Saturday, December 31, 2011

Night photography in Venice

I love taking photos.  Most people I know would consider me an addict.  I can't help myself - I see beauty and composition in so many things.

Venice is a photographer's heaven.  No one can take a bad photo here.  All you have to do is head in front of San Marco and take the gondolas in front of you with San Giorgio Maggiore in the background.  It's the postcard shot and I have several of them on my Flickr photostream.  Go down a canal.  Catch a gondola going under a bridge.  Look for the beautiful reflections in the water.  And for my personal favourite, go to the middle of the Accademia bridge and look across to Salute.  That's probably my favourite view in all the world.  Glorious - whether it's a sunny day or a foggy day, the grand old dame at the mouth of the Grand Canal is wonderful.  Time it just right with a vaporetto or gondola going by, and bang, another postcard shot!

These past two visits to Venice I've bought my tripod along for the ride.  I don't have a really fancy camera - it's a digital SLR, Sony A350.  I love it, it does the job nicely, and I have a few lenses I take with me when I travel.  I'm not an experienced night photographer by any means but it really is lovely to "have a go" and get out there into the piazzas, along the bridges, when the sun goes down.  The only thing I've noticed about Venice, particularly in off season which is when we travel here, is the lack of buildings being lit up at night.  I'm used to Sydney where all the sites are proudly and magestically lit up but I remember on my last trip to Venice being disappointed Salute wasn't glowing at night, there was small light, but nothing to show off her beauty.

So a tripod is what you need.  I play with various settings on the camera and just enjoy the experience but last night, in FREEZING weather, I went to Piazza San Marco (around the corner from our apartment) and IN THE RAIN took dozens and dozens of photos.  The rain - particularly at night - produces such wonderfully creative reflections.  The light from buildings casts such a glow on the water, it really is a lot of fun.  Mind you, I didn't like the cold or the rain, but here's a few from last night:

If you can pack one, bring a tripod to Venice.  And head off one night to your favourite campo, bridge, canal, and see what magic can happen.

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