Last week saw another photography workshop in Venice. This was a private workshop with three lovely ladies who wanted to explore the less visited, ‘hidden’ Venice, away from the tourists, the tacky gifts, the €15 coffees and the expensive shops. The wanted to see the ‘real’ Venice, where Venetians live, work and relax.
As with every other form of photography, street photography is all about light. Luckily, in Venice, there is usually lots of great light with shafts of sunlight piercing the calle (alleyways), shimmering reflections and deep, intense shadows. When the light is like this (as it was last week), it’s a street photographer’s heaven; even when it’s bad, it’s good (rain and fog are frequent visitors to Venice and can help create equally engaging images). We had two days of glorious sunshine, followed by a day of showers – so I guess we had the best of both worlds.
What is there for the street photographer in Venice?
So, what is there to photograph in a place like Venice, where there are no ‘streets’ in the conventional sense? I always have a mental ‘shot list’, which varies according to the weather; in good weather, it goes something like this:
- Abstracts created by, for example, water splashes, reflections, movement in the water
- Locals going about their daily lives
- Bemused tourists (such as a gondola full of people, all looking at their mobile ‘phones)
- Textures, shapes, colours and geometry in the amazing architecture
- The ‘working’ Venice – the lives of the people behind the scenes who make the city tick
Then, of course, there is scope for street photography projects. I have just started work on a project based on the final point above: the lives of the unsung heroes who deliver things, repair things, serve things, clean things, drive things and do all the other stuff which comprises the engine room of the city.
Where are the street photography ‘hot spots’
They are mostly – but not exclusively – off the beaten track. Last week we kelp well away from the ‘yellow’ tourist trail and deep into the heart of the sestiere (districts) where you see so much more of the ‘real’ local life. For us, that meant spending time in Castello, Canarregio, Dorsodouro and on the nearly island of Guidecca (a five minute waterbus ride away).
A bonus for us was the timing: last week saw the start of Venice Biennale 2017, a spectacular art event which attracts a global audience. This meant lots of ‘interesting’ people, unusual clothes and bucketloads of style which only Italians seem to do well. It all made for a very photogenic backdrop.
Please see the gallery below for a few of my own images from last week’s photography workshop in Venice.
Future photography workshops in Venice
We run one-to-one workshops (either for an individual or a small group of up to three family or friends) throughout the year.