Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Goodbye Florence, Hello Roma!

Today I ended my stay in Florence and took the train to Rome. Before I left Florence, I got up early enough to take the D bus to the Ponte Vecchio as I wanted to photograph the “other side” to the one I’d seen previously. As luck would have it there were a couple of other things I’d seen on earlier trips that I also saw as I walked back to the hotel before checking out so it was a successful hour of photographing.

This corner fountain was one of those things I wanted to capture. So wonderfully unexpected – you fly round the corner and see this… very Florentine:

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These are sundry photos from the Ponte Vecchio – it is a very very old bridge with shops along it and the cutest little buildings growing out of it:

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This guy was working on a house, and passing bucket loads of broken rubble down to his mate below. They thought it too funny I wanted to photograph them and we exchanged lots of laughs as they posed for the camera:

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One of my challenges this trip has been to photograph reflections. They aren’t so easy to capture as we’re so used to looking past them – we just don’t notice they are there. These are first, bright morning sunshine in a window in Florence and then two buildings captured reflected on cars in Rome:

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One thing I wasn’t expecting was that it would be still Autumn in Italy. I seriously thought that since I was in Paris last year in Sept/Oct and it was Autumn then that it would be well past it in Italy. Well, I lucked out. Italy has been experiencing very hot weather until the week before I arrived when it started to turn cold. Result? It is Autumn in Italy and the colours are magic. Here are some photos from along the banks of the Arno River showing some of the Autumn colours in the leaves:

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It wouldn’t be a happy day if I didn’t find some great graffiti. I’d seen this piece a number of times across the city, and this morning I finally captured it:

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More from alongside the Arno River in Florence:

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Now we move to Rome. This building towers over the top of the Spanish Steps which, themselves, offer breathtaking views across Rome:

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Because no buildings can be taller than one of the churches here, the panorama is spectacular from the Spanish Steps you look out all across the tops of the buildings below:

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Last photo for today is this one. Taken as the sun was retreating in the late afternoon, it encapsulates some of the magic of this city – it’s really in the small things that Italy etches herself deep in your soul:

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Helen Bradley

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Florence IT, wow!

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Roof detail, Florence, IT.

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Clock near the Domo, Florence, IT.

I came to Florence really to see the statue of David which I had missed out on seeing when I was here the first time. I spent about an hour just sitting and looking at it – it really is a beautiful piece of work. You can’t photograph in there but luckily someone had taken good photos which were available as postcards so I have them.

The rest of Florence, I have now spent two and a half days photographing and I spent today in Siena.

Here are some of the results.
These first photos are from the statuary in the Piazza della Signoria. Photos of some of these statues I’ve been working with for a while now, courtesy of a friend (thanks Greg) who shot them about 8 years ago. It was funny to actually see them with my eyes. I spent quite a time shooting these capturing all sorts of detail as you see:

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Of course, obsessed as I am by Graffiti there are always some shots of graffiti to entertain:

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These are photos of the Arno River which flows through Florence. The first is of the Ponte Vecchio which is the oldest bridge here. The second is looking the other way.

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You think when you see photos of the Domo that is looks pretty but, in reality, it is absolutely spellbinding and the colours and detail in the building are stunning. Here are some detail shots:

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This is a tower in Siena – about 50km from Florence. The day was alternately wet and sunny – as luck would have it, sunny at just the right time and the clouds really made the shot:

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My themes for this trip include manhole covers and this is one of the ones I found in Florence, I have a very big collection which is growing daily!:

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Helen Bradley

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Venice in Pictures

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Venice is the most wonderful place and I took an awful lot of photos. The above is detail from the houses along the Grand Canal.

I loved capturing reflections and these are some of those I lucked upon – you have to catch the canals without traffic and that’s not easy in a city that has no cars so everyone walks or boats:

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These next photos are the same place – one is a what is above the water and the other the reflection. I just love laundry hanging out to dry and Italy is laundry heaven!

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Just to prove I can get up early. These photos are from a walk along the Grand Canal at dawn just as the sun came up. You won’t catch St Marks’s square empty like this at any other time of the day:

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Gondolas are one method of transport in Venice but not the only one. Vaporetti are public ferries and they go up and down the Grand Canal and around the lagoon. The Vaporetto stops are floating barges with yellow strips so they’re easy to see. Some stops have barges for each direction, some stops the same barge works for both:

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Gondolas go where you want them to go – they’re expensive and only 2 of the 6 seats are actually side by side and sitting back, the rest are upright and look pretty damn uncomfortable if you ask me.

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Traghetti go across the Grand Canal. Because there are are only 3 bridges in around 2miles of Grand Canal sometimes you have to get across it where there isn’t a bridge. A traghetto is the answer – it is cheap to ride – the catch is that you stand up – not for the faint of heart. There are traghetto stations at intervals along the canal.

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At one side of the Rialto Bridge there is a huge market each morning where people go to buy food for the day. Here are some images from early morning at the Rialto markets.

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This is detail from St Mark’s Basilica:

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Ever wondered how UPS, FedEx and DHL deliver in a city with no cars – check this out – DHL boat delivery service:

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V for Venice or V for Vendetta – you choose:

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Graffiti Venice style:

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Lion detail from Victor Emmanuel equestrian statue – Grand Canal:

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Grand Canal and minor canal photos:

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That’s it for today.

Helen Bradley