I went to Carnivale by accident

I couldn’t contain my excitement when I reached Venice. I felt like a school boy in a candy shop, skipping along the canals in wonderment at the floating city. It is so surreal that I need to remind myself that it in’t an amusement park, it is a vibrant living breathing city, and it is incredibly photogenic. 

I was accompanied by Anna Volpi, one of the photographers at Aperture Tours who heads up the Northern Italian tours in Verona and Venice. I must admit I was excited to have her experienced hand guiding me around this complex labyrinth of squares, canals and quarters. Having grown up in nearby Mantua she knows the whole region like the back of her hand and managed to whisk me off to the best locations to capture the perfect shots. 

Anna Volpi, our photography expert for Verona and of course Venice.

We planned our visit to coincide with the first day of Carnivale and the whole city was in a festive mood. Brilliantly decorated gondolas floated down the Grand Canal and along the streets and in the Plaza Saint Marco one could spy locals dressed to the nines in decorative costumes. Unlike the Captain Jack sparrow who will charge you for a photo, these Carnivale attendees didn’t expect any money for a photograph, rather the opposite as they were happily posing for photographs and exposing their wonderful costumes.

I had to break myself away from the flurry of activity around the Square as Anna had a few places she wanted to take me to so we could capture the sunset. As soon as the sky broke into a passionate red and then into a smooth pink I had set up my camera and was snapping away. It is hard to deny the popularity of shooting at this time of the night. The quality of the light is just so magnificent.

Night fell and once more we were on the move to cast our eyes over the water to the San Giorgio Maggiore. The reflection of the full moon over the calm waters was perfect and helped to give my images balance. Before I knew it, it was time to leave. With so much excitement it was amazing how fast the day went. I couldn’t thank Anna enough as I am sure I wouldn’t have seen even a quarter as much if I wasn’t in her capable hands. 

If you would like to take a photography tour with Anna and the team at Aperture Tours you can find more information at www.aperturetours.com

Author : Alexander J.E. Bradley

Alexander is the founder of Aperture Tours (formally Paris Photography Tours) and heads up the tours in Paris. A professional photographer for over a decade Alexander enjoys shooting the surreal, mixing dreamlike qualities into his conceptual images. 

  • Join a photography tour with Alexander in Paris here

  • View more of Alexander's work at his website