Day Three – Carnivale di Venezia 2017 – February 19

As any photography workshop I have ever taken, we were up early today. We were at St. Marks Square by 6 am to photograph models. The models that are serious about Carnivale di Venezia were up early as well.The Venice Carnival is famous for its stunning masks and costumes. Different from other carnivals in the world, the majority of the costumes refer to the attire of the Venetian noblemen and women in the past. The Carnival is in fact one big historical re-enactment. The costumes are often excessively decorated with lots of attention for detail. Some are real pieces of art and required hours of work. You will notice that they often match one another, either by using similar colours or a matching design. This is especially the case for couples, but it is also done for families or small groups of friends.

It’s said that the Carnival of Venice was started from a victory by the  Venetian  Republic in the year 1162. In the honour of this victory, the people started to dance and gather in St. Marks Square. Apparently, this festival started on that period and became official in the Renaissance.  In the seventeenth century, the baroque carnival was a way to save the prestigious image of Venice in the world.  It was very famous during the eighteenth century. However, under the rule of the King of Austria, the festival was outlawed entirely in 1797 and the use of masks became strictly forbidden. After a long absence, the Carnival returned in 1979.  The Italian government decided to bring back the history and culture of Venice, and sought to use the traditional Carnival as the centerpiece of its efforts. Since then, approximately 3 million visitors come to Venice every year for the Carnival

The photographs below represent some of the more interesting models that I saw on this day.





Day One – Carnivale di Venezia 2017 – February 17

Signe and I arrived a day before the photography workshop began in Venice. We spent the day wandering around  places we wanted to see before the workshop.

The first place we visited was the Fondaco Dei Tedeschi, near the Rialto Bridge. First constructed in 1228 (rebuilt between 1505 and 1508), and located at the foot of the Rialto Bridge across from the fish market, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi is one of Venice’s largest and most recognizable buildings. It was used as a trading post for German merchants, a customs house under Napoleon, and a post office under Mussolini. When used as a trading post for German merchants, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi combined the functions of a palace, warehouse, market and restricted living quarters for its population, in this case mainly Germanic merchants from cities such as Nuremberg, Judenburg and Augsburg. The ground floor was accessible by water and was used for storage, while the first floor was dedicated to offices and an upper area contained about 160 living quarters. It has great views of the Grand Canal from the top floor. Unfortunately, on the day we were there, it was foggy. One of the pictures, the one on the bottom right, shows the inside of the Fondaco Dei Tedeschi, which is now an upscale department store.

Subsequently, Signe and I wandered some more around Venice enjoying the visual history in its buildings, its magical  scenery and its engineering genius as a city built on mud, sand and the slime in a difficult, inhospitable landscape. The photographs below highlight some of the magical scenery.