June 25th, 2012
Nothing quite prepares you for your first visit to Venice. It is like no other place on earth, Venice is simply glorious. The title of this post should include ‘and my mate Chris Hanley’ at the end. Chris and I had a job to do and this is the story of our mini adventure all in the name of work.
Chris and I have been preparing yet another Italian photography workshop series for sometime but we were having trouble finding suitable villas or venues to shoot in. Then we got our heads together and discussed the visual delights of Italy and soon concluded they are mainly outdoors. I’ve shot passion on the streets of Sienna and that was fabulous but to trump that we needed a special venue indeed…
We landed at Marco Polo airport at 11am and through the chaos we found our way out to the water bus stop. Soon we were transported to a magical place of contrasts. Wet grey Manchester was behind us and we were in 30 degrees of Adriatic sun. It was very humid on day one but the heat was great and very welcome. It’s hard to comprehend the change a two hour flight can deliver.
It soon became clear that we needed to avoid the pedestrian tourist motorways and stick to the back streets. We dived down ginnals, up alleys and into many dead ends in order to map out the route that we will be using in October when we return to give our workshops.
This was an important recce and trial shoot. We had to establish a route off the beaten track where we can shoot as a group without causing congestion or being moved on. We also needed to test a new lighting system and establish the facilities we need for the full blown workshop. The workshops will have just four delegates in each group each day. Chris will be shooting destination bride with natural light and I’ll be shooting street fashion portraits with occasional Speedlight use. We will use the same minimal kit as we have used here to keep all the techniques easily repeatable with minimum expense. Lighting doesn’t have to be complicated to be good.
Day two was hotter than day one but drier too. Just a mere 34 degrees by 4pm. Just 24 hours in Venice and normality seemed a distant past.
That is a selection of the 130 frames I’ve shot on the Fuji X-Pro1 and Luke has edited in Lightroom.
Chris and I would love you to join us in Venice later this year or at this time next year. We need to establish the numbers of people interested in the first instance in order to set up the dates and workshops as required. If you would like to join us in Venice please email Blaise and ask to be kept in the loop. We will keep the prices low and the training top notch so a good value experience will be had. We have done the hard work so that you don’t have too. All the shoot spots are within a 1km radius and away from the madding crowds. We will start at a water bus stop on the Grand Canal at 09.30 and finish at 18.30 each day. Frequent stops at cafes or pizzerias as required. Expect an amazing exhilarating adventure!
Venice is the ideal location to combine a sightseeing trip with a workshop or two. We won’t be going anywhere near St Mark’s square or the bigger piazzas so there will be plenty to see on your days either side of the workshops. You will be free to stay at any hotel or b&b to meet your budgetary needs.
A camera with one or two zoom lenses and a fast prime like a 50mm f/1.8 will be a perfect kit list. There is limited space to put camera bags down without blocking the narrow alleyways so traveling light will be the order of the day. Damien will provide the lighting kit required and one flash trigger for each delegate. This event will be the stuff of legend.
Drop Blaise an email ASAP if you would like to join us (No obligation whatsoever at this stage).
UPDATE: A two day photography masterclass in Venice, with me and Chris, is now available to book online.
Please feel free to comment on these pictures.