It could not be so. Fifteen days in Venice seemed like a long time during the planning stages of this adventure. Fifteen days as a visitor in any city should be enough. There have been places—the memories are sadly indelible—that have worn on my psyche after a single night. Fifteen days in Venice in the dead of winter, it should have been enough. It wasn't.
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Venice, Day 4. The office wasn't where it was supposed to be. And then when it was where it was, it was closed. This is the Italian bureaucracy. To ordered, logical minds it's infuriating. Yet, with some practice, dealing with the Italian *statali*, or government workers, can result in a pleasant, and altered, state of consciousness. Simply abandon your plans and any expectations. And find a bar.
It has been said many times that Venice is being loved to death. I wonder if photographing it hastens its demise? Do we become so jaded by the myriad images of Venice that they begin to bore us? How many photos of the campanile of Piazza San Marco can we look at before stifling a yawn? What do a million Internet photos of Venice do to our perception of this great place? How about a billion photos?
I'm trying to figure out exactly why I love the Hipstamatic app for my iPhone so much. Perhaps making images with it is more like play than work. When I fell in love with photography it was with the magic of image capture. The technology, the craft, the brain full of details all came later. It was the snapshot that got me hooked, not that five-hour sessions in the studio with complex lighting and large-format cameras.
I sit here in front of my Mac and look at the enticing row of applications on my dock. Bright and alluring, they remind me of my old crayon box. I once had the biggest box of crayons that Crayola made. Even though I loved the idea of so many colors I never, ever used them all—not even close. Mostly, I just liked the *idea* of having so many crayons. Eventually, I'd find a couple crayons that I liked and got to work. The fewer colors I worked with, the better the results seemed to be. Lessons come to us early in life. Perhaps the best way an artist can spark creativity is to establish limits. Sometimes we simply have too many creative choices.