I won’t pretend to be a pro at photography – my DSLR manual sits somewhere, collecting dust, despite my annual resolution to learn my camera’s settings – but taking pictures is something I enjoy, to put it mildly. And I can trace one of the reasons for this love to my first visit to Venice’s Rialto Market, way back in June 2005.
On that, my first trip to Italy (and my first big trip abroad), I brought along my trusty point and shoot camera. I took hundreds of pictures that trip, many of them of the two most obvious things: monuments and my friends and I on our many inebriated nights out in Florence. And I treasure each one of those pictures, I do.
But it was looking at one of my friend’s photographs from Venice, and specifically his pictures from the Rialto Market, that made me think about capturing more: not just the broad strokes of a place, but the quiet colorful details, the small moments that give you the greatest sense of place. He took pictures of wine bottles with humorous labels, of overflowing crates of fresh fruit, of colorful ties lined up all in a row (a shot, you will notice, that I could not resist replicating nine years later). Looking through his photographs, I thought about how he captured the market just as I remembered it – and how I wanted to capture more too. And so, in the years since, I have tried to do just that.
It was only fitting, then, that I make a long detour through the Rialto Market on this trip. Weaving my way through its many stalls, I remembered why the place is such a font of photographic inspiration. Piles of produce, colorful collections of knickknacks, and all of it just steps away from Venice’s canals: in short, a photographer – or amateur photographer’s – dream. I poked around for a while, happily snapping away, thinking about my trip then, my life now, and all the little colorful details in between.