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Venice Grand Canal

A few shots of Venice’s Grand Canal (Canal Grande or Canal Grando), Venezia’s primary transportation corridor, from my recent trip to photograph the Venice Carnival.  All photographs made with a Fujifilm X100T, some with long exposures to make boat traffic disappear.

Morning breaks over the Grand Canal, viewed from Accademia Bridge, Venice, Italy (Brad Mitchell Photography)

Dawn breaks over the Grand Canal and Santa Maria della Salute, viewed from Accademia Bridge, Venice, Italy.  Exposure:  30 sec.

Morning breaks over Santa Maria della Salute and the Grand Canal, Venice, Italy (Brad Mitchell Photography)

Boat mooring piles on Grand Canal, Santa Maria della Salute in background, Venice, Italy.  Exposure: 8.5 sec.

Goldolas tied to piles on Grand Canal below Santa Maria della Salute, Venice, Italy (Brad Mitchell Photography)

Gondolas tied to piles on Grand Canal below Santa Maria della Salute, Venice, Italy

Grand Canal, Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti and Santa Maria della Salute, viewed from Accademia Bridge, Venice, Italy (Brad Mitchell Photography)

Grand Canal, Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti and Santa Maria della Salute, Venice, Italy.  Exposure:  30 sec.

 

Venice Carnival

Woman dressed in traditional mask and costume for Venice Carnival standing in Piazza San Marco in front of Saint Mark's Basilica, Venice, Veneto, Italy (Brad Mitchell Photography)

Man dressed in traditional mask and costume for Venice Carnival standing in Piazza San Marco in front of Saint Mark’s Basilica, Venice, Veneto, Italy

He struts his way across Piazza San Marco, sauntering painfully slow through a crowd of thousands of photo-snapping carnival goers.  Step … pose for some photos … step … pose … step …  His pale expressionless hollow-eyed mask contrasts with his black and red feathery tricorne hat and deeply folded black robes.

I estimate his trajectory through the crowd and work my way to a point about 20 feet ahead of him just to his left side.  My position should put the front façade of  St. Mark’s Basilica (Basilica di San Marco) directly behind him when he reaches me.  I stand firm as the crowd shuffles around me.  His tall feathery headdress slowly works its way in my direction above the swirling crowd.

When he is 6 feet away, I kneel down on one knee, the crowd between us slowly separates to give him passage, and giving me a clear view.  He steps forward, pauses briefly to give me a contemplative pose, and I’ve got my shot.  My low angle looks up through his graceful face with nothing but Basilica in the background.

I’m at the 2019 Venice Carnival, and this is one of the recipes I follow again and again attempting to capture the colorful costumed revelers roaming and posing about the piazza, while trying to get clean timeless backgrounds absent of the crowds surrounding them.

Others pose for the crowd in front of building facades or along the waterfront to give us photographers Venetian representative backgrounds.  I patiently wiggle my way into the surrounding forest of SLRs, point-and-shoots and smartphones, wait for eye contact or a graceful pose and get my shots too.

Venice Carnival (Carnevale di Venezia), a festival of parades, masquerade balls, concerts and street performances.  It is famous for its long tradition of revelers parading around in Renaissance-era masks and colorful costumes.  The celebration is a visual extravaganza, drawing 3 million visitors to this annual 2 week event that typically spans February and March.

As I take these photos at Venice Carnival, I can’t help but ask myself:  Who are these people?  What motivates them to hide their identity behind elaborate masks, and then flaunt themselves openly in public?  What fantasies are they living out?  What lies beneath their public masquerade?

Woman dressed in traditional mask and costume for Venice Carnival standing under arch at Doge’s Palace, Piazza San Marco, Venice, Veneto, Italy (Brad Mitchell Photography)  Woman dressed in traditional mask and costume for Venice Carnival standing in Piazza San Marco, Venice, Veneto, Italy (Brad Mitchell Photography)  Woman dressed in traditional mask and costume for Venice Carnival standing under arch at Doge’s Palace, Piazza San Marco, Venice, Veneto, Italy (Brad Mitchell Photography)
Man dressed in traditional mask and costume for Venice Carnival standing at Doge’s Palace, Piazza San Marco, Venice, Veneto, Italy (Brad Mitchell Photography)  Woman dressed in traditional mask and costume for Venice Carnival standing at Doge’s Palace, Piazza San Marco, Venice, Veneto, Italy (Brad Mitchell Photography)  Man dressed in traditional mask and costume for Venice Carnival standing at Doge’s Palace, Piazza San Marco, Venice, Veneto, Italy (Brad Mitchell Photography)
Woman dressed in traditional mask and costume for Venice Carnival standing under arch at Doge’s Palace, Piazza San Marco, Venice, Veneto, Italy (Brad Mitchell Photography)  Woman dressed in traditional mask and fruit costume for Venice Carnival standing at Doge’s Palace, Piazza San Marco, Venice, Veneto, Italy (Brad Mitchell Photography)  Man looking into mirror dressed in traditional mask and costume for Venice Carnival standing in Piazza San Marco, Venice, Veneto, Italy (Brad Mitchell Photography)

Mother and daughter dressed in traditional mask and costume for Venice Carnival exhausted and sitting on bench at Doge’s Palace, girl eating ice cream cone, Piazza San Marco, Venice, Veneto, Italy (Brad Mitchell Photography)

Exhausted carnival revelers break for an ice cream cone

 

Powell Forest Canoe Route

Join us on a 6-day family canoe camping trip on the Powell Forest Canoe Route, on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada.  Our journey covers 32.2 km of paddling and 10.3 km of portaging on this classic West Coast canoeing adventure.

We paddle 9 lakes, get doused by rain, portage through some mossy old-growth forest, get down with the frogs, catch a couple fish, enjoy some back country cooking, make some art and talk canoeing tripping footwear.

 

Mountain Heather, Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington Cascades

“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.”
— Edward Abbey

Pink mountain heather in subalpine meadow, Mount Daniel in background, Wenatchee Mountains, central Washington Cascade Mountains (Brad Mitchell)

Pink mountain heather in subalpine meadow, Mount Daniel in background, Alpine Lakes Wilderness, central Washington Cascade Mountains

Viking Ship Vallhalla, Petersburg, Alaska

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”
— William Arthur Ward

Replica of Viking ship Vallhalla at Bojer Wikan Fishermen’s Memorial Park, Petersburg, Alaska, USA (Brad Mitchell)

Replica of Viking ship Vallhalla at Bojer Wikan Fishermen’s Memorial Park, Petersburg, Alaska

Seaplane Hanger, Petersburg, Alaska

“What if i fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?”
— Erin Hanson

Seaplane at dock hanger, Petersburg, Alaska, USA (Brad Mitchell)

Seaplane at dock hanger, Petersburg, Alaska

Mountain Ridges, Glacier Bay National Park, Southeast Alaska

“In the presence of eternity, the mountains are as transient as the clouds.”
— Robert Green Ingersoll

 (Brad Mitchell)

Forested mountain ridges shrouded in fog, Glacier Bay National Park, Southeast Alaska

 

Camping on Sermilik Fjord, East Greenland

“We do not remember days, we remember moments.”
— Cesare Pavese

Camper's feet and view out door of tent onto icebergs on Sermilik Fjord near settlement of Tiniteqilaq, East Greenland (Brad Mitchell)

Camper’s feet and view out door of tent onto icebergs on Sermilik Fjord near settlement of Tiniteqilaq, East Greenland

Liberty Bell Mountain, Washington Pass, Washington

“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”
— Thomas Jefferson

Pond below Liberty Bell Mountain, Washington Pass, Hwy 20, Wenatchee National Forest, North Cascades, Washington (Brad Mitchell/Brad Mitchell Photography)

Pond below Liberty Bell Mountain, Washington Pass, Wenatchee National Forest, North Cascades, Washington State

 


Adventure

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