Some pictures


I made a lot of photographs on our recent trip to Italy. Some were bad and immediately tossed, others were nice and coherent and offer a good record of our visit, and some are quite good. I made photographs on my iphone, which were pretty immediately uploaded to instragram and facebook. I made many more images with my camera that I am just now uploading and editing and preparing to publish on my blog since I know many of my blog readers don't subscribe to instagram and facebook.
I'm not going to post these in any particular order, no running, chronological commentary of our four weeks in Italy. These will just be pictures I like, pictures that ask questions, pictures that maybe communicate some of the utter enthusiasm I was feeling while photographing in a new and visually-stimulating place. I haven't been this excited about making photographs in some time. 
Some of the pictures will have writing with them,
many won't. 
Here's one of the last I made.

Fiumicino, Italy April 26, 2017

Fiumicino, Italy April 26, 2017


It's our last day, the last few hours really.
Soon, we'll be on one of those planes, 
heading west, back to reality, in a sense.

We booked a room in a fancy hotel in a fishing village
near the airport. 
The village itself is small, well-placed
at the conjunction of the Tiber River and the Tyrrhenian Sea.
A balcony overlooked the harbor and jetty with boats readied for their morning run. 
I vowed to see them off.

Our last night. We stayed up late.
Our last taste of wine on Italian soil,
the last pasta with fish.
Walking along the jetty.
Taking full advantage of our well-appointed room.
Free wifi, hot shower with great pressure, quiet,
a big comfortable bed.
I rose at six. 
The boats were long gone.

So, I walked.
Wanting the air, and the morning light,
thinking there may be a final picture to be had.
I see two men on the jetty casting lines into the sea.
They're far away and it's not a very good picture,
but I raise my camera anyway.
Inexplicably, with his back turned, one senses me. 
And he's not happy I'm there, camera in hand.
He's yelling in Italian, I don't know what, 
but, of course, I do.

I thought,
this is the age-old issue between locals and
tourists who see them as visual objects, 
memories to be captured.
Or perhaps,
he believed my presence would impede his fishing
and ruin his beautiful morning.
Reasonable enough.
But I wonder,
if this is not a simple clash of civilizations.
An invasion of tourists with cameras, and luggage,
and big hotels, and money. 
Wanting what the locals have had for centuries.
At least a memory of it.

I turn and walk away,
embarrassed by my insensitivity,
but also pissed at the man's hyper-sensitivity. 
The walkway is littered with all manner of
cigarette butts, plastic, broken glass, clothing, garage. 
It struck me as an act of defiance -
no, we will not clean up for the tourists.

I see another fisherman. He sees me.
I stop. He ignores me. 
A plane flies by. 
I think, that's me. 
Leaving, but caught on the end of his line.