Daily Inspiration #159 by Steve Gosling

Hi Steve

A while back you posted some of my B&W pinhole images well here’s something completely different! 3 Colour photos from a recent trip to Venice taken with my Leica M9 (all with a 50mm Summicron).

I went to Venice primarily to recce a workshop I’m running there next year and prior to going (having been to Venice a couple of times before) I was trying to think about how I would photograph the complexity, the paradoxes and the intrigue that characterises Venice for me. Then I read a quote in a book I’m reading and the idea started to form from that: –

“To Charles Dickens Venice was a ‘ghostly city’ and for Thomas Mann it was a darkly seductive curiosity – ‘half fairy tale, half snare’. I understood why so many stories set in Venice were mysteries ………… Reflections, mirrors and masks suggested that things were not what they seemed” (from ‘The City of Falling Angels’ by John Berendt).

This sums up how I feel about Venice – it is a surreal place (the obvious thing is there are no roads and no cars; but it goes much deeper than that – beneath the beauty lies a darker, edgier side). So I photographed Venice reflected in shop windows to capture what I feel about the city – the images are complex (and therefore take time to read), they are multi-layered (it’s hard to work out what is ‘real’ and what is reflection), they hint at its more sinister aspects and they are definitely surreal! One of the reasons that I cross processed the images (hence the whacky colours) is to emphasise the surreal nature of the place.

Although the images are a new direction for me they remain true to my core principle – that we should respond to and try and capture what we feel about (as much as what we see in) a subject.

I hope that you like them and see them as worthy of a slot in your Daily Inspiration feature.

Let me know if you need any more information.

With best wishes

Steve Gosling


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  1. Definitely interesting work, probably the most complex reflection shots I have ever seen. Each one of these is just one shot? Not layered in PS? Thanks for sharing.

  2. I appreciate the risk of turning out the usual cliched image of Venice makes you want to experiment but I shall have to be a dissenting voice here, these for me at least are frankly uninspiring, and dare I say a waste of the M9’s potential.

  3. Snare is right! Love these! Your article reminds me of when I was in Las Vegas a few years back. Standing outside the hotel, looking at the water fountain display and marvelling at the beauty I looked down for a moment and between the wall and the street I saw movement, a closer look revealed lots of cockroaches crawling, just below the surface. No matter how many beautiful pictures of Vegas I see, it is the sight of those cockroaches crawling underneath the facade that stays with me.

  4. I really like the complexity and layering of these photos. They really draw me in and make me want to study the details.

  5. True genious Steve!
    I loved your pinhole shots. I was talking to someone about them yesterday in fact but I forgot your name, so know I know again.
    Thanks for sharing

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