Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Italy, Venice - Then & Now - Part 1

Earlier this year we were fossicking through a small bookshop in the suburb that we live in. The owner specialises in old books and we spent quite a few hours there. We were about to leave with a handful of old travel guides when the owner suggested that we have a look at another box that he had out the back. In this box we found several small old books called "Ricordo di Venezia" & Ricordo di  Napoli". Well, we really wouldn't call them books, they're more like ornate versions of a concertina postcard book (without being postcards!!). Strangely there is no details whatsoever mentioning a date or publisher of these books, however with some research we believe the Venice book is circa 1930 (mind you, we are not sure how old some of the actual photos are). Each image has text in 4 languages (Italian, French, English & German), so they were obviously produced as a souvenir item for travellers. Funny enough, all of the locals we met in both Venice & Naples had never seen them and were fascinated by these books which led to quite a few doors being opened for us in our quest. 

Having been to Venice & Naples several times, these books really got our creative juices flowing. As a result we thought we would do a series of "then & now" style images. How hard could that be? Simple right! Just go to Venice and take the photo from the same spot, a bit of editing and "bobs your uncle"- easy. Well, how naive we were. Many of the shots were now just impossible to do, not because of the crowds but simply because access to the spots were no longer allowed and were at times so frustratingly close yet inaccessible.

We have tried to get the images as close to the original as possible however this has not always been possible but it gives you pretty good idea of the "then & now" concept. We have used Photoshop to blend some of the original image into the new photo to enhance the concept.

2012
Book circa 1930 (image looks older!)



The text at the back of this image in the book is as follows -

"This Canal is most characteristic and of notable beauty. The <campanile> which is seen - one, of the most stately of Middle Ages - is annexed to the Church of S. Barnaba, and was built by the architect Boschetti in 1749. This church boasts of pictures by Titian."

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