In today’s instalment of my 2016 FujiLove Venice Workshop memories I want to talk… about the Carnival! Yes, we visited Venice during one of the most picturesque and photogenic events on this planet and if you have never experienced Venice Carnival yourself, make sure you schedule it in one of the upcoming years. It is really worth seeing!
In case you have missed the 1st part of my Venice Carnival report – start here.
14.02.2016 update: my “partner in crime”, Damien Lovegrove has just uploaded his Carnival images as well.
Venice Carnival is all about color
As much as I do love black and white photography, this particular event makes it hard even for me to resist the temptation of abandoning my black and white passion. While strolling through the streets of Venice you will encounter a plethora of masked and costumed characters and the good thing for us photographers is the fact, that they are all more than happy to pose for us in front of our cameras. They have been working on their amazing costumes for months and they are proud of their hard work. They want us all to stand there in awe and then run with our cameras all around them.
Occasionally you will meet one of them, who has lost his or her mask somewhere along the way…
Before visiting Venice this year I decided that I would shoot there exclusively in the JPG mode. All the images you are seeing in my Venice posts are JPG files. Most of them received a very slight, additional “punch” in Lightroom (usually I would adjust the Tone Curve a little bit, to add this very last portion of contrast). I like to shoot with my Highlights set to +1 and my shadows set to +2, but more then often I found myself adding even more contrast to the files during post-processing. I like the contrasty look.
The Palace Shoot
One of the highlights of our workshop was a visit to Ca’ Sagredo. Ca’ Sagredo is a 15th-century palace, which is today functioning as an amazing 5-stars hotel. I have been working with the management of this spectacular place for a couple of years now, so I was able to organise an exclusive usage of their interiors for our photographic needs. While Damien Lovegrove was working with one half of our workshop group and teaching how to photograph models and properly use artificial lighting, I was photographing our carnival models with the other half, using available light beautifully shining through the palace windows.
Ca’ Sagredo Palace has one of the most amazing staircases I have ever seen. Illuminated by a few tiny windows just below the very high celling, it makes it pretty challenging to shoot for those of us preferring to take advantage of the available light. In this particular case I used my X-T1, just because my wide angle lens XF10-24mm f/4 happened to be attached to this camera. In order to end up with sharp images I was forced to bump the ISO pretty high (in some cases up to 6400). The following two examples will hopefully prove that X-T1 is able to handle such a low-light situation with ease.
Is it REALLY all about color?
As I told you before, there are colors everywhere, all around you. And this very fact has been always making me very intrigued by the possibility of capturing the Venice Carnival in black and white. To be honest, the photographs you can see below are my personal, favourite carnival photographs from the entire trip.
I was lucky enough to be able to have a pre-production model of the new Fujifilm X-Pro2 with me on this trip. And – yes, you’ve guessed it! – it means that I was able to test the new black and white Acros simulation mode Fujifilm has implemented into this new camera. I will be writing a separate article on Acros very soon, so today let me just share a couple of images with you, to show you what you would be able to achieve using this simulation mode. The difference between the standard B&W simulation mode and Acros is very subtle, but to such a black-and-white-enthusiast as myself, it is a very meaningful addition. My goal is to end up with such a combination of in-camera settings, which will allow me shooting black and white JPG files in camera and – if possible – avoiding the post processing part entirely. I must admit that I might be getting close!