florence ponte vecchio by udo prinsen
• image code: CSC0001
• Ponte Vecchio
• exposure time 15 seconds
GPS location 65°17’38.4″N 13°42’20.8″W

In my ongoing series famous locations without people, this was the first attempt. The Ponte Vecchio in Florence is hardly ever free of tourists, so I was wondering if it would be possible to capture an empty bridge. The idea from the series was created long before the recent pandemic. That time, early 2020, allowed us to watch places like this free of people, but from afar. Not being able to travel there. When we were there it was a beautiful summer and we rented an appartement close to the bridge so we could have an excellent time in vibrant Florence and I could be near the bridge to study before taking the few photographs I imagined.

The approach is analogue and with very little film, so I had to wait until the right moment to be on the bridge. Early mornings seemed the best timing as not many tourists are up and the shops on the bridge are opening up, which makes a great setting. While I was hanging out on the bridge one day I witnessed these two men meeting on the bridge and having a quick conversation. I quickly set up my camera and created this image of two persons on an empty bridge. There are people moving about while they are standing still, because the lens is open for a longer period, they do not get recorded.

My initial thought was to have a complete empty bridge, but this setting actually makes it better I think. It shows how this location is also a regular place where people live and work instead of being over flooded by tourists.

The photograph was taken with expired film from the 1980’s in a Kodak Box camera from the 1930’s. I love the surprising graininess and colours this approach produces, it really takes us to a different time and place.

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