Leaving beautiful Venice. Great week, as one would expect in this incredible place. Last year, when I taught here, we wandered in as a group to the Ostaria Sora al Ponte, a small eatery at the foot of one of the myriad bridges. I literally can’t recall laughing that hard, that long. The gentlemen who run the place, Marino and Mario, should take their more than slightly tipsy act to Vegas. They would be headliners in a heartbeat. Marino runs the front of the shop, Mario cooks. Collectively, they tipple their way through the day, laughing, tweaking, debating and generally disapproving of their customers if said customers appear cautious, quiet, sober or don’t want any dessert. If you are wise, you go with the flow and get into the spirit(s) of the establishment, and kiss your sobriety goodbye almost immediately. Last year, I barely ate, though I remember drinking a lot and laughing even more.
Well, we did it again.
Jonathan and Marzia of the VSP Workshops and I threw caution to the winds and wandered in there. About the same time, a lanky redhead walked in with short shorts, legs long enough to get an NBA tryout and killer stilettos. Marino immediately began telling her his legs were better than hers’. Naturally, photographically speaking, I joined the debate.
Of course, Marino insisted on further comparisons.
Photographically speaking, I figure my legs are about plus 3 EV. (Photo by Jonathan Maher) Recalled a time, many, many moons ago, when a bunch of us were in Las Vegas for the Larry Holmes-Jerry Cooney heavyweight bout. What you did back then was shoot film tests, soup it at the local lab, and eyeball the results before the fight. We were all hanging around poolside when the test Ektachrome arrived, and various shooters pulled out their loupes and wanted to use my back for a light table. Ouch!
The observers of all this silliness were of course the regulars. I believe I remember these faces from last year. In fact I’m not sure any of them have ever left the bar.
Next morning, up at dawn and in the Piazza San Marco, where we photographed a decidedly more beautiful pair of legs, those belonging to the lovely ballerina, Francesca.
Many thanks as always to Jonathan and Marzia of the VSP workshops, who create a wonderful environment for a workshop. Also, a huge thank you to Marco Tortato, who represents the photographic division of Vitec here in Italy. He helped us with everything from Gitzo tripods to Manfrotto grip equipment to Lastolite diffusers and Skylite panels. Our class was stylin’ to be sure, thanks to him and his generous support.
In Madrid airport now, pre-dawn. (What else?) On the way to Dubai to teach at the Gulf Photo Plus. An amazing workshop with a great group of instructors. (I think everybody in the Strobist community should chip in a buck or two and charter a 747 to Dubai for David Hobby’s classes. In between my schedule, I’ll be slipping into the back of his lectures, Chase Jarvis‘, Bobbi Lane, Ben Willmore….you name it, the list goes on.)
Speaking of Chase, I owe him several beers and a steak the size of Texas. He graciously took over my first class as I am running late to Dubai. After leaving Venice, I have been off the internet and kind of out there a bit in a mysterious land surrounded by a yellow border:-) Many Thanks, Chase!