Our first stop (where I took pictures) this summer was Venice. Venice was a great city, and I would like to go back. But I probably wouldn’t spend more than a long weekend there. You can see pretty much everything you want in 2-3 days.
The gear I packed for my trip:
Canon 14mm 2.8L II – When you need to get wide, this is the best solution. Make sure you don’t get your camera in the picture. Ok, maybe not that wide, but close.
Canon 24-105mm F/4L IS – I’m a big prime user, but for walking around, this is a fantastic lens. Very sharp.
Canon 35mm 1.4L – THE photojournalist’s lens. Great for nearly everything. Fast, light, sharp.
Canon 45mm 2.8 Tilt-Shift – Mainly for architecture, but there are some interesting effects you can get.
Canon 85mm 1.2L II – When talking about the best portrait lenses, the conversation begins and ends with the 85L.
Canon 580EX II – The best flash Canon makes.
Black Rapid Strap – Saves my back. Crosses my body instead of pulling on my neck.
ThinkTank Pixel Pocket Rocket – My favorite compact flash card holder. It can hold 10 cards easily. More if you abuse it.
Ten 16GIG 400X Transcend Compact Flash Cards. – I only have the Pixel Pocket Rocket hold ten cards. These cards are fast, big and cheap. Who says you can only have two of three?
ThinkTank StreetWalker HardDrive – The bag to hold it all.
Venice is a safe town, but there are rumors of lots of pick pockets. You will probably want to carry your wallet in your front pocket or locked up on an inner zipper within your bag.
Because Venice’s economy is pretty much 100% tourism, there really isn’t a problem with you photographing anywhere. I didn’t go inside any of the cathedrals, so I can’t comment on their rules. Most Catholic cathedrals ask you to take off hats and have your knees and shoulders covered.
I am really big on learning about and respecting cultures before traveling to a place. Italy isn’t all that strict on this, but many places are. I tend to want to dress nicer than many tourists and I wore khaki shorts, a polo shirt and a hat there, since it was quite hot and sunny.
Venice has a very good public transportation system that relies on buses and boats. You can buy one way, one day, or multiple day passes that are good for the boats and busses. This is how we travelled.
I really love the art work I see in doors from around the world, so if you wonder why you see so many pictures of doors – that’s why. I like doors.
Venice is very crowded and trying to wait to get pictures of buildings without people in the way is near impossible. If you want to take that type of picture, it is best to get up very early in the morning to start shooting.
The building with the columns in the foreground is Antonio Vivaldi’s church.
You can see just how crowded Venice is along the Grand Canal. It is like this pretty much non-stop all day.
This is the church that Antonio Vivaldi was baptized in.
When traveling, I prefer to wander a bit off the beaten path rather than just see all the touristy areas. I want to see what the city is really like. Front view of Vivaldi’s church.
Here we are in St. Marks’ Basilica. Classic Italian old man walking down an Italian alley.
I guess I had to take some shots of the actual Gondalas. I didn’t ride any.Here is Piazza San Marco with San Marco Basilica in the center and St. Mark’s Campanile is the tower just right of center. You can see on the left some of the restoration work. The next two shots were taken with my 14mm 2.8 lens, but just framed differently. In the first one, I framed it so that there was a ton of concrete filling the frame at the bottom, and cropped it out to have a panoramic look. On the second one, I aimed up to get the distortion on the sides and have more sky.
We ate at a sidewalk cafe in Piazza San Marco that had a pianist and violinist playing. I snapped a couple quick shots before sitting down and drinking my ten euro coke. Yes, they charged me ten euros for a coke. Across the Grand Canal, you can see San Giorgio Maggiore. If you notice, you can’t see any glare on the water. I shot this using my circular polarizer filter on my 24-105L lens. The church you see is the Monastery of San Giorgio, which was founded in 982. It is the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore. We didn’t go over there, but maybe next time we will. My beautiful wife while we wait on the water bus.
Champagne was a great way to finish a long day of sight seeing in Venice.
If you would like to buy a print, you can visit the gallery here.