These 60 images of Venice were mainly shot over the two days I had off following my recent assignment. I was invited to Venice as a co tutor on a four day workshop with Tomasz from FujiLove. Our primary objective was to capture the carnival masquerade and I was on hand to provide a lighting twist to an otherwise very well covered subject. I will reveal my take on the Venice carnival in my next blog post. For now kick back, pour a glass of Prosecco and immerse yourself in the colours and style of Venice.

01.

01. This is one of the first views I got of Venice taken from my boat en-route from Marco Polo airport. The hazy morning sun gave a wonderful depth to this image that I captured with the 50-140mm f/2.8 lens on the X-Pro2 in Pro Neg S mode.

Although I’ve been to Venice before I had previously avoided the San Marco area because of the crowds. This time Venice was relatively quiet and it was a joy to take in the architecture and Venetian style. Here are a few snapshots of my observations.

02.

02. The top picture is the classic view of the Campanile and Palazzo Ducale as seen from the water bus. The Lion with wings (bottom left) is the heraldic symbol of Venice and can be seen throughout the city. This Lion carving is above the Porta della carta, the main entrance into the Palazzo Ducale and dates from the 15th century. I felt the scene bottom right reminded me of the similarities of Venice with Wren’s 17th and 18th century London.

03.

03. Houses on the canal network have handy drop off points and waterside entrances. The taxi on the right is heading into the grand canal in the fog from Rio di San Felice.

04.

04. Fog in Venice is wonderful for photography. Both photographs here were shot with the XF 50-140 zoom lens. I would have liked to use the new XF 100-400mm lens on this assignment but my copy hadn’t arrived in time for my travels. The shot on the right was taken on the island of Burano while the shot on the left was taken in Rio di Santa Sofia.

05.

05. I love a bit of simple abstract. This shot was taken from the water bus. It will make a fabulous background for a graphic project or reflective poem etc.

06.

06. A child takes shelter from the light rain on Burano island while sketching the scene in front of him.

07.

07. These two pictures taken from the same point some 10 minutes apart. The shot on the left was taken before the fog lifted and uses the Pro Neg S film simulation and the one on the right uses the punchier Velvia.

08.

08. I was encouraged to shoot ‘street’ in Burano by Tomasz so I waited by this this scene for a few minutes until my victim came into view. Fuji Velvia simulation and the XF 50-140mm lens.

09.

09. Back in the San Polo district away from the crowds are sleepy waterways and small boatyards that repair the Gondolas. This frame is a tight crop from a 35mm lens image because Tomasz was trying out my favourite 50-140mm lens at this moment. The telephoto lens really has the ability to isolate the subject.

10.

10. I ventured North from San Polo into Santa Croce to capture these reflections with the XF 50-140mm using the Velvia film simulation. The rhythm and pattern created by vibration and waves in water is quite a beautiful thing to witness. Top tip: Walk on the shady side of the canal if you want to see the sunlit reflections. It sounds obvious but most people prefer to walk in the sun and miss this spectacle.

11.

11. I love to isolate the scene by removing the sky. I cut off the people on the bridge too although their reflections remain in the water.

12.

12. This was shot with a large stretched canvas frame in mind – perfect for a cafe wall. I just need to find the cafe now.

13.

13. This panorama of the grand Canal from Campo Della Salute was made up from 6 frames shot in vertical orientation and stitched in Lightroom CC. There are over 60 million pixels in the full res file.

14.

14. Palaces, gondolas, churches, cathedrals, into the light with the light everywhere’s a picture in Venice.

15.

15. The pace of afternoon life is the same for both young and old.

16.

16. Top left: A postman collects. Top right: A greengrocer delivers. Bottom left: The TNT man parks up to collect our Lupo lights from the hotel. Bottom right: Passengers wait to board the water bus at Rialto.

17.

17. Life goes on and somehow the washing hanging up to dry adds to the scene so profoundly. The colours of the clothes today are more vibrant than the ochres in the fabric of the past.

18.

18. I love doors and their door furniture. They say so much about the establishments they protect and serve. Top right is the door of a bank and the letter box in the bottom left picture is aptly stuffed with take away pizza menus.

19.

19. The ironwork in Venice is beautiful and robust. The craft of scrollwork lives on in many modern buildings and bridges too.

20.

20. The Venetian carvings are exquisite with deep relief and elegant proportions. They are expressive too with drilled pupils adding to their realism. The Bridge of Sighs on the right is a sight to behold with it’s three centred arches above and below. It linked the palace with the prison and reputedly got it’s name from the expression of prisoners being led to trial.

21.

21. I love a good pattern. The immaculate layout of tables and chairs here serves to enhance the splendour of the Palladian architecture. A cup of coffee will set you back in excess of €15 and the suited waiters are expertly trained to extract money from tourists. This and the next shots were taken from the 100 year old Campanile that replaced the one that collapsed in 1902. The route to the top is made easier by Otis :)

22.

22. Sky TV is ever present in Venice. There seems complete disorder at roof level but at street level everything feels right.

23.

23. Across the Piazzetta from the Campanile is the Basilica de San Marco on the left and the Arsenale in the distance.

24.

24. Let the lights guide the way. Venice at sundown is splendid from just about every angle.

25.

25. The golden hour in winter is more like a golden 15 minutes.

26.

26. This is the fabulous Santa Maria Della Saluti from Accedamia bridge shot with the XF 50-140mm lens at 140mm after sundown.

27.

27. Looking West towards Santa Maria Della Saluti and the Gondolas nearby at dusk.

I love Venice and I’m excited that just a couple of days with a small lightweight camera system can deliver such rich pictorial content. I’m feeling my progression to becoming a travel photographer is now well underway. Please feel free to discuss these images below.

My next blog post will be the Venice Carnival. If you would like to join me on an adventure or on one of my workshops ask to become a member of the Lovegrove Creative Shoots on Facebook.

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19 Responses

  1. Jay Mijares

    Wow, Damien! Not much else to be said other than that! I really like the reflections. Not just the color on the water, but the reflections on the wet streets. It’s almost like still life captured twice!

    Reply
  2. Gary Powell

    Some fantastic photography Damien I particularly like the shots using the Velvia setting and the shots of reflections open all sorts of opportunities to market them. Hope you didn’t have to drink too much wine and Peroni

    Reply
    • Damien

      Thank you Gary. The Velvia setting is not one I’m used to using as I mainly shoot portraits but it will come in handy on my USA adventure for sure. I love reflections too :)

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  3. Alfredo Garza Guajardo

    Preciosas tomas, Damien! Una pregunta, usaste en todas la X-Pro2? Y en tu opinión, esta la X-Pro2 a la altura de la X-T1 o la supera? Me refiero al trabajo de retrato en locaciones.

    [Beautiful shots, Damien ! A question , you used all the X -Pro2 ? And in your opinion , is the X -Pro2 at the height of the X -T1 or exceeded? I mean the portrait work on location.]

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Alfredo,

      Thank you. The X-Pro2 has better image quality than the X-T1 but that should become the same when X-Pro2 or whatever it will be called is released. The difference between X-Pro and X-T is in the viewfinder style. If you like optical then buy the X-Pro. If you like tilting screen and a large central EVF buy the X-T. I hope this helps.

      Kindest regards,

      Damien.

      [Hola Alfredo,

      Gracias. El X – Pro2 tiene una mejor calidad de imagen que el X – T1, sino que debe convertirse en lo mismo cuando X – Pro2 o lo que se llama se libera. La diferencia entre X – Pro y X – T está en el estilo del visor. Si te gusta óptica y luego comprar el X- Pro. Si te gusta la pantalla de inclinación y un gran visor electrónico central de comprar el X -T. Espero que esto ayude.

      Saludos cordiales,

      Damien.]

      Reply
  4. arikeyalArik

    Amazing shots! Great (and in a way different!) view of Venice!
    Have you taken also wide angle shots or only used the XF50-140 lens?
    Great work!!

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi ArikeyalArik,

      Thank you for the compliments about my photography. I used wide shots from the XF14mm and 16mm lenses throughout this blog post too. See 03, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and 27. I just haven’t labelled all the lenses.

      Kindest regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  5. Nigel

    Hi Damien,
    Just wondered if you have had any problems with the xpro2 resetting after prolonged use?

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Nigel,

      I’ve been using the X-Pro2 for every shoot for over 6 months now and I’ve never had that problem. I have 2 bodies and no problems to report.

      Cheers, Damien

      Reply

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About The Author

Damien Lovegrove learned his trade as a cameraman and lighting director during 14 years at the BBC, working on programmes such as the Clothes Show, Top of the Pops and Casualty. Fifteen years on, Damien has become one of the foremost trainers of photography and entrepreneurial business strategies in our industry. A published writer and regular columnist, Damien has travelled the globe sharing his knowledge and expertise. “Photography fascinates me” declares Damien. "Much of my photography is inspired by a burning enthusiasm within me” explains Damien. “Picking up a camera gives me such a rush that I’m instantly driven to create pictures.”

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