Reflecting on Life as Night Falls in Venice

Life and beauty aren’t always found in brilliant light.

Maybe this is a brief, passing phase, but I’m finding myself increasingly fascinated with the “darker side” of existence. Night falls, literally and metaphorically, in life and we have the choice to resist the dark or explore, with curiosity, its gifts.

My photography, my camera is my journal.

Recently, a dear friend and accomplished photographer came to visit. The photo above was taken just after we had toured an inspiring photo exhibition of Willy Ronis at Tre Oci on the Giudecca in Venice. Many of the photos were masterful renderings of how night falls in various settings. I was inspired, and I promised myself I would double my resolve to learn the ropes of capturing nighttime photography. I also realized that this fascination with the darker side of life mirrors my willingness to face my shadow side.

What particularly drew me to the above scene was the man leisurely walking his dog and pausing under a street lamp while the stacks of platforms that become the emergency sidewalks when Venice has high water ominously wait to be put to use.

Night falls on our ideas about how life should be, how it should progress.

I’m done with chasing perennial sunshine and bright colors. Don’t get me wrong, those things haven’t lost their appeal. They’ve just been too much of my focus. Carl Jung spoke eloquently and profusely about the importance of integrating our shadow sides on the path of wholeness. So, I’m leaning into that theory with my art and photography. I’m not being morbid or pessimistic, I’m just seeking to balance the scales.

And, what a wonderful way, as an artist, to let Venice be my inspiration and guide.

This comes at a good time in my life. I’m closing the door on things that I thought were the path to joy. And, and that is A-okay.

When night falls, we can be pointed in new, unexplored directions.

What brings me joy? What catapults me out of the same old same old? I’m all for finding out.

This post may seem like it’s a non-sequitur with my recent posts. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still enthused about sharing my Italian experiences. But, as life would have it, I’ve hit some speed bumps, some changes, that cause tell me to pull over, to put on my emergency blinkers, and pause on the highway of life. Time to lean back in my seat, take some deep breaths before signaling that I’m ready to hit the gas and pull back into the current of living.

Life is good. Possibilities are endless.

Though night falls, I remember this. Always. And, I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings and what new adventures lie ahead.





About the Author:

I’m an American expat living in Italy!


  1. Robin Fink November 24, 2018 at 9:09 am - Reply

    Beautiful imagery. I love your way with words. I hope you will share soon the changes coming to you. Lots of love from your beloved Umbria, Robin p.s. Just pressed our olives for the first time for us, after they were abandoned for 33 years- you must taste!!

    • Jed November 26, 2018 at 7:39 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much, Robin! Life changes and evolves. Hoping to let go and be more fluid with the light and dark! xoxox

  2. Susan November 21, 2018 at 8:08 am - Reply

    Some Buddhists say the meaning of life is to hold the beauty of a rose and the knowledge that there are 10,000 starving children in the same mind. To hold that balance is an art. Thank you for your “night” photography. Susan

    • Jed November 21, 2018 at 11:31 am - Reply

      Hi Susan, it’s always great to hear from you. The Buddhist meaning of life is so appropriate. Life is so full of paradox, of yin and yang. I’m learning so much about myself in regards to chasing only one half of the equation. The night has a lot to teach me. More coming!

  3. Kevin November 20, 2018 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    Jed, I find that so many of my favorite photos are low light….often dark! Your photography is awesome and especially so when you get into the shadows….into the darkness…into the quiet. Your photography is truly an inspiration.

    • Jed November 21, 2018 at 11:28 am - Reply

      Shooting in low light requires some additional study and exploration for me…plus the selective use of a tripod. But, my Canon 5d Mark IV does such a good job in low light, and with a bit of educated noised reduction, I’m finding my way! I’m so glad you like the image, Kevin. I’ll keep perfecting my craft!

  4. Tia White November 20, 2018 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    Hi Jed,
    My mother was a photo colorist and she worked in photography studio’s since she was in eight grade. She was very talented and also did some inks and oil paintings. She had this camera that I used to take pictures with it was a flip top I think 120 black and white film is what we used mostly in it. Was fun. I love all your work. Always have envied people that can paint or have an eye for photography, I can’t draw a lick, but I can play a musical instrument. Anyway Thanks for all you do, and you should take time to smell the roses!

    • Jed November 20, 2018 at 8:56 pm - Reply

      Ciao, Tia! Those flip-tops cameras have taken some extraordinary photos. If you haven’t seen the work of Vivan Maier, I urge you to do a web search to take a look at her photos. She was a Nanny who always took her Hasselblad with her. She hid her work away until a box chock-full of negatives and undeveloped film was bought at an auction (or was it a garage sale?). Anyway, when I saw her work I was blown away.
      Btw, I have no musical talent. I took piano lessons for three years and hated it (didn’t have the most inspiring teacher). What instrument do you play?

  5. Joyce November 20, 2018 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    Only you could describe pausing by the highway of life and letting shadows wash over you as such a beautiful, meaningful experience.

    • Jed November 20, 2018 at 8:50 pm - Reply

      Many thanks, Joyce. I love how art so readily provides metaphors for life!

  6. Debra Polson November 20, 2018 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    Wow, Jed…I so look forward to seeing the “night side ” of your photos and art. There is always something extraordinary about the different shades of night wherever you may be, but in Venice? Molto bene… molto bella.
    Take care and love the night!

    • Jed November 20, 2018 at 8:48 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Debra. Venice sure does deliver the goods for nighttime storytelling!

  7. John Monteleone November 20, 2018 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Amazing Jed. So beautiful. Thinking of you.

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