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Ben Tynegate's ghostly photo summons the sense of romantic Venice

Jan-Carlos Kucharek

Ben Tynegate exposes the role of imperfection in beauty in his double exposure of Venice from the Rialto Bridge

Untitled, Venice, 2012
Untitled, Venice, 2012 Credit: Ben Tynegate

When not photographing buildings, Ben Tynegate’s other job is as a wedding film-maker, creating high-definition mementos of high-end nuptials. He notes that unlike ‘staged’ photos, his films track the day; to capture landscape, spaces, sounds, unexpected or fleeting moments. Drawing on his architecture studies, his films embody a form of perfection in incidence: slo-mo confetti suspended around the happy couple, diners’ faces lit by candlelight, the wide smiles of guests picked out from an Yves Klein blue-soaked dancefloor. These too are constructions of sorts.

His own photos can be rather more contingent. In his free time he’ll swap the kit for a cheap 35mm film camera; one he doesn’t mind losing or dropping. He takes a shot and then forgets about it. Weeks later he might process them at Snappy Snaps. It’s less about the result than the anticipation and letting go.

This image is not a lost, loose aqua tint from the Stones of Venice but a double exposure taken from both sides of the Rialto Bridge. In its blur of the recognisable and the uncanny, a possible future is laid before us. The Grand Canal has sprung a new tributary, the city has finally sunk into the mud of the lagoon and its glorious palazzi succumbed to ruination. But as Ruskin tells us, it pulls into focus the role of imperfection – and incidence – in beauty. And in its illusory nature, it has us face the basic fact that asking time to stop is like asking love to stay.