Experience with international photographer John McDermott a special, traditional season in Venice: The Carnival of Venice. Every year, people passionate about the Venetian Carnival celebrate the festival in their elaborate, wonderful, colorful, lavish, glittering, at times crazy, costumes and masks. Venetian masks are a centuries-old tradition of Venice, as is the whole Carnival of Venice festival. You will photograph the people in their costumes and masks, producing creative portraits.
Venice alleys, historic sites, canals and bridges provide a wonderful backdrop for portraits with breathtaking costumes and masks. During the night the streets are empty and offer mystic scenes. In the early morning hours passionate participants of the Venetian Carnival pose for portraitures at the waterfront and on the famous Piazza San Marco. We also take advantage of the vivid street-life and impressive architecture, capturing the life in Venice during its most famous season.
John McDermott is, among other, known for his portraiture photography. Together with him you will practice people photography, portraits and life in Venice. How do you approach people and make them feel confortable taking their picture? How do you incorporate the environment (or not)? John is a professional photographer since forty years with experience from all over the world. He speaks fluent Italian which had opened some hidden doors in the past and will offer you access to people, places and situations you might not think of while walking the streets of Venice.
While on the move on the streets, we will use the Profoto A1 flash that allows for quick usage to enhance portraits or other situations you want to capture in better light.
Late afternoons participants can work on their pictures and we discuss them and give feedback and advice for the next day. In the evenings we enjoy dinner together.
John McDermott: “The prospect of photographing Venice can be both exhilarating and intimidating. Exhilarating because it is truly a unique and beautiful place, with amazing light and moods and lots of interesting daily life. Intimidating because it is one of the most photographed places on earth so there is a lot of great, and not so great, photography already available.
My advice to anyone headed to Venice, but especially to those who will be attending or are still thinking about attending, our IF/Academy Masterclass, is to look at everything you can before you go. Inform yourself. Check out the greatest Venice pictures by masters like Ernst Haas and Gianni Berengo Gardin(google berengo gardin venice photos). Go to the Magnum website and search for the best Venice images by that agency’s roster of great photographers, such as Elliott Erwitt and Bruno Barbey. Then even look at the paintings of Canaletto, who captured the magical light and moods of Venice with brush and oil paint in a time before photography existed!
All this should be informative and inspirational. Then, put it all aside. Go to Venice, see it with your own eyes and show the world what YOU see, show everyone YOUR unique take on Venice. Every photographer who has ever gone to Venice has faced the same problem: how do I do something which is good but which isn’t a repetition of a cliché, something which hasn’t been done and seen before? It’s actually easy. Just go to Venice, and then let yourself go. Free your vision. You will do something unique, because Venice is an ever-changing tableaux of light and shadow, mood and activity, every day is different, every photographer is different. Go, look, listen and do your best. You will succeed. In Venice it’s very difficult to fail.”
Carnival of Venice is first documented in the 11th century and it became official in the Renaissance period. It became very famous in the 18th century but under the rule oft he Holy Roman Emporor it was outlawed in 1797 and the use of masks became forbidden. After a long absence the Carnival returned in 1979, when the Italian government and cultural institutions decided to bring back the history and culture of Venice.