And when melancholia was a pleasurable indulgence not a permanent state of mind…
So far as its visual content is concerned, this post follows on from a piece I did a few years back, and as with that one, I will allow the photographs to do the most of the talking. During our current dystopian circumstances, I find these images of bridges have taken on added poignancy as symbols of freedom, and most pertinently, of travel. While I yearn for signs of a return of some basic common sense from both those who govern us, and most of those they govern, these low-key “BC” photos of bridges from a dream-like past help me retain a degree of sanity if not much hope…
From top to bottom: Amsterdam, Newcastle Upon-Tyne, Prague, Padua and Dusseldorf.
Cameras used, Nikon FE (using Agfachrome), Nikon D80 and Canon EOS 5
Essentially, photography is a form of visual, space-time distillation and isolation, especially when the subject matter is a person and / or people.
Painters such as Vermeer and Hopper achieved a similar effect in paint; that magical isolation of an instant and framing it for posterity.
Here is a small selection of my enhanced photographic examples of the “effect” from all over the place – but mainly Australia. And talking of Oz, is that Elle Macpherson, or her doppelganger I caught having a sneaky ciggy in Melbourne?
2016 has been a year of travel firsts for me: My first visits to New York City, Padua and Stockholm were all memorable in different ways – good and bad, but mostly good and sometimes extraordinary. Being in NYC during the second biggest blizzard to whitewash the Big Apple since records began was thrilling, and walking down all-but deserted, snow blanketed streets like Madison Avenue and Broadway was to experience a kind of benign apocalypse. These are the sort of memories which etch themselves so deep into the fabric of one’s being, they become a part of who one is.
While Padua and Stockholm offered nothing quite so spectacular, they did, in their own distinct and quirky ways impress and give pause. I returned from one feeling refreshed in spirit and from the other, in body, both to unusual degrees.
In purely colourist terms, the overriding impressions of the three cities were white and platinum, silver and blue and ochre and gold – I’ll leave it to the imagination of the reader to guess to which/what each refers…
In addition to travelling there were all the regular and irregular events and postings which go to make up a pretty typical year in the life of this blogger. Presented below is a snapshot record of those events and postings.
This then is me signing off for 2016, wishing all my followers, viewers and accidental visitors a wonderful Christmas, or Hanukkah (or both), a Happy New Year and loads of good luck for 2017.
Padua is most famous in the anglophone world at least for being the setting for Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, but its true importance lies in its role as one of the oldest and most important university cities in the world.
Arguably, the home of modern western medicine – indisputably the cradle of modern pathology – with strong associations to the likes of Galileo and Copernicus it’s legacy as a historic centre of scientific learning is only surpassed by Cambridge. (This is particularly interesting when one realises that Padua University emerged from Bologna University in a way very similar to the way Cambridge emerged from Oxford – at about the same time.)
However, as a warning to the prospective visitor to Padua, it should be noted that for all it’s academic glories (and a couple of fabulous artworks by Giotto and Donatello) it falls far short of most of its city neighbours so far as things like charm and gastronomy are concerned. Nevertheless, like all Italian towns, it finds a way to smile back when one points a camera at it.
Presented here are a series of enhanced photographic images through which I make an attempt to transmit the feeling of a stroll through Padua’s cobbled streets and along her narrow waterways…