Digital Photo Magazine Interview “Venice :: How I Got The Shot”
How long have you been taking pictures?
I’ve been taking photos for as long as I remember. I’ve always had a camera tho’ I began taking photographs professionally in 2005.
What’s your favourite kind of photography, and does this image fit into it?
Typically, I gravitate toward night photography, reflections, and motion. When there is opportunity to combine the three, all the better. Venice provides sublime opportunities for reflection photography, especially at night. Too, many of my urban shots tend to be void of people which reflects the quiet I strive to find in every day life.
Tell us about what made you want to shoot this particular picture?
This particular scene attracted my eye not only for its reflection, but also for the long lines leading to a vanishing point, which allows a viewer to be drawn into the image. Additionally, the “super moon” was illuminating the sky offering a beautiful blue hue to the sky and adding a bit of extra natural light.
What equipment did you use to capture the shot type of camera, lens, tripod, etc?
A Canon 5D Mark IV with a 18mm wide angle Carl Zeiss lens was used to capture this photograph. Rarely, while travelling, do I use a proper tripod. The camera was steadily planted on a pavement stone at the edge of the canal.
Tell us about how you shot the image?
Certain scenes may capture my eye while standing, though more times than not I find myself lying on the ground, or squatting in a low position, for a different perspective. This was not an instant shot, but one in which I paid particular attention to the edge of the building on the left, the reflection, and the unique character of the curved bridge on the right. As with any image, my view of the scene was through the viewfinder moving the camera about until I was satisfied with the composition. I rarely use the LCD screen to view a scene before capturing it.
What camera setting did you use to get the shot was this important to achieving the final result?
In urban settings the ISO on my camera is always set to 100 as I prefer the absence of “noise” in an image. Aperture = f/6.7 Exposure = 30 seconds. The exposure time allowed the water to “smooth out” to insure a perfect reflection was achieved. The smoothness also adds to the calm and silence I was seeking to achieve with this image.
Does this image fit in with your usual approach to photography, or did you try anything different to shoot this?
Today my eye is trained to find reflections in low light situations, so it is safe to say my technique did not differ from other times. Not carrying a tripod in urban settings does present a challenge as I sometimes must be creative to keep the camera steady. Let’s say, a lot of holding the breath happens from time to time.
What problems or challenges did you encounter when shooting this picture?
Even at night this photograph was a rather easy task given the amount of light along the canal, as well as the full moon above. That said, the electric lights along the canal presented issues as I had to adjust the aperture to compensate the highlights. My intention was to keep the exposure at 30 seconds to “smooth the water,” and keep the ISO at 100, so my only other option was to play with aperture.
Tell us briefly about any imaging or Photoshop work you did to the image did you find any of the Photoshop work you did tricky?
I am not much of a photo manipulator. In fact, I have no clue (or interest) how to use Photoshop. If any image needs tweaking, I put it through Lightroom adjusting only exposure, or highlights. With this image highlights were slightly adjusted given the issue with the lights along the canal.
What tips would you give to people who’d like to get shots like this?
The best advice for anyone wanting to capture an image is open your eyes to every possible angle and perspective, and look for the unexpected. Not all photographs should be taken while standing.