Photographing Venice

Anything said about Venice is bound to be a repetition. People from all over the world have been loving it and praising it for centuries. There is little, if any, that has been left unsaid. So on the days leading to my trip to Venice, I was full of anticipation and high expectations. Not surprisingly, I was not disappointed. My very first thought when I saw Venice was “It totally deserves its reputation”.

For the visiting photographer, Venice is heaven. Anywhere you look there is something to please the eyes and with so many people around most of the time, there is always something interesting happening and beautiful moments to capture.

The architecture, culture and art of the town make sure there is no lack of beautiful scenes. Probably everyone has seen a photo of Venice picturing a grotesque door knob, a post box, a washing line or a gondola. However, apart from the over-photographed canals, sunsets and romantic scenes, Venice has a lot to catch your eye if you are interested in something different.

Those among us who love abandoned buildings will find plenty of them in Venice. There are many houses, galleries and churches with rugged walls and interiors that look beautiful in their decadence. Since privacy is perceived in a slightly different way in this part of the world, you will often see open doors that give you a quick picture of what buildings look like inside.

The locals are very friendly and relaxed and it is nice to watch them run their errands. If you happen to be from the Mediterranean yourself, chances are you will find many things in their behaviour that resonate in you. Even if you are not from the area though, you will find something familiar in the innocence of kids playing on the streets, old ladies walking their dogs or old men carrying freshly-baked bread home. If you visit Venice in peak season, make sure you stray a little bit from tourist-packed areas and get a glimpse of the local life. It will surely give you lots of opportunities for memorable photos.

One thing I especially liked while I was photographing Venice was the absence of cars. Apart from the ones that have something special about them, like retro cars, I find cars distracting in most images, so I was pleased to shoot in a place where there was none of them to be seen.

On another note, there is generally plenty of light in Venice and the weather is usually good for long days out. That said, it can obviously get hot in the summer and the light might be harsher than you like for part of the day. I visited Venice in August when the heat was scorching and the town was full of tourists. Neither of these was too bad to ruin the experience but I would also like to see Venice in the winter, when the mist creeps in and there are fewer people around, or even during the high tide flooding.

No matter what time of the year you visit Venice, it will certainly give you lots of opportunities for great photos. But it would be no surprise actually, if it made you want to go back for more.