Venice Photography

Jun 17th, 2010, 05:59 PM
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Venice Photography

I am an avid amateur photographer who loves to take pics- typical landscapes or city sights but also the everyday life of the places I visit. I am very interested in finding out where to take pictures and when is the best time for lighting for the big places in Venice. I will be there one night and one day so i have to plan my scouting carefully. I definitely want to get up early and try to get a pic of st. Marcs square. Does anyone know of varoius places that show st. marcs but potentially in a different aspect? Also, aside from Rialto Bridge, what other placesare must haves for taking pictures to capture the essence of Venice? Any advice is appreciated! Thanks!
mhohol is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 06:35 PM
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You will get great photos if you go to Burano, one of the little islands nearby.
cathies is online now  
Jun 17th, 2010, 06:37 PM
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Part of the charm of Venice is the constantly changing light, including at night, including at high noon, so there really is no one best time.

I don't know how long you plan to be in the city or when you are going, but if you find the crowds seriously interfering with your photo-taking, taking a boat to other parts of the lagoon might work for you, especially if you like the idea of photographing the traditional lagoon culture, which has largely disappeared from the touristic core of Venice:

If you haven't got the time to leave the city, walking in the areas of the Arsenale and the Isola San Pietro will get you closer to a more everyday side of Venetian life.

However, the essence of Venice today very much includes the cruise ships and the group tours, and souvenir stands and the English signage.
zeppole is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 06:41 PM
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I think this album shows what can be done -- by a much more talented photographer than I!,
There's an accompanying trip report here, posted by "Andrew".
The only thing I didn't see in his album was the view from San Giorgio Maggiore--very spectacular.
nfldbeothuk is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 06:50 PM
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Some of my favorite pictures of Venice (my own and others) are of the little side streets and canals, usually with Venetians going about their everyday lives. So plan to wander around and get lost, I think that's one of the great aspects of Venice -- the best scenes are those you wander upon and don't plan out. Not that you shouldn't go to the more popular areas as well, just be sure to take some time and wander with no destination in mind and take whatever little alleyway or street looks appealing. (I was last there in December, however, so I might have had better luck finding quiet, uncrowded areas.)
nobigdeal is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 08:43 PM
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I think you asked questions about photography on another topic and I will offer the same advice.

Make the shot your own. Be bold and look for a different perspective, different colors, different textures than the millions of photos that have preceded you.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 09:07 PM
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Thanks to nfldbeothuk for the plug to my photo album. I actually found Venice quite a frustrating place to photograph, even though paradoxically it's such a beautiful place and there are sooooo many great photo opportunities. I have been to Venice twice and like some of the shots I've gotten yet still felt I hadn't "captured" the place as a whole particularly well. Oh, well, - great excuse to go back a third time!

I agree with nobigdeal: the little side streets and canals offer great photo ops - you don't have to get just the major highlights. I loved the little canal near my apartment, with boats parked on it and the reflections they made in the water. (I took dozens of pictures there; I think one made it to my final album.) Getting up early the one morning you are there is essential I think - not just to get the morning light but to avoid the crowds. I found it a fun time to walk around, too. It's amazing to stand on the Rialto Bridge when there's no one else around, except for people delivering supplies or kids heading off to school - such a contrast to the mob scenes at dusk.

In fact, unless you are trying to capture the "crowd scene" aspect of Venice - sometimes I was trying to capture that - the mobs of tourists are one of the big frustrations of taking pictures there. Set up a tripod at dusk in the busy areas and good luck shooting around all those people, if they don't trample you or knock you over! Some people will see a tripod and camera setup and walk right in front of it without the slightest care in the world even if it would be easy to step a little out of the way. And if you have a decent camera, be ready for just about everyone to ask you to take their picture, because you must know what you are doing. When the sun is going down the light is changing fast and I don't have TIME to stop and help people, but if it's not that time of day, I usually do take pictures for people when they ask.
Andrew is online now  
Jun 18th, 2010, 05:03 AM
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Photographers need to be sensitive to something other than their desire to take a "perfect" photograph, too.

They don't own the scenery. Many a time we've politely waited while a photographer focused, refocused, twirled various little dials and knobs, moved the tripod 1/2" to the left, refocused, moved the tripod 1/2" to the right, etc., etc., etc. Snap the pic and move on.

I'm not saying you do this, Andrew, it's just that after this sort of thing happen several times, I tend to just ignore the photographers figuring if the shot is that important to them, they can wait it out a bit.
Paul1950 is offline  
Jun 18th, 2010, 08:30 AM
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Oh my - thanks to all for the inputs. Andrew - The pictures in the album are beautiful. The pics especially of the Grand Canal at day break and the panoramics dusk pictures are very well done. Where are you standing when you got the picture of the grand canal at day break? These are exactly the type of pictures I love to take - along with the side little canals you can find throughout the city. I don't mind getting up early and in fact it's required to get some of those shots as you said Andrew. I'd also love to get a picture of St. Marks square when it's nearly deserted but I'm not sure if that's possible! Please let me know what bridge you were on for that grand canal day break shot - it's stunning. And any other tips you may have.

I think we will spend part of the one evening we do have at St. Mark listening to the orchestras (after sunset of course) - i'm hoping to get some good pics of just the life there in the beautiful ambient lamplights - we'll see. Unfotunately, I will only have one night and one morning/day there so I have to be selective and plan my photography routes for nighttime and daybreak well in advance - I like to know where I'm going. The daytime I can capture the essence of the city as it comes to life.

Does anyone have a favorite place for sunset? thank you again for sharing the pictures - it helps to have an idea - and better yet know where you were AT when you took the pictures! thanks!
mhohol is offline  
Jun 18th, 2010, 08:40 AM
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Oh- and Andrew - were at the same bridge for the daybreak and dusk pics of Grand Canal? It's hard to tell if you haven't been there! thanks in advance for your help - it's hard to find good photo advice/tips.
mhohol is offline  
Jun 18th, 2010, 08:57 AM
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mhohol, I have several pictures in my album titled "Grand Canal, Venice, Daybreak" taken from different locations, but I think the ones you mean were taken from on top of or near the Scalzi Bridge, the one across from the train station. A couple were taken from Rialto - I was up early two different mornings.

Unfortunately I didn't make it out to San Macro at daybreak - just too far from my apartment and not enough days in Venice! Part of the Square itself was under construction while I was there last fall so I couldn't get every angle I would have wanted. In some ways, the Square may be nicer at night when people are dancing and people are dancing, yet the crowds have thinned out. But I would have wanted to get out to the water out there at daybreak. Next time!

Sunset was one of those frustrating times for me in Venice. I could never quite figure out where the sun would be at that time of day in Venice. One night I was on the Rialto Bridge (dusk pictures of the Grand Canal did come out quite nice though) but no sunset could be seen. Another night I was out by San Marco and partially caught the sunset - you can see those pictures but they aren't great "sunset" pics - I really wanted to see the sun set into the water.
Andrew is online now  
Jun 18th, 2010, 09:32 AM
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Perfect - thank you Andrew. There is never enough time to capture what you want, is there? I do love the dusk pics from the Rialto bridget even w/o the sunset. I'll look more closely at the pictures in your album to determine which daybreak pictures you took of the grand canal on the Rialto vs. Scalzi. I'm staying right near St. Marks so I may just opt for the Rialto instead of the Scalzi bridge. thanks!
mhohol is offline  
Jun 18th, 2010, 09:58 AM
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I too love to photograph in Venice. Here's a link to a collection, if you're interested:

As you can see from my photos, I am particularly taken with the bright colors of Burano and

the reflections in the canals: and

evening light on the Grand Canal:

and of course the sunsets:

In my opinion, the best place to be for sunset is on the lagoon, when the sun sets the sky afire behind the domes and towers.
julia1 is offline  
Jun 18th, 2010, 10:06 AM
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Hi m - my husband and teenage daughter took this tour a couple of years ago:

They both really enjoyed it, daughter is very interested in photography and is now a photo major at an art school. Aside from picking up some tips it was fun to hang out with someone who lives in Venice for a couple of hours, get a little local flavor etc. (They were the only ones on the tour as it turned out).

A tour isn't everyone's cup of tea and may not be yours, but thought I'd mention it in case -
LAwoman is offline  
Jun 18th, 2010, 10:56 PM
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enchanted by your pictures, especially of burano. totally enchanted! i can not wait to visit there in a couple of weeks and i'm so glad i have a new camera. thanks for sharing. were these pics taken early morning?
sherrillmills is offline  
Jun 19th, 2010, 09:52 AM
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Thank you, sherrillm. Yes, many of those images were taken in morning light, though not all that early. I started out after breakfast, catching a vaporetto about 8:30 bound for Torcello, passing nearby Burano on the way. After a couple of hours walking on Torcello, another vaporetto to Burano, then on to Murano in late afternoon.

I've done a book of images from Venice and the lagoon islands and you can take a look at it, if you're interested, here:

Just click on the orange 'Preview Book' banner. On the next screen there's a button in the upper right-hand corner that you can click to view the pages full-screen size. Then just click on each page to turn to the next. You can view the whole book if you want, or just a few pages.

Have a wonderful trip - and happy shooting with your new camera!
julia1 is offline  
Jun 20th, 2010, 10:39 AM
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Julia- definitely great shots of the colorful buildings. I may check into the tour a bit just to see what it is all about LAwoman. Thanks for sharing - seeing pics helps me figure out what i want to shoot. some of the best pics you get when you dont expect
mhohol is offline  
Jun 20th, 2010, 01:21 PM
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Burano is wonderful - I went out there in 2007 but not in 2009. As I recall, it was quite a long boat ride out there, though. (Although one of the vaporetto boats may have broken down in my case - all I remember is that it took over an hour to get back to Venice proper one way, but that was probably not typical). Murano is much closer and still worth a look just not as colorful as Burano. But you seem to have very limited time on this trip, mhohol, so I'm not sure I'd suggest doing Burano on this trip.
Andrew is online now  
Jun 21st, 2010, 06:58 AM
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ttt for later pondering
irishface is offline  
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