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Carnival of Venice

Updated: Apr 28, 2022

Why a Wonder: Dozens of street performers from all over the world pose – with their elaborate, colorful and unique costumes – against the eye-catching backdrop of a romantic city. The costumed performers welcome photographers, and pose in many iconic settings throughout the city.

Where: Venice, Italy.

When: Carnival is an annual festival. Dates vary, staring about 15 days before Ash Wednesday.

Photography: Simply put, you will not run out of subjects to photograph from dawn to dusk, which is when you want to be outdoors photographing. More good news: most outdoor performers don’t charge for photographs. Rather, they give you their contact card and simply ask to be tagged in the social media posts.

You can go on your own, but joining a photo workshop will help you get more controlled outdoor pictures (because the workshop leaders select secluded locations in advance.) What’s more, most photo workshop leaders have access to some of the palaces, which make awesome settings for the models.

If you want to travel light, take one camera body and a 24-105mm lens. Also pack a speedlite or LED light that will help light a subject’s eyes behind a mask. A speedlite and small softbox are useful accessories for indoor photo sessions.

If you are serious about getting accurate color, pack a Color Checker by Calibrite.

The main venue is Venice, but many models and workshop leaders take a short boat ride to Burano. Here the brightly painted buildings make a colorful and wonderful background for photographs.

In both locations, it’s not impossible that you’ll be elbowed by other photographers trying to get a shot, especially if you are working with an enthralling model or models.

Book your hotel early, as rooms go fast, often a year or more in advance.

More: Sign up for a Venice workshop with Renee Doyle.

© Rick Sammon

This post sponsored by Calibrite.

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