Category Archives: Venice

Empty Venice…

Venice is a photographer’s delight. Everywhere you look are potential images. The trick is to empty the city of people, and that isn’t quite so easy…

Early morning works (only photographers get up before 6am…) or shoot across the water in the misty twilight.

I love slowing the exposures down so much that everything moving – boats, people etc – just disappears…

And then it’s good to find hidden corners, bridges and canals where occasional interlopers do appear, but seem quite arbitrary.

Visit Venice in the off season and it’s easy to appreciate its beauty, and not get too flustered by its crowds. And then, get up early morning to make the most of it…

 

For more info on Quest Photographic Tours, and the workshops I’m leading next year, please click on this .


Close shave in the Dolomites…

Feb half term is the annual family skiing holiday. A week of fun and adventure. Stories that we will talk about forever.

Sun and snow

Sun and snow

It all started at the airport. You know what SqueezyJet check in is like. Well, our group was 12 in total and the others had already been in line for 45 minutes by the time the Peck foursome turns up. Of course, we go to greet our companions, and somehow manage to jump the whole queue. Much dark muttering amongst the early morning seething mass. How to antagonise the Brits – jump a queue…

The kids are getting good!

The kids are getting good!

Conquer the mountain!

Free the mountain!

Charles and skiing have clicked. One private lesson for a couple of hours and he’s accelerated so fast I can’t keep up with him anymore. He announces “I’m a responsible skier” at lunch, and promptly smacks into his Mum, wiping her out in the afternoon.  Blimey he goes fast – the confidence of youth!

I think he's contemplating the perfect line...

I think he’s contemplating the perfect line…

Charles Tree (1 of 1)

Ah, to be young again…

Charles and fans

Charles and fans

The girls are rocking the ski school. 3 girls, and 3 champions, all winning trophies in their respective classes (phew! what would have happened if 2 won, and 1 didn’t…?)

Champions

Champions

Looking cool on the slopes

Looking cool on the slopes

Felix is chief mischief maker for the week, principally by refusing to ski. Mind you, he is only 3. His parents keep on dancing.

Felix, almost skiing.

Felix, almost skiing.

Any chance for a boogie

Swinging to the umpah music

A week’s fun in the Dolomites, and then, out of the blue, near disaster. Our transfer bus back to the airport gets hit by an avalanche at the top of the pass. The bus slews round and halts. We’re at the edge of the avalanche. Had we been 50 yards further on …., it doesn’t bear thinking about. We’re stuck until the snow plough can dig us out. We miss the plane. But no matter. We know we’ve been incredibly lucky.

Snow plough digging us out

Snow plough digging us out

Every cloud has a silver lining – in our case we have a day to kill in Venice whilst we wait for the next plane. Nothing like a close shave to make you appreciate the moment! And a family story, to last forever.

Enjoy every day!

Enjoy every day!


Playing with my Christmas presents…

I’ve been having a great time playing around with some of the Xmas presents. Best of all, this one was free! It’s an app called Snapseed, and I’ve decided I love it.

Young lady

It’s sits on my ipad, and lets me manipulate photos in an amazingly intricate way.

Venice flooding

You just have to play, re-investigate the 000s of photos from over the years. Here’s some from about a decade ago:

Northumberland coast

Mother-in-law's lilies

Bamburgh Castle at dawn

Portraits come to life in weird and wacky ways:

Mrs P

and Ms P

Landscapes become mysterious and slightly age-less:

Pisa, of course

The Dordogne

Menerbes, France

Even cars seem to take on a new personality:

Blackberry photos of BMWs

But maybe my favourite is the abstraction to be given to the nude. Check it out: ‘Snapspeed’. You’ll love it on an ipad.


2011 – a personal review

This blog is one year old, so I thought I would do a quick review of the last 12 months, in 12 pictures. If you want to read the blog page that lies behind the picture, just click on the caption and it will take you there. Magic!

Dec/Jan, Venice in the cold:

Feb: Blackberry photos of BMW dream machines

Mar: Sailing off Mersea Island

Apr: Spring has sprung

May: Bluebell woods

Jun: The Royal Wedding

Jul: Cars!

 Aug: memories of York

Sep: kids gossiping on holiday in Italy

 

 

Oct: Italy’s sexy statues

 

 

Nov: New York, New York!

Dec: London night scenes


How Snow, Sleet and Flooding Couldn’t Stop Me Photographing Venice!

Introduction: At last I have managed to get away for my photography trip to Venice. Four days dedicated to photos and nothing else (well, maybe a little wine along the way…) But the weather is trying as hard as possible to stop me. I’ve even been reduced to wearing my Wellington Boots to get into the office through the sludgy snow, much to the mirth of my colleagues – you will see that wellies have become a leitmotiv of this particular diary entry. So the following is the email trail of my adventure in Venice, illustrated with photos!

—–Original Message—–
From: Peck Tom
Sent: 02 December 2010 08:44
To: Assorted colleagues at work, who of course didn’t give a toss that I was stuck…
Subject: F*ffing weather

Bloody hell. Gatwick closed again. How crap is that. So now going via circuitous route. Heathrow, Rome, finally Venezia. Arrive some god awful time. Why are we so crap when we get 2″ snow??? Kerri, you are a girl who can deal with 10m drifts. What’s the answer? Tp

From: Petherick Kerri (who, being Canadian, is not phased by a bit of the white stuff…)
To: Peck Tom;
Sent: Thu Dec 02 04:05:49 2010
Sorry to hear about the morning snow drama – but just think, you will be in Venice at some point…

Definitely can deal with the snow, but apparently the local transport cant as it took me about 2 hours to get into the office today…why can London and Gatwick not deal with Snow?

From: Peck Tom
To: All of those colleagues and ‘friends’
Sent: Thu Dec 02 06:52:52 2010
Subject: Re: F*ffing weather

I’m stuck at heathrow. But, reckoning that my luck must be about to change (for the better of course!) I’ve blasted 30 quid on those supercar lottery tickets you see everywhere at airports. Shite weather means I’m bound to win the Aston! Logical. (Isobel [that’ll be the wife…] – keep your hair on – I got 6 tickets for that, yes 6!) What is it about airports that makes you spend spend spend?

(I’m gonna turn all this into a blog when I get back and publish it)

Come on England! For the bid and for the Ashes!!!

TP

—–Original Message—–

From: Berry Clive
Sent: 02 December 2010 13:29
To: Peck Tom;
Subject: RE: F*ffing weather

Farmer Peck, I hope you have your wellies?

—– Original Message —–
From: Petherick Kerri
To: Peck Tom;
Sent: Thu Dec 02 07:31:05 2010
Subject: RE: F*ffing weather

Good luck  – I am sure you have about just as much chance of winning the car, as the UK does of actually being able to handle a little snow fall.

—– Original Message —–
From: Peck Tom
To: Friends and colleagues
Sent: Thu Dec 02 12:13:31 2010
Subject: Re: F*ffing weather

Thanks for your warm words of comfort and support. Its good to know where your friends are.

So right now I’m in Rome, which as the geographically astute amongst you will realise, is not venice. No, I am going the long way round because of all the crapness at Gwick.

On the flight I happened to sit behind Paul Young, the rather ageing rocker. I kept humming the song about where to lay my hat (in my case obviously a furry ridiculous one which has given Clive and Kerri much mirth material- they have a photo). I may have hummed a bit too loud cos he gave me a bit of a look when we got off. Jesus, you’d think he’d be pleased anyone remembered any of his rubbish songs (did he do any others?)

How come Russia got the WC? Bloody hell the BBC has shafted us. We should all email them and say that the economic value of the WC should be deducted from nxt yrs licence fee. Public interest indeed!

Next stop, La Serennissima! (That’s Venice, in case you didn’t know).

Keep the replies coming – all good material for the blog.

TP

—– Original Message —–
From: Peck Tom
To: All of them …
Sent: Thu Dec 02 15:43:55 2010
Subject: Re: F*ffing weather

Made it! On a vaporetto going up the grand canal. Keep getting glimpses into the palazzo (palazzi?). Huge chandeliers and big paintings on the wall. Feels like the 18th century.
The vap man says tomorrow will be high tide and San Mark’s will be flooded. Did I bring wellies? I can’t believe it! After the abuse I got from colleagues about the wellies, now I really need them! Bugger.
TP

—– Original Message —–
From: Berry Clive
To: Peck Tom;
Sent: Thu Dec 02 15:54:57 2010
Subject: Re: F*ffing weather

Trust me, you don’t need those wellies in Venice. If you do wear them please pretend your German

—– Original Message —–
From: Peck Tom
To: The usual lot…
Sent: Thu Dec 02 16:29:15 2010
Subject: Re: F*ffing weather

Just bought very fetching red waders from the concierge in prep for the flood. I will provide a photo tomorrow. Tp

—– Original Message —–
From: Peck Tom
To: Them again ….
Sent: Fri Dec 03 04:14:03 2010
Subject: Re: F*ffing weather

OMG!!!!

The place is flooded, I mean REALLY. My hotel has got about a foot + half of water in the lobby. You cannot get out without getting wet. Isobel [wife] – the Loubertins would suffer, this is not for you (but the kids would love it!)


Up at 7 to take photos of S Mark’s under water, proudly wearing my bright red waders. Up to my knees in tidal lagoony slightly pongy water, and guess what happens…   they leak! (I can hear Clive and Kerri chortling already). Bloody f@*#ing hell! So my whole first photo shoot I have sodden feet.


Mind you, I’m from Yorkshire so a bit of smelly water isn’t putting me off. Tripod in the aqua and long shutter times to get those swaying gondola shoots, v atmospheric…

I abandon waders and just accept the fact that I’m going to be drenched to the thigh all morning. Even more amusing for you London people will be the fact that I had long johns on under the trousers, so doubly coldly drenched.

So I have succumbed and bought another pair of wellies (linda – wellies not willies… [Linda is Hungarian and has got a bit mixed up…] ) Yes, you can laugh some more at farmer Peck.

(God I deserve that Aston)

Ciao

TP

—– Original Message —–
From: Peck Tom
To: London lot…
Sent: Sat Dec 04 07:49:12 2010
Subject: Re: F*ffing weather

Isobel, I take it back! This place is for you and the loubies. And I’ve found a shop that sells just the sort of wellies that you would like. Enough high class fashion here to keep you happy for days and days.

Many photos taken – about 200 so far, and then a jolly good booze up last night. Duffers would be proud of me, managed to be last man standing in Harry’s Bar. But not feeling quite so Hemingway this morning, and I’m avoiding Bellinis for the rest of my life!


Flood is back again. I kid you not – there was a woman paddling in the middle of S M’s square wearing a wet suit and flippers this morning. Quite fetching actually, especially when I asked her to pose for me (for a photograph..!)

And I’ve come across the weirdest shop ever. The target market must be gay aids men because its got a huge male mannequin in the window sporting glitter pants embroidered with the logo ‘love your virus’ (?!?!?) Sod that, I’m off to photograph the Rialto bridge.

Ciao

TP

—–Original Message—–
From: Peck Tom
Sent: 06 December 2010 12:59
To: My dearest colleagues and friends in Blighty…
Subject: Re: F*ffing weather
Blimey oh f*#fing riley! Nightmare getting out here, nightmare getting back. Flight home is delayed by 3 hours due to ‘climactic conditions’ and I’m beginning to suspect I’m going to be stuck here in Marco Polo Airport overnight. Easyjet is rubbish and I want to get back to business class travel McDonald’s Euro style…

Yesterday I was out on one of the islands in the laguna (oh I’m so getting on with the lingo…) Burano and the colourful fishermen’s houses – think Tobermorey on speed. So did the colour snaps and then focused on a stump-like pole in the water. Very minimal – very Art! Ansel Adams eat you heart out.

 

Back in Venezia got completely lost looking for the Arsenale (duffers – that’s not the footie team) and when I did find it, discovered it was covered with scaffolding. Not very photogenic. Canaletto would have just ignored the scaffolding, but hey – painting is a doddle compared to the verite of the silver image!

Dinner in a swanky restau with a snooty waiter. In fact I’m pretty sure he swung the other way. In fact I bet he had those ‘love my virus’ underwear on that I may have mentioned in an earlier missive. Prat, but at least the wine was good.

Wish I were home!!!

Ciao bella figas/figos

TP


And thus my adventure ended. All good fun, and I’m quite pleased with the pics. Let me know what you think!!!

If you would like to see more pix, please head over to my flickr site:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tompeck/