This is the blog of Steve Burkett of Italy, Our Italy

The Results Are in -- Part 16

The live online gala was attended by 11,829 photography fans around the globe, who logged on to watch the climax of the industry’s most important event for color photography.

OK folks, this one’s big. It’s the International Color Awards, and it’s the leading international award honoring excellence in color photography. Awards were announced during the spring of 2019. In a field of over 7,000 entries from 79 countries, I am honored to have had seven of my photos recognized, from nomination (a limited number of photos selected for further consideration by the distinguished industry judges), to honorable mention, to receiving a third place (aka ‘Honor of Distinction’) in the Americana category.

A press release was even provided…so I’ll let that press release say the rest, following this gallery of considerations and winners.


Aerial Category

Yes, I have a drone, and I love to use it. The first photo below was found while hovering over East Vail, and the second is the Snake River (of Colorado), near Keystone.

Springtime Shadows


Architecture Category

This photo was taken in Venice, Italy. You may have seen it before…and some of you even have it hanging in your homes!

One-Thousand Years in the Making


Abstract Category

A photo captured during a visit to Scott Kelby’s PhotoShop World Conference in 2012. I saw this demolished-building scene (minus the pedestrian) just across from the Washington DC Convention Center conference site. The abstract nature of the photo comes from my insertion of a lone figure taking the stairs…kind of.

Taking the Stairs

Aerial Category

Whilst driving through central Nevada (which I found absolutely fascinating, by the way…more in the next photo’s discussion), it came to me that I had been driving in a very, very straight line for a very, very long time. I pulled to the side of the highway and flew my drone up to get this straight-as-an-arrow view.

Straight as an Arrow

Americana Category

Still in central Nevada, I discovered one of the by-gone icons of Americana — the drive-in theater — abandoned as most are today. I was going for a look of ‘western-Americana-like desolation’ in the photo, and I think I achieved that. This photo is titled, “Matinee”.


To be perfectly honest (is there any other kind of honesty, by the way?) the drive-in theater is located about 140 crow-flown miles from the background scenery…thank you Photoshop. The small photo shows the lay of the actual derelict drive-in theater in Yerington, Nevada.



3rd Place in the Americana Category

Here is my photo that garnered 3rd place overall in the Americana category. I captured this rather ironic photo - titled ‘Drive Thru Window’ - in Van Horn, Texas. And west-Texas-isolated Van Horn is chock-a-block full of scenes like this one. And yes, that is pretty much a drive-through window.

Drive Thru Window

And now, as promised, here is the press release they provided that lays out the specifics of this international contest, including a list of the distinguished judges.


So, there you have it. And, I’m glad to say that at least one of the photos above was taken in Italy! More from Italy coming soon.

Ciao for now,


Go There: Island of Burano

The locals now draw tourists to Burano to see their brightly colored homes.

The island of Burano is located in the Venetian lagoon. I think of Burano as the 'Graphic Isle', because of the juxtaposition of the simple shapes and vivid colors one finds there. 

There will be fresh linens on the bed tonight!

The Venetian lagoon holds many other islands besides the main island-town of Venice. The two other islands most visited by tourists are Murano, where Venetian glass is still made, and Burano, where Venetian lace was made for centuries.

Chances are that you've seen this award-winning photo before

Chances are that you've seen this award-winning photo before


Though a bit of lace is still hand made in Burano, it has become a lost art due to the competition of machine-made lace from other parts of the world. Perhaps the demise of the Burano lace industry is what makes Burano so colorful -- the locals now draw tourists to Burano to see their brightly colored homes.

Burano is located a bit northeast of the town of Venice and to get there, you will need to take a vaporetto (water bus). It takes about 45 minutes to reach Burano from Venice's Fondamente Nove vaporetto stop. On the way, you soon pass by the cemetery island of San Michele and the glass lover's island of Murano before you get to a long stretch of water -- take your guidebook to pass the time.

The buildings on the island are not of new construction!

There are several nice restaurants on the island, so when it comes time to have lunch or dinner, you won't have any problem getting a typical Venetian meal. Many of the restaurants and shops are located on the main thoroughfare of Via Baldassarre Galuppi. 

For the photos of the colorful homes you see in this article, I spent most of my time on the eastern half of the island. 

Life on the Island of Burano

Some of the local citizenry getting together for their daily chat.

[as always, please click an image for a larger view]

Friends gather for an afternoon chat

Another local keeping an eye on the situation in Burano.

Local wildlife...there are many, many cats

Yes, there are some lovely places to eat on the island, and there is a definite emphasis on local seafoof.


Burano has been settled for many years, and some of the early architectural elements are beginning to shift a bit.

This campanile does not elicit confidence

As on the main Venetian island, religion has play a strong part in the culture of Burano. Here you can see one of the many religious shrines, and a self-aged photo of a glass case housing cherished relics.

The Graphic Side of Burano

Now I introduce you to that very colorful and graphic side of the island of Burano.

Daily Life on Burano -- even the elements of daily chores are pleasantly arranged!

Walls, Windows and Doors -- contrasting colors are de rigueur on the isle.

The next three photos are some of my favorites from Burano because of their strong graphic nature. For these first two, I very consciously revealed a smidgen of certain elements to provide a clue to the composition -- the bit of pavement in the first and a hint of a distant wall in the second.

My all-time Burano favorite which I've titled 'Just Around the Corner' has been an award winner. What is that glowning just around the corner? Let's go find out!

Passages -- even the passages have strong graphic elements.

Crumbling Character -- many of the building's facades show the ravages of time.

Place it Just There -- everyday objects seem to have had studied placement!

Utilitarian Needs Combine with Graphic Needs -- as far as I can tell, this is a fire hydrant -- but I may be mistaken.


Not all is garish color on Burano...there is also a good bit of tranquility, too.

I found my two trips to the island of Burano in the Venetian lagoon to be well worth the efforts. You can indeed still find a bit of hand-made lace, too -- you will have to look a bit and pay a bit when you find it -- but what a nice souvenir! 

I'll see you in Burano!

Ciao for now,