Back in the office after the Venice Photo Workshop

20/11/2013
I’m just back from running the Venice workshop last week and what a fabulous week it was. A chilly first evening around the quiet market area provided the perfect base to refresh the photographer’s mind on aspects such as the exposure triangle and Bulb settings. There was to be a great deal of low light photography on this workshop and everyone soon got to grips with the long exposures.

Following a superb dinner of fresh sea bass, the crew retired before we set off at 6:00am to St Mark’s square, where a broken sky gave them plenty of pre dawn photographic opportunities and after the sun had risen, a wonderful directional light.

After breakfast at the hotel adjacent to the Rialto Bridge, it was back to the market. This time it was buzzing and so were the crew! Plenty of photographs were taken of the hustle and bustle of not only the fruit and veg transactions, but the famous fish market purveying everything from octopus to shark entered into everyone’s portfolio. The dock alongside
provided the perfect placement for one of my tutorials covering depth of field in practice.

After the lunch break it was back out into the busy streets, tripods shielded from passers-by, for some moody canal shots. Here the low light refresher really came into its own with visualisations of smooth water and sinister gondola in black and white being the final photograph for many.

Dawn the following morning saw us looking down the Grand Canal towards the iconic Santa Maria della Salute. Again a wonderful sky helped with pink hues as the sun rose. These colours continued after breakfast but in a man-made style on the houses along the canal side of Burano, following a short ride on the vaporetto water bus. The non photographers in the group were accompanied by my wife Julia to Murano and the glass factory there before joining us on Burano for lunch.

Returning to Venice, the photographic crew made our way down to the busy St Mark’s square to take on some people photography at dusk with plenty of umbrellas – yes it had started to rain, which only aided the photography with all the reflections bouncing round the square.

The group then split with assistant Jim continuing with the people photography in the squares and me taking a group back into the alleyways for more canal photography before our final dinner back at the restaurant. It’s funny, but more wine was drunk on that last night!

Dawn the following morning started with a flood alert. Although the workshop was planned to coincide with low tides (neaps), the prevailing weather had increased the actual from the forecast. More umbrellas and busy commuters on the raised boardwalks filled most sensors as the piazza’s started flooding. A few hours later and all the water had subsided as it does.

Back in my office having read the first responses from the crew questionnaires, I am pleased that the euphoria they extolled in the city has continued back home, with 100% of them to date, wishing to return.

It looks like we’re going back in 2014 then.