24 January 2011

Romantic Italy......(this is a long one, so have a seat...)

Several years ago...
I went to Italy with my girlfriends
(doesn't sound romantic so far, does it?)

I had been set free from a failed
 marriage for only a year,
and I was desperate to feel something,
(anything) again.

So when a friend suggested that 
6 of us should go to 
Amalfi Coast,
I jumped on it.

 I am not good at waiting...
but we planned well,
saved our money,
made reservations,
got discounts,
worked extra hours,
and odd jobs,
to get there.

I was on a quest...
searching for the unknown...
 I found 
in many forms.

I had been a Flight Attendant 
in a previous life
and missed traveling tremendously. 
I had been a professional 
photographer, but had sold my 
equipment to pay for the divorce.

Italy was good for me....
she spoke my language....
she showed me that life goes on...
she awakened a lust for life....
she was my friend....

Italy, she is my inspiration.

 I found the wanderlust,
and the passion for documenting life....
I was reborn, in a way...
I could breathe again.

The sweet young couple above,
was found walking to St Peter's Square, 
presumably to have their photographer
(in tow)
take their wedding photos....
I saw that flash of white,
and trotted after them yelling 
(which in my head meant "Please stop and let this strange American woman take your photo!")
They very politely stopped and let me snap away.
Then, they were off!

Here is another story.....
it takes place in Venice.
I am on the Rialto Bridge,
and I look off to the side at the boats,
and YES! another white flash....
There she stood, sweetly, demurly, patiently,
as a half dozen men took her photograph.
They seemed to be everywhere,
with 35mm, Hasselblads, video, etc...
She was apparently very special.
But, she seemed to be modest also...interesting...

So, off I trotted again...
down to the side she was on..
and took up a position that would not interfere,
or irritate the professionals...

Now, I have reproduced this same photo several times....
changing it to B/W,
cropping a bit more each time....
to illustrate a point that I make with my brides....
Color is fabulous for conveying the 
mood of your day...

when you want to notice details....
and expressions....
B/W is the only way!
It eliminates the distraction of all the bright color,
and focuses your attention on the important
things....like a smile, a tear...a frown...
you get the picture 

Look at her necklace
her bracelet
her head piece...
you might not have ever noticed these details,
important ones, that she must have spent hours
deciding on...
had the photo always been in color.
Your eye would have been drawn to the flowers,
the water,
the boats,

All of which were lovely...

In the photo above, 
on the other hand,
look at the expressions!
You can almost read their minds.

So what has this guy to do with any of this....
well, he is perhaps the most romantic person 
in Rome on the day I shot these photos...
He apparently had decided that he was going to 
"Pop the question" 
with the help of his friends, 
in St Peter's Square,
in a way that she could not refuse...
he planned and co-ordinated the effort...
so that at an appointed time,
they would all stand in front of the fountain,
to have their photo taken,
and they would all produce a piece of paper....

Will....U....Marry...(decided to clap, Me)...?....Courtney......(Please, maybe?).....!

Courtney said YES!

So young, 
so happy,
so innocent,

These are not in chronological order....
but who cares?
They are so sweet!

Look at teh girl inthe pink scarf on the left!
and the girl with the question mark, tearing up..
and the guy with the sign already folded up 
and stowed under his arm....just smiling...

So, you see....
travel is good for the soul...
it makes you appreciate the comforts you have at home...
and, if you are lucky,
it will bring you a new perspective,
restore your outlook on life....
and inspire you to live again...

as a side note...
all of this photos were taken on film,
which at sometime in the past I have 
scanned into my computer.
Trouble is....I neglected to clean each and everyone of the 
hundreds of negatives that I scanned and thus there are some
squiggly white lines (lint) an dots (dust)....
I could go through them all in a fine program like 
Aperture....and fix them
but this girl has little time these days for cleaning negs....
she's been inspired!


  1. Travel and photography help us find our souls! So glad you rediscovered 'love' through the eyes of your lens in Italy!

    Kat :)

  2. Now THAT'S an exciting and romantic way for a newish divorcee to spread her wings and fly!

    And you're so right about color distracting from the fine detail in the photo. I always feel smarter when I hear a professional express opinions I share!!!!

  3. Beautifully captured Ellen, as always!

  4. Wonderful, fun post! I love all the beautiful photos! xoxo

  5. So romantic! Now I want to go to Italy - asap. I agree with the b/w vs. color - my favorite photos of my daughter's wedding are black and white.

  6. Just..... magnificent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)


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