Solitary Gondola | Weekly Photo #11

This was Venice, the flattering and suspect beauty – this city, half fairy tale and half tourist trap, in whose insalubrious air the arts once rankly and voluptuously blossomed, where composers have been inspired to lulling tones of somniferous eroticism.
— Thomas Mann
Solitary Gondola | Fujifilm XT2 | XF18-55mm | 18mm | 1/40th Second | f/9 | ISO200

Solitary Gondola | Fujifilm XT2 | XF18-55mm | 18mm | 1/40th Second | f/9 | ISO200

This photo was taken on my second visit to Venice and having already captured a sunrise image from this spot (links below), It’s such a classic and instantly recognisable viewpoint which I wanted to capture another photo but this time, towards the end of the day and including a point of interest. I arrived on the busy Ponte dell’Accademia Bridge around 5:30pm, still some time before sunset and as expected the Grand Canal still had quite a few boats on the water.

I take a lot of cityscape images and as you may have read in other blog posts I have written, I like to declutter the compositions removing distractions and simplifying the scenes as much as I possibly can. In the case, the boats on the water were creating the clutter in the image resulting in no clear focal point in the composition. So, I did what I had too, and waited patiently for a gap in the traffic.

It was probably 20 or so minutes later when the traffic reduced so I just needed that focal point I was after. Keeping an eye on both sides of the bridge I noticed a single gondola sailing underneath my feet and as it entered my frame, most of the other boats had left it, allowing me to capture this iconic cityscape with the focal point I was after. I didn’t have an opportunity to wait for the second gondola to leave down a side canal as in no time at all, boats started to enter the frame once more. I felt confident that I had captured the best version of the image I could that evening. It’s a great feeling when you feel you have a keeper on the memory card and can’t wait to get it back to the computer to process.

The settings I used were fairly standard, and I was able to use a low ISO, f-stop of f/9 at 1/40th second exposure as I had my tripod to avoid any nasty camera shake. I processed the shot in Adobe Lightroom to emphasis the nice blues in the water and sky and lighten up some of the architecture that frames the shot.

This became my favourite photo of the trip which I printed and looks fantastic on paper. I say it all the time, “print your photos!!”.

I have written a number of other posts covering my trips to this city which can be found on my Venice Project Page but a few notable posts are listed below:

On Location Photographing Venice - Part One

On Location Photographing Venice - Part Two

On Location Photographing Venice in Black and White

If you ever have the chance to visit Venice, I highly recommend it as I for one can’t wait to be back, surrounded by the deep history and beautiful architecture once more.

Until next week.


This post is featured in my Weekly Photo series where I post a new photo every Sunday.