Venezia

Thursday, September 17, 2015 - St. Robert Bellarmine

Venezia is one of the most picturesque sites in the world. But I find it's a difficult subject to portrait, for a number of reasons. First, it's very famous and there are tons of “classic” shots, so a serious photographer needs walking around a lot, and for a very long time, in order to find new perspectives (or go out in some unusual hour and atmosphere).

An additional source of troubles is that Venezia is a sort of “chaotic beauty”: there are always lots of things in your field of view (ill-dressed people being one of the most common), and - unless you reach the border of a wide canal, or the peripheral paths around the island, or at least a wide enough campiello - the narrow spaces make it difficult to use a tele lens for isolating a subject.

Sony α6000 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 17 mm, 1/30 sec @ ƒ/8, +0.30 EV, ISO 100, hand-held.

Palazzo Contarini Corfù.

Given all these reasons, Venezia requires a lot of preliminary study. The first time I visited it for a few days was many years ago and I was really at the beginning of my experience with photography. I had a few more chances in the later years, as my business took me in Padova, from which Venezia can be reached in a matter of minutes. But this means having only one-two hours to spend in the town and making do with what I got... As it happened today. Too bad that the weather didn't cooperate: in spite of the warm and hazy atmosphere, with many subtle cloud layers in the sky, at sunset they didn't get the pink colour that I expected, so the image from the Ponte dell'Accademia that I had pre-visualised just didn't materialise.

Sony α6000 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 16 mm, 1/25 sec @ ƒ/8, +1.30 EV, ISO 100, hand-held.

Il Canal Grande dal Ponte dell'Accademia.

Sony α6000 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 47 mm, 1/50 sec @ ƒ/8, +1.70 EV, ISO 200, hand-held.

Il Canal Grande dal Ponte dell'Accademia.

One of the approaches to try to control the apparent chaos is to shoot at dusk, so many undesirable things can be hidden in the dark. Too bad this time I didn't have the tripod with me, so only a couple of shots were acceptably still, but with a larger aperture and higher ISO than I desired.

More photos from this session are available in the diary.

Sony α6000 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 70 mm, 1/13 sec @ ƒ/8, -1.00 EV, ISO 500, hand-held.

La Giudecca e la Basilica del Santissimo Redentore.

Sony α6000 + Sony Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS @ 31 mm, 1/13 sec @ ƒ/5.6, -1.00 EV, ISO 1000, hand-held.

Scorcio serale con la Chiesa dell'Angelo Raffaele.