Tourist free photography – Gondolas at Dawn

Tourist Free Photography – How to photograph Venetian Gondolas without the crowds?

Tourist free photography! Impossible you cry! Not impossible we say!

During our short Italian trip, we had a few days in Venice and were desperate not to “just photograph” the gondolas but to create something a bit more special. Here’s how to do it:

Prepare yourself the night before by having a nice couple of glasses of wine and either … set your alarm for 3 am! And then again for 4 am. That way when it first goes off, you can say “yay! I have another hour in bed!” Or don’t go to bed at all! (The time you need to get up will depend on the time of year and when it will be light).

Ensure you have a tripod. Stumble your way down to the waterfront (can you tell I’m not a morning person?) You may have to vie for a spot with other photographers, then wait for the sun to come up. You could try doing some long exposures to give the misty water effect but this will give you movement on the gondolas. Alternatively you can do shorter exposures to freeze the gondolas. You may need to get creative with exposures to get all the detail in the sky. See here on why your camera lies to you!
tourist free photography - Venetian gondolas


As you can see from our image we had a reasonable exposure so we went mid-range and got a little movement on the gondolas. Once the sun’s up and the crowds appear, go treat yourself to a large Italian coffee and breakfast … or more sleep!


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