Rodney Campbell's Blog

Twilight from the Accademia…

by on Mar.08, 2018, under Life, Photography

If there’s one classic landscape photographers image of Venice, or one location that die hard landscape photographers want to shoot in Venice – it’s here shooting from the Ponte dell’ Accademia during twilight.

Thankfully this bridge (which is one of only four which span the Venetian grand canal) was less than ten minutes walk from our apartment. So I woke “early” for another sunrise session again. “Early” is relative here in Venice in winter – with sunrise at a very lazy 7:50AM you don’t really need to rise particularly early to get here an hour beforehand.

Accademia Twilight

Accademia Twilight

NIKON D750 + 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 28 mm, 65 sec at f/11, ISO 100

This image is my first of the morning – taken at 6:47AM (still many hours after when I’d typically be shooting twilight in Australia :)).

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger. To see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer click any of the images.

The arched bridge is wooden so that is typically an issue because it noticeably moves as people walk across it and move about – meaning careful shutter speed selection and timing is critical.

However an additional complication at the moment is that it is having major repairs. There is now lots of metal scaffolding on both sides of the bridge (about 1.5m wide on both sides and spanning the canal). As if that wasn’t enough it has this tall wooden construction hoarding on the outside faces basically almost entirely blocking your view from the bridge). What this means is that if you shoot from the bridge – even with your tripod at maximum height you can only shoot long tele shots – anything wider will have the view majorly impaired.

I was already aware of this, having been here on our first day in Venice, so I’d already formulated a solution. I just hopped over the fence and shot from on the scaffolding over the hoarding.

There were pretty much just photographers here at this time of the morning and eventually many of them joined me.

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 35 mm, 62 sec at f/8, ISO 200

It really is a lovely spot but it was extremely hazy this morning. At first I thought it was fog or mist but it soon became apparent that it was very heavy smog rolling in. I’ll cover this more in later posts…

Out of the Blue

Out of the Blue

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 35 mm, 150 sec at f/10, ISO 100

7:15AM and my last shot from the bridge as I’ve decided to move on before sunrise. The smog is getting quite thick now (and smelly). I’m heading back out to the nearby Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute (Basilica of St Mary of Health or commonly known simply as the Salute).

Santa Maria della Salute

Santa Maria della Salute

NIKON D750 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 16 mm, 15 sec at f/11, ISO 100

I was intending to shoot over the lagoon towards Venice/San Marco and San Giorgio Maggiore, alas by the time I got right out to the point the smog was settling right in. It had now completely enveloped the lagoon and the city and you could see almost nothing through the heavy haze.

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