I’m in Venice his week. This afternoon I spent a bit of time watching the activity on the Grand Canal from a little wooden dock. On the way to Venice I saw a lot of photos where the tied up gondolas were blurred with the movement of the water. I decided to give this effect a try.
You can see a loaded ferry seemingly on a collision course with the rocks in this photo of Manarola’s harbor. What’s actually happening is people are boarding as the ferry is nosed up to the “ferry dock”. I put the ferry dock in quotes because it’s less a dock than a rocky coastline with a couple of cleats on it. The ferry noses up to it, and the crew roll out a gang plank for people to climb aboard as the boat pitches and rolls with the waves.
The first view of Lake Atitlan was from up high on a winding road. Across the lake I could see the volcanoes I had read about. They each had a cloud sitting on top of them like a little hat. I managed to catch this one before the cloud moved on as the day heated up.
The dock in the foreground is one of the lake’s ferry stops, the little white boat is a ferry. I couldn’t figure out if there was a schedule or if they just bounced around the lake. People would wait for quite a while for a boat to turn up heading to where they were going.
Today’s shot is of one of Lake Atitlan’s many volcanoes. This was taken while a tuk-tuk driver offered tours, eventually leading to my visit to the evil saint Maximon. It is one of the weirdest experiences I’ve had. If you haven’t seen the picture and read the story, I’d recommend you click here now.
Tikal was hot, really really really hot. The room I stayed in didn’t have any air-conditioning, all I had was two little fans. So, I’d have a few beers and read a bit of George Orwell’s 1984 to get me to sleep. This worked to get me to sleep; nothing could keep me asleep. As the sun began to peak up over the jungle, the heat started to climb and I rose out of bed. One morning, with nothing else to do, I set out with my camera gear and got today’s photo of a small boat dock with canoes available for rent tied up to it.
After arriving at Lake Atitlan, having left Antigua very early in the morning (a recurring theme of this trip was getting up early), we were rushed quickly to a waiting launch and took off across the lake. As we skimmed across the calm waters of Lake Atitlan, I was looking at the volcanoes growing up from the lakes edge.
As you know, I’ve visited Lake Como in Italy before. That morning, as I took in Lake Atitlan, all I could think was that a quote I’d read that morning was spot on:
“Lake Como, it seems to me, touches on the limit of permissibly picturesque, but Atitlán is Como with additional embellishments of several immense volcanoes. It really is too much of a good thing.” – Aldous Huxley
After arriving at our first stop I immediately sought a photo of the small boat dock and looming volcano over the water. I wanted to catch the cloud that seemed to be snagged on top of the volcano before it disappeared.
Here is another shot from my hour spent on the boat dock at the Tampa Bay Grand Hyatt. For this shot I decided to drop the camera down low and extend the docks reach for the horizon. It’s interesting to compare this photo to the other two I’ve already released:
These photos were all taken within about a half hour as the sun was rising. It goes to show just how much the light conditions change as the sun rises, and how hectic it can be taking advantage of the changes. It can also make it difficult to decide when the right time to take the shot is! I’ve had a number of occasions, for example when I was shooting Horseshoe Bay, where I think I’ve taken all the pictures I want and then suddenly something happens that offers a better photo to send me running around taking them all again.
While I was out on the dock at the Tampa Bay Hyatt a load of birds decided to settle on the end of the dock. It was like a scene from Hitchcock. I set up and took a few photos of the birds. As I moved closer more and more would get scared away. In the end I was left with one bird per lamppost. I knew at the time that having just the three birds spaced nice and evenly made for a nicer composition than the earlier flock.
If you’re interested in seeing the effect that the time of day has on the light in an image you can compare this image to the one shot from earlier in the morning, during the blue hour. Today’s photo was shot shortly before the sun appeared above the horizon behind me and the stark difference in colour is pretty clear. I think there’s about 20 minutes between the two images.