When I am out with the camera I sometimes stumble across a hidden view. Experience has taught me to always look up an alleyway, over a wall, through a hole to see if there is a hidden view beyond. And there often is!
In Search Of The Hidden View
What Do I Mean By A Hidden View?
It might sound obvious but just to clarify, by a hidden view I mean something that would not normally be seen, or perhaps noticed, as you wander down a street or through the countryside. We tend to walk along, perhaps with a companion, chattering away and mostly looking ahead of us, or in shop windows. Then sometimes you come around a corner and, wow, there is a great view or a beautiful building.
There are lots of wonderful surprises waiting to be seen but you have to look for them. So you can recognise a serious photographer by their constant turning around to look behind, look up, look under things and through things.
That is how I got my image of this shop window in Cortona with the fabulous reflection – thinking and looking outside the box. I talked about this shot in a previous blog. I have said before that I am a nightmare to go out with on a photo shoot because of this. It can take an hour to cover a distance you could normally stroll down in ten minutes. But that is what captures the hidden views.
Hidden Views in Towns
Citta della Pieve
A typical example of a place where you can miss a great deal is Citta della Pieve in Umbria, Italy. A beautiful medieval hill town I wrote about in detail in another blog, it is full of archways and alleyways. There are lots of beautiful things to look at all around you. But take a photographer’s eye and there is so much more.
‘A Surprise View’ really was a hidden view. There is a main thoroughfare leading down from the main square that is lined with shops and restaurants. There are a lot of alleyways leading off this thoroughfare and many are quite dark and a bit intimidating. I walked passed one but something made me go back and walk ten yards down it and this was the view I was greeted with. A beautiful bell tower bathed in glorious sunshine!
Cetona in Tuscany is another medieval hill town with lots of nooks and crannies. But this shot, ‘A Peek at Cetona’ was taken from a car park, looking through a gap in a fence. Again, I had a feeling it was worth a look as I knew that Cetona rose up on the hill behind the houses I was standing in front of. I was not disappointed and it was worth the funny looks from the other car park users. Through the fence and down the side of a house was this glorious view. You can see the bell tower of a church, houses up on the hill side and the fortress or Rocca at the top.
Lewes is a large town in East Sussex, UK and the subject of a future blog post. A town full of history, interesting shops and architecture. And hidden views.
I had just taken a picture of a church from a particular angle, otherwise I might never have glanced down this covered passageway. Certainly, lots of people were walking past without paying any attention. The view made me gasp so I took a shot with the intention of passing on to the viewer the beauty of that moment. And I created ‘The Secret Courtyard’.
Other Examples of Hidden Views
Taking a Peek
It is not just towns that have hidden views of course. This image that I called ‘Angles Shapes and Shades of Colour’ was taken in a small village in Umbria, Italy called Vaiano. In my typical fashion I wondered what was behind the church, peeked over the gate and found this view. The overwhelming feeling of the view was to do with the different shades of brown, beige and gold, highlighted by the sun, which I have accentuated in this image.
Hidden in Plain Sight
Not all hidden views are found by peeking through fences or gates of course. Some ‘hidden views’ are actually in full view but people never see them.
Take the fabulous roof at Liverpool Street Railway Stations in London, UK. That is on full view to the world but people rarely notice it. That is because they have their heads down rushing for a train, for a taxi, checking their mobile phone, checking the information board. They are trying to dodge other passengers doing the same thing. So who has the time to look up? A photographer who looks for hidden views perhaps?
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!