Sunday 23 January 2011


When we first visited Venice, I – like most people – only had eyes for the place. The more we have re-visited, the more interested I have become in the people: not the tourists with their cameras, back-packs and pull-along cases, but the residents: the people for whom La Serenissima is home.

People-watching in Venice is not easy: there are very few places (other than outside the caffes) to sit and watch the world go by. The best observation-points are at vaporetto (water-bus) stops and on the boats themselves because, while the tourists are outside snapping the gondolas and the palazzi of the Grand Canal, the people who live and work in the city (especially in the winter) sit inside!

Here are a few of those Venetians (waiting for and on vaporetti) observed during recent visits...


Click on any image to view larger version via flickr



Venetians 1

Venetians 2



Winter fur

Not Amused
Here's a brace of Venetian couples on the streets where they live...


And one woman and her dog in what I still think of as one of my best photos: the sunlight and shadows, the pigeons in flight – almost, but not quite perfect! If only that man behind the woman wasn't there so she made a clearer silhouette...


And not forgetting this occasional resident...

David in hat

Images: Brian Sibley & David Weeks © 2008-2011

You can view more of our Venice photographs on my flickr Photostream


Andy Latham said...

Excellent photos Brian! You should really carry a sketchbook with you too. It's amazing what you see when you've forced to really look :)

Brian Sibley said...

I used to sketch a bit in Venice, but I'm just a doodler (totally undisciplined since my A-level Art days: I never quite capture what I see – still that applies to the camera, too!

Steven Hartley said...

Speaking of veterans, I noticed that a Veteran Disney animator& Imagineer Bill Justice who's aged 96 is still alive - and I found out his address, and I written a letter to him last week and delivered it to the post office. I wonder if he has some memories to share.

SharonM said...

Great pics - how many of your subjects were aware that you were snapping them?

Re the photo of David, the song, 'Where did you get that hat?' comes to mind.

Brian Sibley said...

Steven – I met Bill many years ago and he was delightful. I hope you hear back from him.

Sharon – Well, obviously, the man in the hat was! As to the 'other hat' (as modelled by Mr W) it has proved a god-send (well, via the internet actually!) to one who increasingly finds himself follically challenged...

Suzanne said...

Great photos Brian! Most of them look like stills from a movie!

Arts and Crafts said...

Oh, lovely photos Brian, congratulations.
I'm wondering, is a only a question of money, a question of temperature, or is a question of taste, everyone is in a kind of old fashion...???

Brian Sibley said...

Thanks for the compliments, Suzanne and Eudora!

In reply to Eudora's question: Venice in winter can be very cold – especially when travelling on water – and the majority of women have long and very expensive fur coats. Any fur-protester could have plenty of targets in Venice! Old-fashioned? Yes, I suppose so, but in keeping with a city where the occasional contemporary fashion shops and sexy lingerie stores seem a bit like naughty young children showing off in front of their parents!

Elena said...

Beautiful photos Brian!

Brian Sibley said...

Thanks Elena! Glad to have got to visit your fascinating blog!

I see you live in Milano, a city I have only ever visited once (and only for 24 hours – to help launch the Disney Blu-ray DVD of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)! But I did manage to get some dramatic shots of the Duomo at sunset which you will find here along with a few views of Florence and Pisa.