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  • Writer's pictureAndy Parker

Naturally Vintage

One of my personal objectives as a photographer is to find ‘natural filters’ and produce effective shots in camera rather than using post-production to generate effects later.  Good vintage effects can be found throughout Venice but seeking out the dirty, salt splattered glass of the vaporetto (water bus) and the vaporetto stops, work best in my opinion.  One of my personal favourite locations for this includes the San Zaccaria vaporetto stop in St Marks basin where gondolas frequently pass by and there is the amazing backdrop of the church and island of San Giorgio.  There are also great curved mirrors (used by the vaporetto drivers to assist mooring) which add naturally, distorted abstract elements. 



Shooting in manual focus mode often works best to help pinpoint focus, but sharpness is not the aim here. Shooting at a aperture of around f4/5.6 also allows distant elements to be included but with keeping emphasis on the forground subjects. In the past I have tended to use a slower shutter to add some motion blur but these days I am shooting at high ISO around 6400, to generate more grainy tones in camera.   Minimal post production help lift shadows and reduce highlights, but I love these timeless, slightly abstract images.


Fujifilm X-E3 w.35mm on manual, f5.6, ISO 6400. Feb 23


Strangely  almost exactly a year apart, here’s a similar shot from the same location.

Fujifilm X-E3 35mm on manual focus, 1/25, f4, ISO 200. Feb 22.

Fujifilm X-E3 35mm on manual focus, 1/2400, f5.6, ISO 6400. Feb 23


The stop offers a clear view of tourist-ladened gondolas which frequently pass across the bay. Shooting through the glass adds optical effects including increased 'grain' from a dirty window or rogue reflections, which can mimic film defects which, in my opinion, provide a more unique experience than just shooting cleanly.


Fujifilm X-E3 35mm on manual focus, 1/10, f5.6, ISO 200. Feb 22.


Reflective effects and abstractions are endless around Venice, and we'll look at various reflection shots, using glass or mirrored surfaces as well as from the water, later in the series. AP.

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