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Venice Evening

Posted by
Darkelf Photography (Perth, Australia) on 5 April 2022 in Cityscape & Urban and Portfolio.


Today I present a Grand Canal classic from Venice. It was a lovely evening over this magnificent city back in 2019. The place was buzzing with people, restaurants were busy, gondolas and boats were roaming about. I wish I could turn back time to that moment before covid and before the tragedy which is unfolding in Ukraine. For now, I am glad that the memories of those times are still fresh in my mind.

I love finding new and lesser known places to take photos but I do love a classic as well and it does not get any more classic than some of the amazing locations in Venice. Securing a sunset spot on the Ponte Di Rialto bridge was not an easy task but somehow we managed. Being there as a couple was of photographic benefit as well because we were able to position the tripod between us which meant that there was low risk of someone bumping it during the mad rush at the sunset hour. The mad rush reference is all tongue-in-cheek obviously. We all want to experience the moment as best we can and we all need to accommodate each other. I was using my smaller travel tripod and I was able to set it up in such a way where it did not extend too much and take up unnecessary space. I know that I was lucky enough to be able to take some photos but I still would have enjoyed the evening regardless of that.

The composition was fairly straight forward. I like wide angle perspectives so this is was I went with. One could zoom in a little further or focus on either side of the canal, however, I liked the lights on each side and how they framed the water so I decided to stay with this composition. I wanted something extra in the foreground though and this is where all the boats passing by came in handy. I was able to use one to lead in through the light trails it left behind. Once again, it is very much a personal choice whether to include the trails in the image or not. They worked for my vision and this was the basis for their inclusion.

The photographic process for this image was very similar to my last one. I took a base exposure for the water, buildings and sky. I took some darker exposures to ensure that I was able to retain detail in the brightest lights and reflections. I also took many exposures in between to get the lights trails that I was looking for and to ensure that I had all the boat movements covered to keep the moored boats nice and sharp throughout the scene. I used luminosity masks to help me with the blending process. This is a powerful tool and it took me some time to get my head around it. Now, I use these masks in every single image I work on for precise tonal selections and control.

That evening really was a perfect blue hour moment. The ambient light was wonderful and softened the overall brightness while I loved the contrast between the blue sky and warm city lights. I think the street and building lights are what made this for me. They glowed beautifully and mixed well with the blue hour. I really wanted to portray the vibrancy of the moment and hopefully I was able to achieve that here.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 5/2 seconds F/8.0 ISO 400 24 mm

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