Travel Photography: Venice

By Geoff Harris

Travel Photography

Travel Photography:

Venice is a great city to visit at any time of year.  But in February it has the Venice Carnival, which can provide some wonderful opportunities for travel photography.

With 100's of people in masks and elaborate costumes – it also brings the crowds.  Summer is probably best avoided as it’s peak tourist season, and even more crowded!  But spring or autumn are lovely.

And winter – particularly January - has some unexpected bonuses too:

One:  it’s the least crowded time of the year.
Two:  sunrise is late – so you can get out of bed at a civilized time, and still get great dawn shots!
Three:  the cold weather will give you the perfect excuse to pop into a bar every now and then for one of those famous Venice hot chocolates to warm you up.

Venice is full of photography possibilities .  The architecture, the buildings and bridges reflected in the canals, people dressed in furs strolling in St Mark’s Square… and of course, the gondolas.

There are so many different ways to photograph the gondolas!  The first photo here (above top) is a fairly classic view of gondolas and San Salute at dawn.  The sun is rising just behind my left shoulder, and is highlighting the golden gondola prows, as well as giving a lovely light on the building.

Travel Photography

Only a few days later, I took the second photo, in the same place, but in very different weather conditions.  On this morning it was foggy – no chance of a dawn shot towards San Salute, I could barely even see the building!  So instead I composed a picture with just a few of the gondolas, and used a long exposure with my camera on a tripod to allow some motion blur.

Travel Photography

At the end of a winter’s afternoon, if you stand on the Rialto Bridge, you may be able to get a photograph of a gondola just catching the last rays of the sun – giving you a silhouetted, black and gold image, as in the third photo here.

This last photo was taken on a very dull day, so I played with it in Photoshop when I got home, saturating the colours and blending layers to achieve a watercolour effect.

Travel Photography

Travel photography, Venice Carnival, gondolas, and hot chocolate – what’s not to like?!

Venice Carnival starts around two weeks before Ash Wednesday and ends on Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday or Martedì Grasso), the day before Ash Wednesday.

See for further details

If you would like to learn more about travel photography, consider taking Keith Wilson's course on Travel and City Break Photography or Nigel Hicks’s course on Capturing The Essence of Faraway Places

Geoff Harris

I am a journalist and photographer and currently work as the Deputy Editor of Amateur Photographer (AP) - the oldest weekly photographic magazine in the world. Before that I served as the editor of Digital Camera, Britain's best-selling photography magazine, for five years. During my time as editor it became the UK's top selling photo monthly and won Print Publication of the Year at the 2013 British Media Awards. As well as being lucky enough to get paid to write about photography, I've been fortunate to interview some of the greatest photographers in the world, including Elliott Erwitt, Don McCullin, Martin Parr, Terry O'Neill and Steve McCurry. This has been a wonderful learning experience and very influential on my photography. Beyond writing, I am a professional portrait, travel and documentary photographer, and reached the finals of the 2016 Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year competition. I am a Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society and hope to take my Associateship whenever I can find the time. In addition I write about well being/personal development and antiques collecting for a range of other titles, including BlueWings, the in-flight magazine of Finn Air.

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