Thursday, 7 October 2010

Infrared Italy II: Venice

Venice in Infrared
Canon 10d / Samyang 14mm

Next up is the iconic Bridge of Sighs, which isn't shot in infrared. The advertising has been there for several years and is notorious for its obtrusiveness. The linked article, dated a week ago, speaks of a Bulgari advert, and describes a Coca Cola hoarding that was present in the summer of 2010; this is now gone, as you can see:

That was shot with a 5D MkII and an Olympus 24mm f/2.8, which I took because it's small and light. I must write a post about making up a small, light travel kit for your big, heavy full-frame SLR. Step one will be to sell the big, heavy full-frame SLR and buy a Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 and whichever Micro Four Thirds body suits your fancy.

Here's what the bridge looked like last year, if you had a fisheye lens and were me:

You'll notice that the "blue sky" backdrop isn't part of the adverts. It's actually there to hide scaffolding, and to be fair the scaffolding is essential and to be fair the backdrop is a lot more pleasant on the eye than the scaffolding and to be fair if the authorities accept that the backdrop is unavoidable, then the adverts only cause a small amount of extra ruination whilst bringing in much-needed funds and etc.

They say the adverts will be gone when the building work has finished, but with old monuments like this the building work is never finished. It just goes on. I suspect that people will eventually accept the adverts and come to love them as much as they love the bridge, and tourists will go to Venice to see the bridge and its famous advertising. The whole city is geared up to squeeze money out of visitors; without tourism it would have been abandoned and left to the sea years ago. It's a silly place to put a city, miles from supermarkets and with no cars. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.

Venice without advertising wouldn't be Venice; it is advertising. The palaces and churches and museums and so forth were all created to advertise wealth and power and influence, and now they advertise whoever can afford $40,000 a month for the space.