July 21, 2009 – Venice


Tuesday, July 21, 2009.

Ahhh Venice. This of course goes back to that same Italy/Switzerland trip that I’ve already posted a few pics from. Venice was where our trip came to an end. (Well, kind of. The next day we still had to travel back across Italy to Milan, where we stayed one more night out in the suburbs before catching an early flight the next day. But.. whatever.)

To recap: we flew in to Milan, stayed a night, then took the train down to Vernazza (in Cinque Terre) for Trevor and Heather’s wedding. Stayed there a few nights, then headed along the coast with T. and H. (again by train) to Monte Carlo (which was actually quite a let-down.) Stayed there two nights/one day, then up to Torino. From there, Trevor and Heather went their own way, and Julie and I rented a car, and played around in the mountains for a week. We had no set itinerary, but we ended up hanging out in the national park (Gran Paradiso) for a couple nights, and crossed over into Switzerland, where we stayed in Zermatt. From there, we drove all the way across Italy (although, driving “all the way across” west-to-east is a lot less significant than north-to-south) to Venice, where we met up again with Treather for one more night (and dropped off the car.) Right, got all that?

We got in to Venice around 1pm, so we had most of the day to fart around. We basically saw the same stuff you’d see on a bus tour, as in, we didn’t get away from that central touristy part at all. (Do they even HAVE a non-touristy part there?) But, Julie had never been there, so she made me promise we’d go at least for a day. Now, about the picture…

Pictures like this can be hard to take. Anytime you’re trying to include both stuff that is illuminated by sunshine AND stuff that’s in shadow, it can be tricky to get right. Usually, either the bright part is overexposed (and all the color is washed out if you can see anything at all), or the shadow part is underexposed (and is completely dark.) I know I’ve covered this before, but it’s such a common issue that it’s worth going over again. Basically, our eyes have a much higher sensitivity range than a camera does. We can see a scene with both bright parts and dark parts, and make out the detail in both. The camera can only handle a much narrower range. So usually you have to make a choice about which part you want to be subject of the picture, and thus which part gets exposed properly. (Or, you can try to average it out, which sometimes works. Or, you can play games like with HDR photography where you basically combine multiple images after the fact, but I haven’t yet gotten into stuff like that…) There’s of course also the option of a split neutral density filter (which is a filter with one half clear, the other half darkened), which can make the difference a lot smaller, but I never think to carry one of those around with me. (Well, the bigger problem is that I don’t actually own one.)

And then, of course, you can just cheat, which is kind of what I did here. Nowadays, there’s lots of software tools that you can use to touch up photos. (Maybe you’ve heard of them? Nah, probably not..) So, assuming your picture doesn’t have too many areas that are either so bright or so dark that you end up losing data (once something is bright enough such that the values for the data point are maxed out, if something right next to it is slightly brighter, you won’t be able to tell the difference, and thus the data is lost), you can use software to lighten or darken certain areas of the picture. I didn’t do that a LOT in this picture (because I’m too cheap to buy Photoshop), but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t play around with it a little bit.

Map (Right, like I remember where in Venice this was…): http://bit.ly/D9Gy4

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel XT, Tamron 28-300 mm lens. 1/250s, f/6.3, ISO 200. Focal length: 30mm.

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  1. avatar
    jj July 30, 2009

    This picture would make a nice desktop background.

  2. avatar
    Auntie Helen January 5, 2010

    Uncle and I would love to have this hanging on our wall. Can you print in a specific size or get to us so we can print and have framed?
    We also love all of the Italy photos with the water and boats. Great photos!!!

  3. avatar
    Marie June 3, 2010

    this could also use as postcard, very nice ­čśÇ shot

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