Postcard from Venice, Italy

In Travel, Workshops and Events by David13 Comments

Hi from Venice. We arrived here Saturday afternoon to hard light, pressing crowds of tourists, and endless kiosks selling kitsch. As always my own expectations and the reality of the place collided. But we walked, afternoon turned to evening, and slowly the Venice I wanted to shoot emerged. I suspect Venice will be, for me, a place best shot in the twilight hours, when the tourists are in bed and I can see the place without the throngs of people.

There are plenty of stories here, and for a documentary photographer there’s plenty of new world meets old world kind of stuff going on. But I’m here to photograph this place through the filter of my feelings, my expectations, and the way I most enjoy it. So I have the luxury of seeking the images I’m most drawn to, and being surprised by serendipitous moments, at the times I like best. And in the middle of the day I’m going shopping, writing, and finding something spectacular to eat or drink!

We have the bulk of the last Italy Within The Frame team still here with us and we’ve got two full days of exploring together before we all go home. I’m looking forward to having some downtime, but this team is full of vibrant exciting people that have become friends. We work well together, teach each other, and inspire each other. When they leave I’m scheduled to (1) relax for a couple minutes, possibly a whole hour, then (2) begin working on my next book, but I’ll miss them like crazy.

Hope this finds you well. Wish you were here! 🙂


  1. Wow! I love your postcards! I wish I could have been there! Venice is one of my most favourite places to be when I lived in Italy. There is just something about a city on the water. I loved the yellow boat taxis. That really cracked me up! Can’t wait to see all your photos when you get back!

  2. Hi David,

    I wish I could be there once more…Piazza San Marco at 2 AM is really surreal as well as any of the other streets and squares around the canals will do.

    It was great getting to know you and I hope we will meet again.


  3. Great shot David! I agree with the comments that Venice is pretty much like one giant theme park. You could head to Sant’Elena and Castello early AM for a glimpse of local life, or you could even go to Mestre where a majority of Venetian workers live. I’m a beginner and had just finished reading WTF before our trip—a lot of my pics were inspired by your book. Helped me a lot, thanks!

  4. thanks again for this amazing series of postcards! …and for keeping in touch while you are in Italy.

    what an interesting place to begin writing a book. If we promise to pre-order “Vision & Voice” today, will you give us a hint about the new book? 😉

  5. David,
    As others have suggested, get up very early in the morning and Venice will seem mysterious. Get lost in the side streets or try some of the other islands. Don’t give up on this magical place.

  6. The more interesting Venice is easy to find – just walk right away from the tourist areas like San Marco. The streets in Castello are so much more interesting and very few people about.
    It’s a special place, away from the popular parts!

  7. A truly different Venice shot. But you’ve guessed right: get up at four in the morning, and start walking around when the light just begins to emerge. Go see the fish market, for example. Find bliss and solitude in the pale hours of morning. Have fun!

  8. Considering I first suggested the Venice extension to Jeffrey, I’m going through serious withdrawal right now. . Next time.

  9. “begin working on my next book”? You mean next to “Vision & Voice”? That doesn’t sound like downtime when Vision & Voice is not even out yet; and I’m trying to finish Vision Mongers before it’s released 🙂 Take care. I’m always enriched by your writings.

  10. David,
    I totally agree with you about reality colliding with what I expected. I was just in Venice with my family – we were only there for a day and I was amazed at all the kitsch! I thought I was a Disney rather than a historical place. Loved your picture and wish we had more time to get lost in Venice and wander the streets at night.

  11. David that is a beautiful shot. We have been to Venice as we have done a lot of travel but alas – only taking snapshots. I only got into photography as a real hobby and got a DSLR several years ago. Your books have helped so much. I wish I could go back in time!! By the way it is the morning of the marathon in Vancouver and it is pouring.

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