andrew burke





Venice: The Details

Posted on: 2014-10-07

I love to walk around places and notice details. Whether it's my home town or a famously spectacular city like San Francisco or New York, or even if it's empty wilderness, I'm always noticing little features and light effects.

One of the only reasons I still carry around a camera separate from my iPhone is that my Canon SX230HS has a really nice zoom lens and it lets me catch all sorts of details that would otherwise be difficult to notice, let alone get into a picture. It's especially good for high-up architectural details - the kinds of details that are so hard to see from the street that they're clearly labours of love or pure whimsy.

Venice turns out to be full of these little details everywhere.

All throught he city, at the Rialto, in church squares, down little narrow alleys, I kept stopping in my tracks to get a shot of a lovely plaque,

Venetian Plaque

a nifty shop sign,

La Caravella, Venice

a terrific rooftop patio,

Venetian Rooftop Porch

or a fleeting but stunning view.

The Island Of the Dead

(Note that all of the pictures in this blog can be clicked/tapped on to see in full size on Flickr.)

Venice has a distinctive window style, somewhere between Arabian and Gothic, modelled after details in the Ducal Palace. Once you start noticing them, they're everywhere:

Venetian Window with Shutters and Flowers

Venetian Windows

Another only-in-Venice detail is the support archways that cross above narrow streets and help to keep the buildings separated.

Venetian Archway/Support

The zoom lens was great for seeing the interesting chimneys in Venice. Some look like watch towers, others like ancient Roman columns:

Venetian Chimneys

Rooftop Atlas

The plaster walls of Venice make a great backdrop for plaques and, surprisingly quite common, little roadside shrines to Mary:

Venice Shrine to Mary

Upstairs Plaque in Venice

Venice Plaque

The Italian Republic Awakes

But it's the statues and sculptures that are often the most striking:

Mary With Protection

Wall Detail

Justice Near the Rialto

Many of the statues which look so impressive from the ground are rather the worse for wear when seen close up:

Close-Up Angel

Saint George

While others have details that you would never notice without a zoom lens:

Shop Umbrella Dragon

Lion Detail

The zoom lens is especially good at picking out the tops of church towers. For every no-longer-hidden antenna, there's a lovely vine or intricately detailed weather-vane flag that is hardly ever seen from below.

Church Tower Detail

And of course there's graffiti - I don't know what most of it is about:

Venice Graffiti

... but some of it is pretty obvious, and I have to say I agree (even if I may be part of the problem):

Venezia Land Graffiti

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