Venice in Winter
All Inclusive Photo Tour
In winter, Venice shows what is probably its genuine face. With most of the noisy crowd of tourist reduced to just a handful of art lovers, the beauties of the Serenissima are more readily appreciated. No noise, no waiting, lower prices, slower paces.
Moreover, you can even meet true Venetians in winter, a people you would consider as extinct in every other period of the year. Which is a blessing, if your aim as a visitor is to try to live the town from its very inside rather than to merely scratch its ready-made-for-tourist gleaming surface.
For photographers, there are a few more advantages.
In winter days the sun seems never to rise, rather it remains low above the horizon line and somewhat its light is scattered in the sky, as if it was shining through a window of polished glass or alabaster, and the shadows are as long as church aisles.
Sunrises last for ages, and so do sunsets. It is breathtaking just staring at this glorious representation, watching the sun while it slowly emerges from or dives into the pale green waters of the lagoon, occasionally peeping through layers of bold rainy clouds at the horizon and casting its faint rays on the facades of palaces and churches.
- Six Days Landscape Photography Workshop with Paolo De Faveri -
Venice and the Venetian Lagoon, Italy - December 10th-16th, 2018
• Full time in the field guidance and instructions from a professional landscape and travel photographer with 10+ years of experience in international photography tours and workshops.
• An All-Inclusive treatment: 4 stars hotel rooms and all meals are included in the price.
• A very small group size (6 people max.) ensuring the necessary tutor’s attention for each guest;
• Public transportation is also included for the length of the tour
• A fulfilling itinerary where you will photograph the stunning iconic views of the Serenissima in the best possible light and discover many of the hidden treasure this amazing floating city and the surrounding lagoon has to offer.
• At least one image processing session, where we will analyze in details basic and advanced techniques of post-processing
• Inspiration, fun and a great time!
Need to Know
December 10th - 16th, 2018
Hotel Kette or similar
3'250 EUR in double room, 450 EUR single supplement
Very easy - We will take many daily walks of a few hundred meters one way. For longer transfers we will use public transportation (water buses). However, due the unpredictable and fast-changing weather conditions typical of the Venetian Lagoon in winter time, a reasonable level of fitness, adaptability and familiarity with outdoor activities in winter time is required.
Required: DSLR or mirrorless camera, 28-120 mm zoom lens, tripod
Open to any photographer interested in landscape and travel photography, whether a beginner or a pro
• In the field full time tutoring and instructions
• 6 overnights in a 4 stars (or equivalent) hotel, with continental breakfast, check-in Dec. 10th, check out Dec. 16th. Double room occupancy, single available with a supplement.
• All meals and soft drinks for entire duration of the workshop (lunch and dinner)
• Public transportation pass
• at least 1 image processing session (a laptop with photo processing software is required)
What's Not Included
• international air travel tickets
• cancellation and travel insurance
• Venice local tourists tax (approx 4,50 EUR/night pax)
• tickets to churches, museums, and gondolas
• Everything not specifically listed as included
A deposit of 35% of the total amount will be required to hold your space in this workshop. The balance will be due not later than 4 weeks before the start of the tour. You will be provided by email with instructions on how to make the payments.
This workshop is strictly limited to 6 guests, so don't delay. If you've been thinking about a photo workshop in Venice then click the button below, fill the form with all the information required and any other information you wish to communicate. You will be contacted back right away with the instructions on how to pay the deposit and make a reservation.
Day 1 - December 10th, 2018
Plan your flight in order to arrive in Venice not later than 1:30pm.
Afternoon: meeting and greetings at around 3:00 pm. at the hotel. Introduction to the workshop, presentation of the daily schedule and the technical and artistic goals of each day.
Sunset: From Riva degli Schiavoni, with swinging gondolas in the foreground
Welcome dinner at 7:30-8 pm
Night: we will spend a couple hour taking night pictures either at Rialto Bridge or San Marco square
Day 2 - December 11th, 2018
Meeting at 6:30 at The Molo, the part of Riva degli Schiavoni that lies beside La Piazzetta and Doge's Palace.
Twilight shoot from The Molo, we will be photographing the swinging gondolas at The Molo as well as the city lights at San Marco Square and Riva degli Schiavoni, as we wait for the sun to rise.
Sunrise shoot at Riva degli Schiavoni, we will photograph the sun rising behind San Giorgio Maggiore, with San Marco Square, Doge’s Palace and gondolas in the foreground.
Morning: we will have breakfast at around 9 am and then we will take a walk on the Calles and Canals surrounding San Marco's square, photographing some of the most famous landmark of the Serenissima (San Marco Cathedral and Bell Tower, Doge’s Palace, Biblioteca Marciana), but we will also look for small, intimate subjects such as architectural elements, pavements paths and textures, shop’s windows, friezes, building facades, etc. Of course, if we have acqua alta, the high tide that in winter regularly floods many areas of Venice - and particularly San Marco - we will focus and spend more time on this amazing phenomenon, as San Marco square is simply gorgeous with acqua alta and the related reflections.
Afternoon: After lunch, we will head north to the Sestiere of Castello, and we will get to Campo San Giovanni e Polo. This is and ideal place for playing with strong ND filters in crowded places. We will visit and photograph the cathedral of San Giovanni e Polo and the Scuola Grande di San Marco, hosting nowadays the civil hospital of Venice, and the surrounding area.
Sunset: From the wide waterfront footpath of Fondamenta Nove, Facing the northern part of the lagoon and the island of Murano
Night: as an option, we could still shoot approximately a hour after dinner, either at the Accademia bridge or Riva degli Schiavoni
Day 3 - December 12th, 2018
Sunrise shoot from Punta della Dogana. We will photograph the sun rising behind the island of Giudecca and San Giorgio, with the church of San Giorgio in the background. This is the place where Charles Ray's statue "boy with frog" was until summer 2014, when it's been removed. We will photograph the sun rising over the San Marco Basin and behind San Giorgio Maggiore, with the old-style lamppost that has replaced the statue in the foreground.
Morning: we will have breakfast at around 9 am and then with a short walk we will get to the bridge of the Accademia. From atop the bridge it is possible to enjoy a beautiful view on one end of the Grand Canal and the San Marco basin, with the church of La Salute in the background. This is a good spot for shooting long exposures. We will then take a walk along the Calles and Canals in the area surrounding the bridge and the Opera theatre La Fenice, just a few hundreds meters away.
Afternoon: We will take the Vaporetto heading to the most genuine, not-for-tourist looking "Sestiere" (district) of Venice, Cannaregio, where life is still the same (well, almost) as it was decades ago. We will shoot beautiful reflections and perspective of the long, almost straight canals of this amazing part of the Serenissima.
Sunset shoot: from Riva degli Schiavoni next to the Venice's Arsenal, we will photograph the sun setting behind Punta della Dogana, the church of La Salute, and the island of Giudecca.
Day 4 - December 13th, 2018
Sunrise shoot from the Zattere. We will photograph the sun rising behind the island of Giudecca, with the church of Redentore in the background.
Morning: We will have breakfast at some bar next to the Zattere and then, we will get to the church of Frari, the second biggest church of Venice after San Marco. We will spend about a hour photographing and visiting this beautiful church that conserves one of the greatest masterpieces of the Venetian Renaissance, Tiziano's Pala dell'Assunta. We will then spend the rest of the morning visiting and photographing the Sestiere of San Polo, famous for the fish-market just besides the bridge of Rialto, a beautiful location for some good street photography.
Afternoon: after lunch, we will get back to Zattere and take the vaporetto for crossing the Giudecca canal and landing to the other side, the Giudecca island. This is one of the only two "sestieri" of Venice (district, the other one is Cannaregio) where the majority of people who lives there are real Venetians. It's probably the most peaceful part of Venice. If it is foggy or simply hazy, as it often is in Venice in winter, we will take advantage of the fog looking for simple subjects suitable for strong, minimalistic compositions, as this place is simply a gold mine for this kind of subjects.
Sunset: At mid afternoon, with another very short trip with the vaporetto, we will go to the island of San Giorgio Maggiore. we will spend the rest of the day visiting the small island and the cathedral, we will climb atop the bell tower from where we will enjoy an unobstructed view of the whole city, and then we will shoot the warm light of sunset gently tinging with reds and oranges the whole skyline of Venice from the wonderful vantage point provided by the island of San Giorgio Maggiore.
Day 5 - December 14th, 2018
Sunrise: We will take the ferry to Murano about 45 minutes before sunrise. We will shoot the sun rising from behind the Venice skyline, as seen from the quays of Murano.
Morning: We will spend the rest of the morning visiting and photographing the beautiful views of the lagoon from the quays of Murano, as well as from the bridges across the two biggest canals of this beautiful island, the second biggest one of the lagoon after Venice itself.
Afternoon: After a short break for lunch, We will take the ferry to Burano. We will spend the rest of the day shooting the wonderful, crazily saturated colours of the houses of this amazing, small floating village. Burano is one of those photographer’s playground where possibilities are simply infinite. We will shoot wide vistas, near to far compositions with wide angle lenses, geometries and textures, particularly focusing on the wonderful reflections in the canals’ waters.
Sunset shoot from the small harbour of Burano, with sidewalks, lamp posts, jetties, boats, ripples and reflections in the water in the foreground, and the Venice skyline as a background, far in the distance.
Day 6 - December 15th, 2018
Sunrise: We will get the vaporetto about 1 hour before sunrise, heading to the island of Lido, the long and narrow strip of land just east of the city centre, that separates the Venetian lagoon from the Adriatic sea. We will shoot sunrise from the beach of the Lido.
Early morning: We will then spend some more time photographing the Venice skyline from the quay next to the vaporetto station of the Lido. This is a fantastic location for enjoying a comprehensive view of the Venice skyline, and if the air is clear enough, with a bit of luck we will be able to photograph it with the snow-covered Alps in the background, quite a different view of Venice. We will then have breakfast at a bar not far from the Vaporetto station.
Late morning: We will take the Vaporetto heading back to San Marco, from where we will loan a gondola for a ride along the canals of Venice. A gondola ride is the best possible way of seeing Venice from the point of view of those who built it up, a different perspective on this amazing floating city.
Rest of the day: We will get back to the hotel at around 2pm, right after lunch, where we will have a long Image Processing session at the hotel. A laptop with Photoshop (CS4 or newer), Adobe Camera Raw and/or Lightroom is required.
End of the workshop: at around 5:30-6pm
• Dslr or mirrorless camera
• Enough storage cards for at least 32 GB
• A zoom lens covering at least the 28/120 mm range on a full frame sensor, the equivalent on cropped sensors
• Camera user's manual
Recommended additional/optional items
• A very sturdy tripod with panoramic head
• Wide angle to normal zoom lens, at least 24/70 mm on a full frame sensor, the equivalent on cropped sensors. Ideally one 16/35 mm and a 28/70 mm
• Long tele zoom lens - 70/200mm is enough, 300mm is recommended
• Enough storage cards for at least 64 GB
• Extra Camera batteries
• Photography backpacks come in handy to protect the equipment if it rains and to facilitate transfers from a shooting location to another
• polarizer filter
• a set of Graduated ND filters, at least a 2 and a 3 stops (it is ideal to have all the range from 1 to 4 stops)
• ND filters for long exposures, ideally one 10 stops and one 6 stop
• remote (or cable) switch
• for the image processing session, a laptop with Photoshop CS3 or newer and Lightroom 3.x or newer
Clothes and Accessories
Winter days in Venice are cold, very humid and often foggy, and wind may be strong and chilly cold when blowing from the east and from the Alps. So a full set of warm winter clothes is recommended, including but not limited to:
• pile pullovers
• wind/water proof jacket
• water proof shoes or gumboots, ideal for shooting at the beach of Lido and in the case o Acqua Alta (high tide)
• Head lamps (the hours of daylight in winter are limited to 8, so we will often shoot in total obscurity)
A stormy sunset over San Giorgio Maggiore, from Riva degli Schiavoni
A foggy night at Punta della Dogana
A gondola in a canal
A stormy sunset over San Giorgio Maggiore, from Riva degli Schiavoni
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“You are not only a brilliant photographer and excellent teacher, but a thoroughly nice chap too! With your guidance, I've learned more about my camera and the technicalities of photography than I've learned from reading magazines!”
— Herman Chow, Amsterdam