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.

Palazzo Contarini Corfù.

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.

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.

Il Canal Grande dal Ponte dell'Accademia.

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.

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.

La Giudecca e la Basilica del Santissimo Redentore.

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.

Scorcio serale con la Chiesa dell'Angelo Raffaele.

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.