Acqua Alta, Piazzetta, Venice | Mark Lindsay

Every day I scan my library of images to find one that resonates with me. It's my way of stirring the creative energies necessary to write this blog. Mostly, I've been trying to stay with recent photos, ones that seem in close proximity to my consciousness. Today I'm digging deeper back into the archives. Maybe it's because I heard from an old, dear college friend this week.

Photography is partly about archiving memories. There is this compulsion we have for collecting and saving things. We want to grasp onto things cherished, memories that might (will) fade to nothing seem so very ephemeral and therefore precious. Of particular interest to this bucket of artifacts are photos of places exotic. If we are lucky enough to visit strange and wonderful places we simply must bring our camera. We must record these places. We must prove we were there and hold on tightly to the recollections.

The exotic is different than the mundane. Images of places we see rarely or once in a lifetime are different than the quotidian sights of our neighborhood, our street. Familiarity dulls the senses, makes us unconscious to the miracles that exist everywhere. One must be truly present to see what is in front of us most every day. Like a wall poster that becomes invisible even weeks after we hang it, we tend to lose awareness of things we look at all the time.

So, there is a case to be made to focus on photos closer to home. They are harder to make because the subjects don't seem so special, so rare, or so exotic. But there is nothing more special than what we see every day. How we might bring new vision to the dailiness of life is a noble endeavor.

There is nothing wrong, however, with a special image from a special place. And, as Venice is always in my heart, I share with you today an image of La Piazzetta of St. Mark's Square, flooded by the acqua alta. The acqua alta is the high tide that floods Venice, mostly in the winter. Though lovely here, it can be quite destructive, particularly to the shops and business of the San Marco area.