Venice Grand Canal from Academia Bridge-Blue Hour with Bobbi Lane

Words by Bobbi Lane - A Platypod Pro
Edited by Eryka Bagwell

I lead a photo tour for Venice Carnival every year, which is a visual feast for photographers. There are hundreds of costumers with creative and exquisite costumes that attend every year, and they all want is to be photographed. Of course, Venice is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, so just street shooting at any time of the day is wonderful. One location where we (Bobbi and Lee's Photo Adventure's) always take our group is the Academia Bridge that spans the Grand Canal with a view of the stunning domes of San Salute Basilica. This is a beautiful scene at any time of day, but the blue hour sets the romantic mood of the city. The glow of the city lights, the deep blue of the sky, and the boat traffic all combine to create the classic view of Venice.

For this image, we arrived when there was still a slight glow from golden hour. I began shooting with a shutter speed of 1 second, but I knew I had to wait for just the right lighting. The magic continues happening as the night descends, adding to the mystery of the city. I specifically slowed the shutter speed down to 25 seconds in order to capture several streaks of lights from the boats passing by. I knew that 25 seconds was long enough to have the boats pass from under the bridge and around the curve of the canal. Patience is photographer’s friend, as you need to shoot a lot because you don’t know how many or when the boats will be traveling.

The Platypod is the perfect vehicle for keeping the camera steady during the long exposure. For this capture, I used the Platypod eXtreme combined with the Platyball Ergo ball head. This made is so easy to get the horizon level and get the framing just as I wanted it. A regular tripod is very awkward in this situation because you are positioned on a set of steps on a very crowded bridge. It’s best to have the camera right on the railing so you can capture the water directly below you and continue on to San Salute. I shot many images that evening, but this one is my favorite. I would not have been able to create this without the correct tools, and the Platypod and Platyball were perfect.

To view more of Bobbi's work visit her website by clicking here and you can view Bobbi and Lee's work by clicking here. Her Facebook page also boasts a variety of travel and meetings with friends in the industry. 

Bobbi and Lee’s Photo Adventures provides photographic education including online classes, educational materials for sale, mentoring, listings of upcoming workshops, seminars, presentations, and Photo Travel Tours. Our next travel tour is Neighborhoods of New York, a one week street shooting tour of the ethnically and culturally diverse neighborhoods of the city.

We also lead travel tours to Iceland, Venice Carnival, Tuscany and soon, Scotland!

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