My Top 6 Photos of Venice

A few months ago, I spent some time in the wonderful city of Venice and absolutely loved it.

I have visited quite a few cities such as Paris, New York, Valencia, Barcelona and of course London but Venice is like nothing I have experienced before. From the many canals breaking the city lots of smaller islands to the ornate very typically Venetian architecture this place has a unique atmosphere full of culture, art and history.

One thing any person visiting the island in the summer months will notice is the number of people. During my visit, it was packed full of tourists from about 9am as they all arrived in their droves from the many boats that bring them in. I can't complain though, as I was one of them but it was for this reason I decided to approach my photography a bit differently from my normal approach while in a city. For each day I was there I took just one camera and lens out with me as I knew I would be blocking pathways and just getting in other people's way if I tried using my tripod through the narrow streets and canal paths.

I am so glad I made this decision as I came home with a collection of images that I was really happy with and not in keeping with my usual style. I took so many photos during my visit and covered so much ground so I wrote a two-part blog post documenting my visit below.

As I have already covered my visit in detail within the above posts, I won't repeat myself here but if you are interested in finding out a little more about the images I took, grab a coffee and give the above posts a read.

So, all that being said, I am still a fine art, landscape photographer and I'm not happy unless I have the camera mounted on the tripod, methodically dialing in my camera settings and fitting my filters to capture a carefully composed image. I decided to venture out before sunrise one morning to capture the city as it sleeps. As an urban landscape photographer, whatever city you happen to be in, there is no better time to capture it than at sunrise. This is the time where you can have the place to yourself and capture the landscape in a way it is not normally experienced by most other people so below are my favorite shots from my early morning shoot in this magical city.

If there was one shot I just had to capture during my stay it was this composition below looking down the Grand Canal towards the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute in the distance. The light wasn't as epic as I hoped but if I was going to capture a long exposure, this had to be it.

What I really like about this image is I had one chance to capture it while there was some light in the sky. The eight-minute exposure makes the water almost mirror like with a touch of etherealism and the resulting image is a clean crisp shot ensuring the sweeping curve of the water leads the eye to the main focus being the architecture and Basilica.

Sunrise at the Grand Canal in Venice taken by Trevor Sherwin

480 secs
f8

ISO200
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Fujifilm X-T10
XF18-55mm

Now, I know the composition below is similar to the above but I had to include it in the post too. I really like the atmosphere in this shot. It suits the location and represents the feeling I had while I traveled around the city. You see, a photo does not have to be technically perfect for it to be a favorite. It just has to be an image that evokes a personal and emotional bond with the viewer. Well, this shot does that for me.

A photo of the Grand Canal at sunrise in Venice taken by Trevor Sherwin

0.5 secs
f11

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Fujifilm X-T10
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Here's a little lesson for any landscape photographer. Always look behind you! While still on the Accademia Bridge and as I had just taken the image above and I looked behind me and the view up the Grand Canal was beautifully lit with the sun lighting up the clouds with this fantastic magenta. I was not expecting to capture another composition from this bridge so I was really happy with that!

Photo of the Grand Canal at sunrise in Venice taken by Trevor Sherwin

0.7 secs
f11

ISO200
37mm
Fujifilm X-T10
XF18-55mm

Although on its own, this is a nice shot of the entrance to St Mark's Square from the river with Doge's Palace to the right of the shot, what I like most about the image is the Lion of Venice standing to attention on top of the pillar appearing to welcome the sunrise as it just hits the top. I'm not sure if the statue is deliberately placed in that location and that height but I like to think that this was more about fortuitous timing and witnessing a moment not many will.

Sunrise at the Piazza San Marco 001.jpg in Venice by Trevor Sherwin

6 secs
f8

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Fujifilm X-T10
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Next up is a photo of the Bridge of Sighs. Again, if you wanted to know more about this location, check part 2 of the blog via the links above. There are a lot of ornate, architectural details in the buildings in Venice and it should stand out and be prominent which is why I decided to take another long exposure to smooth out the water and any distractions. That coupled with the central composition and lines leading in from the edges of the image results in a more striking image of this beautiful bridge.

A photo of the Bridge of Sighs taken in the morning by Trevor Sherwin

4 secs
f10

ISO200
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Fujifilm X-T10
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Last but not least is one of the more popular compositions of the Venice Gondolas. This one took a bit of work to get the composition right as the water level was high and spilling over to the walkway and the boats were moving up and down, left to right in the water but I got there in the end. I had to use the ND Grad filter for this shot to capture the motion of the boats with a longer exposure and I am really pleased how this turned out with the central composition and the prominent wooden poles adding contrast and texture to the image.

A photo of floating Gondolas in the morning taken by Trevor Sherwin

14 secs
f7.1

ISO200
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Fujifilm X-T10
XF10-24mm