes no effort to mentally transport myself there and imagine lingering again in that lovely corner of one of my favorite cities.
Which is why I take photographs in the first place!