Venice Carnival

Venice Carnival week 2019

My decision to visit Venice started with the option of a day trip, while motorcycle touring Europe later this year. We are going have a two day stop near Lake Garda, but when I looked into it, it seemed a lot of travelling for a short period of time, actually in Venice.

So I took a weeks break and travelled to Venice. To be honest I thought I’d booked the week before the Carnival 2019, with a view of getting plenty of Venice architecture and miss the crowds. Thankfully closer to travel I realised I was there actually their during the main week, and for me, it made the visit.

This first section, is what most people may never see, while visiting Venice, sure there are a few mask shops and plenty of tourist dross, but this was the real event. I was at St Marks Square at 6am on the first morning after my arrival, on good advise from friends at Crewe Photography Society, that the waterfront was the place to be. I wasn’t alone, at that time maybe 10 other photographers were around, by 10am there was a mass of photographers and it was time to leave. There is simply no point if the background doesn’t provide context or it can’t be isolated. You can tell the early shots, with plenty of warm colour in the background. Thanks to Pete and Wallace

This section is the architecture, canals and sights of Venice. Most days I walked up to 10 miles, with photography rucksack, including camera, lenses and tripod. By the end of day two, I had blisters on two toes and a mosquito bite below my left eye (the only one in the whole week, but it got me, and I got it the next day!), but at this point I had over 750 images! what you see here is just a fraction of the experience and commitment people made during the week

A few of the following were taken from the watertaxi using my 70-300mm on a moving boat, you can tell which from the proximity to the water. Others were taken from small bridges, docks, alleys or a few from the main tourist locations, like Accademia bridge, St Marks Square, Rialto bridge etc.

Part of this visit was in part because it was my birthday, so to add a little treat to main island of Venice, I took a private island trip to Murano, Burano and Torcello, while restrictive in time, this allowed some time across the water and on each island. For me Murano had a great feel, plenty of open canals, colourful houses and I wish I could have spent more time there. Burano, which is famous for a few streets of colour, didn’t really disappoint, but I reached it at midday, and therefore the sun was harsh, I felt I could have got so much more from a sunrise/sunset session. Finally Torcello, limited really, so I had a glass of Vino while waiting for the return. As always do your own homework, review the guides and maps to get the best of each location.

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As the week progressed, I needed to find something other than masked figures and canals, so on advise from an old work friend and traveller himself, I visited the Naval museum (once I found the right entrance, which is on the main waterway at the start of the inland canal). After the hours of sun and warmth, it was a cool indoor session, with almost nobody else around, I concluded its one of the biggest and best populated, that I’ve visited in a long time. As a qualified PADI diver, I particularily liked the things from the ocean, like the ornate shells and collection displays, in the upper room. Thanks to Richard

Most of the evening the light faded, the cold sea air came in and people headed indoors. On a few evenings I stayed out, in partiular the last two evenings to capture what is an iconic shot from the Accadamia bridge and some long exposure shots as the light fell

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So in summary a long week in Venice, several 5am starts, a few late nights, lots of walking, masses of photography, and just a little time on the water. As with any location, capturing the best of a place, is really about the sunrises, sunsets and getting that beautiful light, being there at the right time, having the right settings and being prepared to capture a memory

My favourites were

First night in Venice 24022019

Boatmans view

First night in Venice 24022019

Murano canal

First night in Venice 24022019

Gondolas at the ready

First night in Venice 24022019

Venice lights

To finish, lets see who was paying attention, who saw the black cat?

In a quite back alley near the cathedral, I had to look twice to see her, and I just managed to snap her standing in the window, just before she leaped out and disappearing into the alley

Goto Top

© 2009-2019 Carl Sumner @

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