Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Unseen Florence

Dark corners in Florence. Those who step out in a new city with me are cursed by my fascination with side alleys and partially revealed views. I am for ever falling behind or investigating what lies off the beaten track.

(Even though these were taken in my Nikon and Provia film era, I will have used exposure compensation to preserve the right feel of light and shade)

In your typical Mediterranean town there will always be plenty of dark corners to investigate. I believe the hot summer sun, high land values and a splendid lack of town planning have driven the builders to place the city houses closer and closer together. They also build tall in Florence. All this creates canyons of shade and endless photographic temptation.

When you add to this mixture the ever present Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore or "Duomo" that can be glimpsed from time to time, you have many opportunities for the unexpected view.

It is well worth climbing the four hundred and sixty steps to the top of the Duomo, built by Filippo Brunelleschi. This affords some excellent views but is not for the short of breath. 

Nor is it suitable for the feint hearted. The protective handrail provided is fairly minimal. This final image is framed by one of the tiny openings that accompany the stone steps inside the hollow dome. It does not do to consider how much air there is below you at this point, or how much stone it is supporting....

"This dome looks rather dangerous. How often do people fall off it? "

"Usually only once."

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