Travel Guide Venice - Page 2

2. Pack Light - Really!

It is quite funny walking through Venice and watching tourists trying to pull big suitcases on cobbled pavement, realizing that they have to lift it every 100 meters when the next bridge is in front of them. Packing light is key in Venice! Unfortunately as a photographer this can be quite tricky with all your equipment. And in summer, I needed 3 t-shirts a day due to the vast heat and humidity to not being avoided by people due to smelling like an ape, whereas during winter you have to pack for cold and rainy days.

What you definitely will need in Venice is a tripod. Best time to take photos is at sunrise or sunset, with sunrise being the better choice as there are less people around. Second best time is around sunrise and sunset (blue hour), and all these times tend to be darker than during day time. Unless you want to take pictures with high ISO a tripod is the best option to avoid blurred or misfocused photos. For me taking a lot of long time exposures with neutral density filters, a tripod is essential. Mine has to carry some weight and has to be light so a carbon fiber one seems to be the best choice.

Regarding photographic equipment, here’s what I would suggest, although everyone has a different style of taking photos and might need different things: I took one camera (Nikon D810) and four lenses (14-24mm, 20mm, 24-70mm, 80-400mm) with me and had them in my backpack almost all the time, together with the attached tripod and the filters and something to eat and drink. The first 1-2 hours this is heavy but manageable, but the longer the day will be the more uncomfortable it will be to carry around so much stuff. 35°C and high humidity on top of this didn’t help either, and in winter you already carry so much clothes. So I learned to leave stuff in the hotel when I was sure that I will not need it. Venice is not too big so you don't lose so much time when walking back to the hotel and getting the stuff you need. It wasn’t possible all the time to leave equipment in the hotel, but when I was sure to climb up a tower I knew I will need a zoom lense so I brought the 80-400 and left the tripod at home (mainly due to limited space on top of the towers). During night, I left the zoom lense at home as in the streets, more than 70mm weren’t needed in my case.

Inform yourself about the places you want to go and check e.g. if it is a) possible and b) allowed to take a tripod with you.

Some people shoot their photos with prime lenses only, in Venice this can be quite tricky as you don’t have much space to move around to adjust cutting. Keep this in mind when traveling.

A tele shot shortly after sunset

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