Venice in Motion | WordPress Photo Challenge

Emergency on the Grand Canal - Venice
Emergency on the Grand Canal – Venice

Whilst on a short break in Venice last week, it was fascinating to watch the speeding ambulances make their way through the very busy daytime waters of the Grand Canal. Whizzing along so fast with sirens blaring, the Vaporetto Buses, Water Taxis, Delivery Barges, Gondola and everyday Venetian vessels always skilfully managed to manoeuvre out of their way, allowing a safe transfer to hospital of the occupants. How the Gondola passengers, caught up in the quite violent motion of the wake from the ambulance did not end up being tipped into the canal is a testament to the skill of the Gondoliers of Venice.

This speedy ambulance was captured from the landing dock of the San Cassiano Ca Favretto hotel. Dating from the fourteenth century, the building was once the home of Giacomo Favretto a celebrated Venetian painter. It was the home for many years of some important Venetian families before it became a hotel featuring splendid Venetian style furnishings, Murano chandeliers and antiques.

Located a short walk from the San Stae Vaporetto stop, close to local markets, a leisurely 10 minutes walk from the bustling Rialto Bridge area, 15 minutes walk to Saint Mark’s Square, an easy one stop Vaporetto ride to the Ca d’Oro (The Golden House) on the opposite side of the Grand Canal and with an abundance of  local restaurants on its doorstep, the San Cassiano is a great place to stay in a slightly quieter location, away from the main Venetian tourist hubbub.

Afloat {Weekly Photo Challenge}

Pearls on the Water
Pearls on the Water

Pearls on the Water is my interpretation of the WordPress photo prompt for this week – Afloat.

Having become increasingly more drawn to learning about Miksang contemplative photography, I found these reflections on the water of Weeping Willow tree branches, pearl-like bubbles afloat atop them, reflected both my contemplative mood and tranquil atmosphere while walking around a favourite local pond.

Miksang is a Tibetan word meaning “good eye.” It represents a form of contemplative photography based on the Dharma Art teachings of Chögyam Trungpa, in which the eye is in synchronisation with the contemplative mind.

Using Michael Wood’s Miksang technique of starting by picking a spot, closing my eyes and with eyes closed turning 45 or 90 degrees then opening them really fast for maybe a second, then closing eyes really fast again to repeat the sequence, seems to be helping with finding a fresh approach to photography. Michael’s video on YouTube explains it much better than I have here – the explanation comes at around 7.48 mins into the video. Take a look, it’s a fascinating approach to photography.

Wanting to experiment with processing this shot into black and white, I’ve re-blogged the photo on The Monochrome Muse giving camera settings. Pop over and take a look – does the image work in black and white do you think? I’d love to know what version you prefer.

West Wing in Colour

Ascott House
Ascott House, Buckinghamshire

A few more details about the house, together with a much larger  black and white version of this photograph, can be found at The Monochrome Muse photo blog.