The strangest summer ever is going to end and it will always represent something probably unrepeatable. We had two incredible months this year after the lockdown. I've been living in Venice for almost ten year. I don't remember a strangely fresh June and and an amazingly windy and dry July. The direct consequence has been an incredible light especially around the sunset time. This aspect convinced me even more that golden hour photography is unquestionably the outdoor option in Venice.
Obviously I'm teasing you but since last year I approached the topic about the amazing light of September. This time I'd like to consider another period of the year consequently the amazingly unusual weather of this crazy summer 2020. Venice is always full of photographers looking for the best pictures in this magical city. This one was actually a more than unique chance to explore the place, I don't remember July and August with so many days of blue sky and nice temperatures. Talking about this I can't help thinking that the absence of the cruise ships and their pollution influenced the atmospheric conditions. It means in the end even better light for photography and definitely less tourists around, a sort of low season in summer.
Well I was one of those photographers and thanking to some friends that came to visit I had the chance to take some pictures around realizing that I had never experienced something like that. It's anyway summer so we started our tour around 6pm and in my opinion the light was still to harsh. Walking a bit we reached one of my favorite areas of Venice, Dorsoduro, peaceful and empty, simply beautiful. Around 6:30pm the light was almost perfect and I start to shoot around.
We actually took a long walk though my favorite sestieri during the golden hour, Dorsoduro, San Polo and of course Cannaregio. It was like a walk into the past, in the places where I lived in venice before, as a student. It strange but beautiful with that sky and that light that I had never seen before. Once more I was thinking continuously that golden hour photography is the only outdoor option in Venice.
I was even more convinced about that when I started to shoot some portraits of my friends. I have to admit that using my Canon EOS R helped me a lot, especially if combined with my favorite lens ever, the Canon 50mm f/1.2L. An amazing combo able to give incredible vibes and allure to every portrait but also to urban landscapes. But portraits men, are something crazy. The incredible bokeh, the gorgeous flare effect are the components that with that amazing light can completely change a picture. I won't never be tired of those effects. Probably I will start to experiment also portrait photography with some external lighting equipment, but the right natural light is simply incomparable.
My personal opinion then is that once you learn how to manage backlit photography the effects you are going to achieve are simply beautiful. However I can't deny that I'm attracted about using an external flash to test the possible results in future (stay tuned!).
Amazing friends, gorgeous light, beautiful weather. I couldn't have asked for more from a summer day in Venice. So is golden hour photography is the only outdoor option in Venice? Obviously you can achieve great result all day long managing the light correctly. Anyway I'm a big fan of romantic and warm atmospheres and nothing like sunset light can give you such stunning effects. Clearly the time at your disposal is not so much so it's very important to know the place where you need to shoot being able to get the most from your photography session.
This year has been strange and I'm sure that the most positive effect was the absence of pollution. 2020 gave us a huge lesson through smaller numbers about tourist presences. Clearly this year they have been too small for everybody working in the industry. However a regulation of numbers in favor of an higher tourism quality and an increased respect toward an incredibly delicate and beautiful city should make us all think about a necessary change.
Stay tuned about this