Just as many of my fellow photographers do, I have a thing for old trees, I love their textured barks, their gravity, their endurance and their sturdiness and sheer survival – and so when I read about the oldest oak of Northern Italy within an hour’s drive of our summer cottage at Lake Como I knew I had found the goal for this day’s excursion.Read More
... cemeteries seem to magically attract me again ... I spend a fair amount of time on one or the other at the moment.
Mostly, I am touched by the quiet and serene mood right from the beginning. It kind of suits my current mindframe quite well - not that death is sitting in the living room again ( luckily! ) - but it sometimes seems I can feel the turbulences caused by his cloak when he turns away ...
Apart from that, I always feel reminded of Marcel Reich Ranicki's statement that there are but two themes in literature: love and death. Standing amid those old and silent graves I feel that this ist true for live as such: the most important topics worth thinking and musing about are those two. And it feels to me as if they merge in all cemeteries as such - but exceptionally in the Cimiterio Monumentale in Milan where you can find extraordinary monuments by really great sculptors of the 1900s.
Those monuments are really very very impressive.
And most of them show love in some form and expression. Very many show young females with not really much on them in way of clothing, some are even quite erotic (to be honest, after a while I asked myself if I could find some equally beautiful male examples - and found them 😉) .
I found myself touched over and over again not just by the artistry which was very impressive all in itself but I was very moved by those emotions that were cast in bronze or carved out of stone, emotions which have not changed in all the years and centuries - in pain and in love I found myself there over and over again.
The Burnside 35 lent itself quite beautifully to the task of capturing the serenity and the feeling if this place, I love how the swirl gives the pictures a kind of etheral quality and timelessnes. As well as the Burniside performed at landscape photography I even liked it better at those portraits and transporting the mood of this place.
In April, Lensbaby launched the Traveling Burnside Project, where you could try this new lens for two weeks. At the moment a lot of these burnsides travel all over the world - and for two weeks a Burnside 35 was with me.
Originally I know the Verzasca from my large format colleagues as a location for SW Fine Art Photography.
When studying and searching for routes in Google Maps (I have to admit, I sometimes do that along my morning coffee to cultivate my wanderlust a bit 😊 - formerly with atlases and road maps, today with the phone) I stumbled over this little place: Lavertezzo, a village at the Verzasca - and a little foraging revealed very quickly:
this something for me, I want to go there, too.
The Traveling Burnside Project was also a bit of a hitch to put that wish into action now - and so I found myself one morning in the small village of Lavertezzo to explore this beautiful river.
The first glance, however, was rather full of horror: everywhere I saw people with towels and picnic baskets! The river was literally besieged by bathing people, so apparently the Verzasca is not only a destination for photographers, but also for ordinary swimmers (something that always surprises me 😊)
So I went straight up the river until I could not see (or hear) the bathers any more - I did not have to go far, after a few meters I was on my own. ... and what a wonderful river landscapeI found! The textures of the stones, the many colors, the turquoise water with rapids and swirls: that was something to marvel about. And I saw quite perfectly, that one can take pictures here without end.
For the Burnside project, I did not want to work in black and white this time, so I packed the ND filter and practically did not take it off anymore.
However, I have to admit that I have only explored a tiny piece of the river, just around Lavertezzo a few hundred meters upriver and downriver - that certainly will not do justice to this landscape. Actually I think I would have to go there again for a few days, to see other corners as well (sounds like a plan for 2019?)