crossing5oceans.com | Published August 25th, 2021 | Last Updated August 25th, 2021
All Images © 2021 - Kelly Girouard - Please Contact for Permission to Use
Venice is a wonderfully romantic destination, even for the solo traveller. It's a city to throw away the maps and just get lost wandering the charming streets and canals. The photos in this journal highlight the attractions in Venice and the incredible light that seems to cast a soft glow over the city as the light reflects off the water. You may also like the complete guide to Italy found here.
Piazza San Marco
There are several stops and attractions in Piazza San Marco, including Torre dell' Orologio, St. Mark's Basilica, the Campanile, Doge's Palace and the Bridge of Sighs.
PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS AND LOCATIONS:
Be sure to take the elevator to the top of the campanile for photos across Venice.
The piazza is packed with locals and tourists; try standing on platforms in the square to elevate yourself. This way, you're not shooting straight at a person's face. You can also angle your camera toward the architecture. For example, see the image of the restaurant with yellow tablecloths just below. The crowds are off to the side of the picture, but there is still plenty of architecture in the photo.
Go to Doge's Palace and the Basilica and use their look-outs to take photos from a bird's eye view over the piazza.
MOST IMPORTANT TIP: Make sure you're in the Basilica when the lights are turned on. (Currently, it's only for one hour between 11:30am - 12:30pm). It takes a few minutes for the lights to warm up. When they do, the interior transforms from dull grey to over 8,000 square meters of stunning, glimmering gold.
Piazza San Marco Restaurant with the Campanile in the Background
Gondoliers on the Canal Under the Bridge of Sighs
Mosaics and Gilded Horses in Basilica di San Marco
Gold Mosaics Illuminated in Basilica di San Marco
Looking up at the Towering Campanile
Views from the Top of the Campanile Over Venice
Close up Details of Doge's Palace in Piazza San Marco
Sculptures on the Giant's Staircase and Porta della Carta Details
Prison Corridor and Cells at Doge's Palace
The Masks of Venice
I spent a half-day wandering in and out of the beautiful boutique shops in Venice, looking for the perfect mask to take home as a keepsake. From the less expensive colourful plastic ones to the more elaborate papier-mache masks that are hand-painted and encrusted with Swarovski crystals, there's a style for everyone.
It may be difficult to get photos inside boutiques since shop owners may not want people taking shots of their masks without purchase. If you plan on buying one don't be shy to ask if you can snap a few pics. Most shop owners will let you.
Elaborate Masks in the Boutique Shops of Venice
Masks Encrusted with Swarovski crystals
The Colourful Masks Available at Shops Across Venice
Murano and Burano
Visiting Murano and Burano should be a part of your Venice itinerary. The islands are packed with colourful buildings, glass blowing demonstrations, boutiques, cafes and lovely canals. Spend a half-day or the whole day wandering around. You may also like to buy some Murano glass jewellery or decor items to take home as keepsakes.
The small canals of Murano and Burano have calm waters when boats aren't making wake behind them. It's an excellent opportunity to get shots of the light reflecting off the water.
A Calm Afternoon on Canal Reo Dei Vetrai
Historical Buildings on the Island of Murano
Murano Promenade with Santa Maria Bell Tower in the Distance
Beautiful Places to Take a Stroll in Murano
Venice has a few nicknames, and my favourite is the 'City of Light.' With 140 canals, there are numerous locations where light is reflected from the water back up onto the buildings casting a beautiful glow over the entire city.
Find a pretty canal to photograph as the sun is setting. The colourful stucco buildings turn into a palette of soft creamy hues that reflect in the surrounding water.
Close to Sunset on a Venice Canal
The Sun Setting Over the Buildings
Look for Interesting Bridges, Flower Boxes and Lanterns
There are four hundred gondolas in Venice; they are made from eight different types of wood, they're built lopsided, and they are all painted black. There are several other interesting facts about gondolas, but facts aside, they are lovely to photograph.
PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS AND LOCATIONS:
If you are taking photos on a canal that may be a bit choppy or the gondola is moving with the water, it is best to set your camera with a fast shutter speed to get a crisp image of the boat without it being blurred.
On the flip side, you can use an ND filter and a tripod to get the water smoothed out and have a soft blur which will require a longer shutter speed.
Great spots to try are along the Grand Canal, areas where the gondoliers are rowing with lovely bridges you, and shots from above looking down into the boats.
Gondola Fact - The 6 Metal Teeth Represent the Districts of Venice
Gondola Fact - There are Four Hundred Gondolas in Venice
Gondola Fact - They are Built Lopsided and Hold 6 Passengers
Gondola Fact - All Gondolas in Venice Must be Painted Black
Streets of Venice
There are many streets and alleys where you can capture great images of the charm, architecture and rustic facades that Venice is known for; this is one city that I threw my maps out and just wandered aimlessly beside the beautiful canals and streets happily snapping away.
Wide-angle lenses are great for narrow streets and alleys to get more of the architecture in the shot.
Entry to Hotel Locanda Ovidius
Restaurants Setting for Dinner Service in the Side Streets
Check out Architectural Details, Bridges and Cobblestones on the Streets
Don't Miss Getting Some Photos of the Squares
Venice at Night
Just as Venice is pretty to photograph during the day with the daylight reflecting off the water, at night, the antique lanterns and street lights reflecting in the canals make for some great photography as well.
Bring a tripod. You can get some decent shots that are not blurry if you increase your ISO, but if you're looking for crisp images, a tripod is the way to go.
If you prefer not to bring a large tripod with you, you can also try a Joby GorillaPod, which is smaller, compact and has bendable legs to adjust to the setting.