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Purple Dawn

Posted by
Darkelf Photography (Perth, Australia) on 29 June 2022 in Cityscape & Urban and Portfolio.


A moody morning in Venice photographed during our trip in 2019. We got up early to make our way to Ponte dell'Accademia bridge in hope to photograph a sunrise over this classic view. While a colourful dawn did not eventuate, we were treated to this beautiful dreamy morning with a touch of fog hanging around. Soft ambient light combined nicely with the street lights which resulted in great peaceful atmosphere. Because it was still early in the day, the boat traffic was very low and I was able to get a clear photo with undisturbed water and no light trails. I also have a version with light trails but I already posted a sunset from a different location which featured moving boats so this time I decided I wanted something more minimalist.

Before getting to the photo location, it was actually great to walk through this old city during the pre-dawn hours. It was very quiet on the streets and it was a good change from the chaos which takes place during the day. It felt good to take in some of the sights in almost solitude. It also felt a little like running in a maze trying to find the way to our destination through all the narrow streets and canals, hopping from one bridge to another, turning past one corner and then another.

When we arrived there were a couple of other photographers there already. It is a popular spot for photography with one of those timeless views down the Grand Canal towards Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute. My composition was fairly straight forward. I did experiment with various focal lengths and focusing on different section of the scene. Each had something that made it work and we also stayed out there until it became very bright well into the morning to photograph the changing light conditions. As a result, I had a wide selection of images to choose from. I chose this one to post first because I just loved the overall mood and the interaction of ambient light with the city lights. I also love the purple hue to the sky and felt that my exposure gave a nice texture to the water. The view down the canal just faded out beautifully into the mist and that further enhanced the mood.

As is my custom these days, I took a number of exposures for each photo to cover the dynamic range and mostly to ensure that I was able to recover enough detail in the brightest lights. It was especially important for the illuminated parts of the houses and reflections created by the lights. I did not want too many bright blotches hogging the attention for themselves. I fell that I was able to achieve the balance of light and atmosphere which I was looking for and we were very pleased to experience this moody morning in Venice. Its memory has definitely lingered on in my mind and created a hunger to return there again in the future.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 13 second F/4.0 ISO 200 24 mm

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