It always amazes me when you’re out there photographing and you think you’ve made a picture that is your personal vision only to see it similarly composed by someone else. HA – how did they know that spot/location, you might ask yourself? But in the case of Venice, well what spot hasn’t been photographed – again and again? And so it is with a sense of humor and amazement that I post the pictures of Venice here, because a colleague has just published a wonderful little e-book on Venice and a similar image is his cover. I’m on David du Chemin’s email list because I purchased his Inspired Eye Vol 1 – after I was intrigued with the idea of e-books. The fact that I had reserved that name as a website domain – but not used it yet – was also uncanny. I won’t go into the two other parallels I’ve discovered.
And then today, he posted a give-away canvas print on his blog that is very similar to the image of the Gondolas you see here, at dusk. OK, there are tripod holes in the pavers, just about, for as many pics that have been made along this stretch of St. Mark’s, but I still find it very interesting how similar the pictures are – and neither his nor mine had been published anywhere yet! He was just in Venice in May 2010, about the time I was, apparently. Amazing. Neither of us saw the other person’s image of the lamps and storm light, so how did that happen?
I think these occurrences show that there are like minds, in this world, that no matter how individual you might be, you just might have a similar eye to someone else out there. And that scenes like these abound in our world, and when the photographer is open to what’s there, they’ll ‘discover’ them. Reading what I have of David’s philosophy and approach to photography, I can see we are kindred spirits. If you haven’t bought his book Within the Frame: A Journey of Photographic Vision, I would highly recommend it. And his e-books! I’ll have my own out within the next few months, hopefully, but meanwhile you’ll learn a lot from his. And, just to be different, 🙂 I’m posting this image of a trio of Gondolas reflected in the lagoon that I hope David doesn’t have!
I wasn’t saying we all have the same filters. What we choose to see isn’t the same as what we’re capable of seeing. What we choose to see is up to us. Even tho our perceptions have been shaped by filters a lot of those filters are superficial, skewed, inherited without thought etc. Racism for example. Creating anything that resonates within another person takes practice, skill and understanding how we “see” on some level. Highlighting our emotional experiences and coming across other people who have chosen to highlight the samethings reinforces the fact that humans percieve things the sameway. Ironically someone else having the same racist ideas destroys the essence of racism. Whether we agree with someones view or not, or whether it resonates or not, we can still see what they were seeing because we’re all human, was what I was trying to say. I think arts a celebration of being a creative human amongst other humans with the same needs, emotions, and capacity for creativity. I think Ansel Adams meant something along those lines in his quote. Something like ‘Get rid of your filters so you can see more’, so to speak.
I think seeing is like walking, it’s a system we’ve all got built in. It’s the reason we’re capable of appreciating other peoples work. It all follows from the fact that we’re humans.
Hi Kalani –
good to hear from you again. Yes, we do have ‘seeing’ built-in, but I think that seeing is changed over the years as we grow, by the ‘filters’ of life’s experiences we have. Ansel Adams talked about making pictures with ‘all the people we have loved, the books we’ve read, the music we’ve heard, etc.’ and I’d agree. Those experiences helped me see nature and the world in a way my sisters don’t see it. They are always amazed at what I ‘bring home’ from a trip – in pictures – compared to their pictures. One sister is a painter – and she sees well, but differently, still. The other two just don’t see photographically! But they are creative in other ways.
Thanks for your comments…
Great Venice images Brenda. Love the lighting, storm clouds, Gondolas and reflection in the lagoon. The spirit and magic of Venice and how it has influenced many art forms.
As it is said, “Great minds think alike…” which in meaning, typically is associated with “great people think about things in similar ways.” Visions…, seeing is believing…, kindred spirits…, Déjà vu…, tripod holes in pavement… seeing beyond…
Reminds me of an experience I had years ago when I was photographing in Yosemite and was approached by two tourists carrying an old b&w post-card photo that Ansel Adams had taken (way back when). They requested that I point out where the location was so that “they too” could stand where Ansel stood and take a similar image. I explained it was not that simple… especially that the image they had was taken over 60 years ago. During such time, the trees had grown and areas in the park had changed. Nonetheless, they wanted “that” image…
As they were near a location where a similar image could be created, I kindly explained that they should look at the image, be inspired from it and then make their “own” moment, vision and statement accordingly. … They thanked me, walked around and took a few images. I took their picture with their camera so that they would have that as well. …
Thereafter, they pulled out another Ansel Adams picture and inquired where to go? …
Nice to know that Ansel was still leading a spiritual workshop in Yosemite with these two tourists… and all the others that are inspired from images that they have seen.
The cycles continue… the paths we take… the footsteps… the visions and influence we share with words, images, art and simply sharing experiences with others.
Again, great images and post Brenda.
Thank you Stefan. I love Venice when it’s doing magical things like this. Otherwise it’s hot, humid and crowded – but the magic lies just under the surface of all of that…
Great story on Yosemite – I’ve had similar experiences where people ‘needed’ to get that same image that they resonated with in somebody’s collection/postcard, etc. Ansel would be so honored to know that all those years they carried that image with them in their hearts. And yes, he’s leading a spiritual workshop indeed! Well put.
I enjoyed your comment about tripod holes in the pavers as it reminded me of the Kodak photo points that were marked around Disneyland in the late ’50s and early ’60s. The idea of the Kodak photo spots was that you could get a great shot that would make a great memory of your visit to the park. You still had to put a bit of thought into the shot to get the best image but how many teenagers would have that kind of sight or patience? I didn’t. I had to hurry to the next ride to be able to get in a day of fun.
Speaking of being in a hurry to get it all in, I remember visiting Rothenburg ob der Tauber while I was stationed in Germany. A group of tourists on a bus tour had just come into the old town center and all I heard was “Gene go over to the fountain so I can take your picture, then you can take mine. We need to hurry because we have more things to photograph and we have to be back at the bus in thirty minutes. We have three more cities today.” I thought they aren’t getting very good images, aren’t really enjoying their visit and will have a bunch of been there done that memories with no depth of experience. I’d rather see less but in more depth.
Your images of Venice are beautiful and David’s are very similar. It’s a bit of serendipitous good fortune to see both sets of images from such a beautiful setting. Thanks for sharing.
Great thoughts, Jim. Yes, I remember those Kodak spots – they’re still there on Pier 39 in San Francisco, I believe! Yeah, we all rushed in our teen years. Maybe getting a bit older and slowing down is a great thing after all – ha ha. What an funny yet sad in a way story about the tourists on the bus schedule. I agree with you – see less, experience more is my motto!
Hi Brenda, I agree there are those with similar eyes and vision. Just saw that lately at a workshop I attended.
As for David’s work, I have read his book “Within the Frame” and it is very good – I may get his ebook now that you mention it. Look forward to your ebook down the road. What are you using to create yours?
Hi Stacey – glad you’ve enjoyed David’s book. As to my ebook – I’ll be using InDesign, most likely. Similar enough to Quark that I used to know, so I figured it might be the most efficient way to do it. Then again I might find some out of school for the summer kid who is InDesign savvy and have them build it for me with my overseeing the project. But I guess I have to be home for the summer too, and that isn’t possible with my current schedule.