Dancing Gondolas

I'm excited to be opening a new gallery in the Travelscapes section of my website now! Italy is the place I have visited more than anywhere else in Europe and I've only scratched the surface. To be honest, I could live there in an instant save for the language barrier. I've made friends there who I've gotten to see when I visit the country. Getting around with them is so much fun and way easier. That aspect has enriched my life more than I ever thought possible! I suppose I could learn the language but its a tough one for me.



Venice was not the first Italian destination I visited. That was Sicily several years before. Venice really wasn't a top wish for all I had heard of it. My visit to Venice actually came as an add-on to another trip to the Dolomite Alps and a visit to one friend who lives in the Veneto, halfway between Padua and Venice. In fact, my expectations for Venice were quite low. I had read the stories and seen the photos of the throngs of tourists. I was assured the light and the ambience would overcome the crowds. It was true. Take for instance this first photo I have curated to my Italy Collection; Gondola Dance. Nothing says Venice more than an image of the classic gondola! I am sure tens of thousands of great photographers have taken a similar shot to mine as this location sits at the quay where St Marks Square meets the Grand Canal. For me at least, the movement of the gondolas in the image is calming not chaotic. It had been a grey dawn that had all the makings of a washout but all of a sudden the color came in the sky for a brief moment and I got it!



The next morning had a better sunrise and I was positioned out front of the Basilica di Sante Maria della Salute on the very point that juts out into the canal and witnessed 6 massive cruise ships arriving in the dawn light. I believe they have stopped this since. The thought of 15,000 or so cruisers hitting the bricks had me understanding why the day before's throngs of selfie stickers were so thick. It is ranked #13 in the world for visits, just under 6 million. But it's a tiny island!

Photographers are a funny lot. We tend to get up and out in the dark. If we're really on the ball we have already planned out where we need to be at what time to get the composition we are planning on. That dictates what time we need to be out the door. In this instance, I was staying on the Grand Canal at a non chain sort of Italian run hotel which was mere minutes from this location where the most prestigious of the gondolas were docked for the night. So it was easy because we planned on it!

I did not take a gondola ride. I was single. So I took a private boat. Motor. Good seats for shooting, etc. It was totally worth it. Insider tip; it was also totally worth having a ride from a private boat to the airport from my last night hotel. I got nearly 300 photos that I took all the way to the finish line of production. So at least 150 of them are worthy, right? For a photo to become a final choice for this gallery it must climb to the top of that mountain. It goes beyond what I think of the photo. I try to climb inside your brain and present what would be a photo you would like to put on your wall! Sure, there's lots of great photos. But some are too personal for other people to be able to embrace them as their own. because they cant relate So, in my humble opinion, my job as a photographer, is to deliver to you a photo that would represent how you feel about Venice whether you have been there ever or not - but love the vibe none the less either way! Here is where it gets exciting; put 6 photographers in a row to shoot a scene and you will always get 6 different approaches! It's close to impossible to find somewhere that someone else hasn't already been. So it comes down to the composition.



I share the second photo here for context of my story but it probably won't make it into the gallery. No real reason other than I have probably 50 great gondola images. Will there be a second one in the gallery? Probably so. The fun part about my Travelscapes Gallery is I also get to reminisce about my time there. On this trip I started in Venice and I ended it in Venice. My return made sense. By catching an early flight out of the Venice airport the hassle level was non existent. After staying at the most touristed spot on my first stay, my return took me to a less visited part of the city where it is mostly residents. It was a delightful two nights at a real Palace! Palazzo Abedessa had remarkable period furnishings like the dining room in the picture above. The Palazzo dates back to the 1500's and provided access to the other side that I hadn't seen. It was a short 20 minute boat ride to the airport marine terminal connected right to the airport. 



I shot a quick timelapse while sitting on the corner of this cafe with a spritz and aperitivo. Its at the end of this fun, short montage of my visit. Like I said in the comments of the video; "If I weren't slackjawed like everyone else, gaping at every magnificent square inch of Venice I might have gotten more video!" Look for more exclusive images coming to this gallery over the next months


Venice Italy from Chris Tucker on Vimeo.

As anywhere, I only scratched the surface of Venice. But the five days I spent there were something I will always remember. In future posts, I will take you to Burano, a small island next to Venice that was perhaps the highlight of the visit. Have you been to Venice? I still crave a Spritz most Saturday afternoons!



Sorry, there wont be any Italian music to join this post. Maybe another time. But instead, I am so excited to share this latest title cut from Nickel Creek. Who, perhaps, is my most favorite band of all time! They bridge traditional bluegrass and country with an Americana sound all of their own that is not replicated by anyone else. This new "album" is case in point, where every single song is a newfound treasure! You can watch then entire new music on You Tube which is pretty cool. They are touring extensively after many years of hiatus. So if they come to where you live, go!