It strikes you immediately–as you exit Venice’s Santa Lucia train station with the Grand Canal at your feet–as you drag your luggage up and over the steep, short Ponte degli Scalzi–as you take your first steps into her narrow, warren of alleys not a vehicle in sight other than the ubiquitous boats; you have arrived in a city of great beauty and antiquity, you have transcended into legend where every iconic image of Venice comes to life. And the question forms: how do you photograph a place where every corner, every canal, every image, has long since passed into either icon or cliche’? It’s been decades since I first set foot in Venice. My memories are of a strikingly beautiful, unique city, unlike any I’d seen, a city where every turn presented a compositional possibility. Reality, and a career change from music to photography, brings a different sensibility. Clearly, not […]
Leaving Lago Maggiore by train from Stresa, we headed to Verona via a change of trains in Milan’s sprawling central station. Located about midway between Milan and Venice, the history and architecture of Verona provided an intriguing reason to explore its ancient streets. Its city center has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I have yet to be disappointed by spending time in UNESCO sites and will seek them out whenever possible. Verona’s origins are as obscure as the origin of its name. It became a Roman colony in 89 BCE and later a full Roman city. From what I read, the foundations of the current city stand upon the virtually intact Roman city with the cellars of many houses and palazzos accessing Roman ruins. Verona’s history through medieval and early renaissance times is the usual convolution of wars, ambition, plague and shifting alliances. Cangrande I gained power in […]
After three beautiful days in Milan, not enough of course, we moved northwest from Milan for my job photographing the annual CEO Summit for the Consumer Electronics Association at Lago Maggiore, Italy. I’ve photographed many CEA conferences over the years but this was by far the most special. The hotels where the conference was held were in Stresa, a lovely town on the western shore of Lake Maggiore in extreme northwestern Italy. The magnificent, mountain scenery was marred by smog from who knows where. A few days earlier, from the air, I saw it clouding the mountain valleys of the French Alps as we approached Milan by plane from the west. This was unfortunate as the mountains rising from the lake provide a spectacular backdrop. Lago Maggiore straddles the border of Italy and Switzerland. The towns surrounding the lake date back centuries with the majority of buildings seemingly from the […]
I was very fortunate that one of my clients, the Consumer Electronics Association, CEA for short, brought me along to photograph their 2011 CEO Summit held this year in Stressa, Italy on the shore of Lago Maggiore in northwestern Italy. I’ve photographed the CEO Summits for a number of years but this was the first time outside the U.S.. The Northern Italian city of Milan is the natural arrival point for travel to the lakes along the Swiss border. Lake Maggiore, a half hour train ride from the city is the westernmost and lies somewhat parallel to perhaps more famous Lake Cumo. Having always wanted to visit Milan and it’s most famous of all Italian opera houses, La Scala, a few days there before my job were imperative. Milan has the reputation for being an industrial city. That might be true, but its credentials as a center and arbiter of […]
It’s been a beautiful but busy summer at Hummingbird Knob. When not at home in Vail leading the Vail Nature Center Photography workshops and attending concerts by the Dallas Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic at the Bravo Music Festival, we were at our property in western Colorado, Hummingbird Knob. Several things made for an especially memorable summer. In June, while down at the gate waiting for a delivery of wood for the pergola I added onto Nana’s Cabin, I saw a Wolverine cross the field about 125 yards away. This is a very big deal. Sightings of wolverines are extremely rare. The first wolverine ever seen in the history of Rocky Mountain National Park was only a few years ago! I have no doubt it was a wolverine. Then in mid-July, we were visited by three Red-tailed Hawk fledglings. I had been watching their nest, watching the […]
How does one express their first impressions of this magnificent city? And during what a pitifully short time can one even say they’ve even experienced Paris? A day and a half is woefully inadequate. Unfortunately, that is all I had for my first visit to Paris. And it was a glorious day and half–the weather perfect, the evening balmy.
Driving deeper and deeper into the forested countryside, I wonder what awaits. It’s getting dark and I hope I can figure out all the turns as I navigate through the small towns and tiny villages of southern France. We made arrangements at a farm/B&B an hour north of the city of Bordeaux, beyond the normal tourist routes. The roads become narrower and the villages tinier the closer we get. In the last light of day, across a green, flower-filled meadow, set amidst tall trees, we see the stone buildings of Ferme Auberge La Gabaye, www.lagabaye.com. Several cows interrupt their quiet munching to watch us pass. Christianne, the energy-filled proprietress, greets us warmly, showing us to the little guesthouse that will be our home for the next ten days. Christianne, who speaks very little English, manages to communicate that breakfast will be ready the following morning whenever we happen to awaken. […]
The brilliant sunshine of a southern France spring plays across vast, rolling fields of venerable grape vines. Row upon row march up and over the undulating landscape of the Dordogne Valley with military precision. Where the land is flat, their perfectly straight files disappear into distant trees or perhaps one of the many, age-old Châteaus dotting the horizon and hilltops. In the distance, an ancient steeple among a cluster of stone buildings rises out of the vineyards denoting a village.