I took a picture of a gondolier and thought, Hey there’s an idea, I’ll photograph gondoliers and their amazing faces. But everyone snaps gondoliers, so I began taking pictures of Venetians steering all the other boats on the canals and lagoon.
Their helm stares are fascinating - attentive, focussed on the water ahead, yet at the same time miles away. External and watchful, internal and thoughtful. A stare you can feel even through their designer sunglasses. The non-gondoliers, unless they are physically propelling their craft, are still, standing or sitting almost in a state of repose, while moving through a constantly fluid waterscape.
One of the delights of Venice is the way every day land functions, delivering a fridge, collecting rubbish, speeding paramedics to an emergency, become waterborne. An unnatural environment so natural to non-gondoliers that, with most of these pictures, if you cut out the boat and the watery backgrounds, they could easily be standing in a bar, chatting in a garden chair, or standing at a bus stop skimming Twitter.
I looked hard for women non-gondoliers and began to think I’d not find any, then on the last day a pod of canoeists shot along the Lido then, as darkness fell on the Grand Canal, our vaporetto overtook the couple texting.
"You'll know when you arrived".
Lazy Afternoon in Venice (Italy)
Meeting a musical soul as he busks his way across Europe
Getting lost, once again
Watching the remnants of the setting sun
Playing on the edge of the Adriatic Sea
Basking in the Adriatic sun among the canals of Venice
Eating breakfast in the sun on the edge of a canal
Exploring Venice once the crowds have departed