When I first got to Venice, Italy, in 1963, I was most fascinated by the gondolas. There really is nothing like them anywhere I’ve been in the world. I trudged through Venice, mesmerized, as we all are, at the unique quality of the water-based city. I was constantly amazed by the surrealist quality of the gondolas as they crisscrossed the canals.
They possessed a gesture like no other.
I walked and walked, trying to find a shot that would convey my delight with them. To no avail. I would never get “the” shot I wanted.
Finally, I did find it.
A group of gondolas at rest, reflections, curves, color, and line working together. I stayed for hours and finally came up with some images that worked for me. Magic light, color, and gesture.
This was the best part of my day.
The worst part of this day was my aggressive search for the gondola shot I wanted.
Without a doubt, I lost many other shots and was not aware of things right in front of me because I was not open to them.
It was the first time I became aware of how I was my own worst enemy, searching so hard for one thing that I lost the bigger picture.
The most important thing I learned is that, no matter what specific thing you’re searching for, no matter what you’re hoping for, don’t put on visual or emotional blinders.
They will severely limit your work.