Generally my summers revolve around one thing: horses. My parents are both horse trainers in Upstate New York and my family is competitive at a national level, and so usually between the time school lets out in May and starts up again in late August/early September I find myself living and breathing horses. This summer, however, is different. Having moved to a city in northern England for graduate school, I find myself miles away from the nearest equid. Instead, my summer has revolved around something else near and dear to my heart: traveling.
I’ve been lucky, you see, in having the wherewithal to venture to places I’ve always wanted to go; to Greece to see the ruins and ride a donkey up the cliff side (something I’ll probably never do again); to Paris to see some art and climb Montmartre in the rain; to the Highlands of Scotland to drink real Scotch on the shores of Loch Lomond; and recently to Venice, somewhere that has always been a dream of mine.
That’s where this photo was taken, on the edge of a side canal at sunset, on my first night in the floating city. It was muggy, positively hot, and I was tired from a day of travel. Wandering some of the side streets after my first gelato, I stumbled across a little alleyway between two houses, catching a glimpse of the canal beyond. Glancing furtively around to see if anyone would yell at me, I hitched my camera strap atop my shoulder and slunk down, not sure if I was allowed to be there. The sidewalk ended as the waves lapped gently at the paving stones, the tide low, and an empty dock stretched out before me. The setting sun glinted off the waters, turning the usual turquoise of the canal to a deep, velvety black and casting shadows off the pylons. The light so strong I had to duck behind this column to try and get a shot, squinting my eye at the viewfinder, counting down to three before easing out and pressing the shutter, nearly going sun-blind as the light filtered through the lens. I feel that so much of my experience in Venice is captured in this shot: the old grandeur of the buildings, the modern influence of technology with the motorboats and the distant crane, and the serene feeling of being in just the right place and just the right moment in time.
By Jackie Hoyt [view more of Jackie’s work here.]