Photographing Venice during Carnival with Fuji-X cameras

I recently had the opportunity to attend Chromasia’s Venice Carnival photo tour led by my wife Bobbi Lane and our friend David Nightingale. All three of us are part of the Fuji-X team, and we’re very passionate about our Fuji cameras! The 2016 tour was a perfect opportunity to put the Fuji-X system to the test! Venice is an amazing city—evermore so during the period of time, just before Lent, known the world over as Carnival. This magical time, in a magical environment, offers splendid scenery, and a surreal cast of characters that create an incredible dreamlike experience unlike anything else! The following images tell the story…

Grand Canal Scene
The right side of a multi-stitch panorama, shot from the Academia bridge looking out onto the grand canal with the church of San Salute in the background – Fuji X-T1 w/18-135zoom, ISO 200

Venice is the city of canals, and boats of various kinds are the only means of transportation, other than walking. The Venice experience is not complete without at least one gondola ride, and I used this to test out my Fuji X-E2 which I had converted to infrared.

Gondolier of the “Tempesta”, shot with an infrared converted X-E2, 18mm, ISO 400
On the water
On the canal, boat-to-boat—shot w/X-E2 infrared, 18mm, ISO 400

Of course, the Fuji X-E2 is a fabulous street photography camera, and the infrared converted camera offered some great B&W images of the less wet environments as well…

San Salute
The Church of San Salute – the Plague church, multi-stitch pano shot w/X-E2 infrared, 18mm, ISO 800
Clock at the plaza behind Rialto market, shot w/X-E2 infrared, 56mm APD 1.2, ISO 1250

The street scenes are great, but the biggest attraction during Carnival is the abundance of incredible costumed people who come to Venice to be photographed—a photographer’s dream! Here again, the X-E2 infrared didn’t disappoint…

Vampire Gentleman
Costumed, sans mask—this wonderful vampire gentleman posed in St. Marks square. Shot w/XE-2 infrared, 35mm, 1.4, ISO 1250
Baring her fangs, this vampire was shot w/X-E2 infrared, 35mm 1.4, ISO 1250

Besides B&W, the infrared converted X-E2 offered some interesting opportunities for some false-color images. I spent some time in Photoshop exploring channel-swapping, and Lab color techniques to enhance the odd color of the infrared captures.

Pretty in Pink
Pretty in pink, shot w/X-E2 infrared, 35mm 1.4, ISO 400
Harlequin duo
Harlequin duo, shot w/X-E2 infrared, 35mm 1.4, ISO 400
Red Floral Headdress Duo
Red Floral Headdress Duo, shot w/X-E2 infrared, 35mm 1.4, ISO 400
Pink King
Pink King, shot w/X-E2 infrared, 18-55mm kit, ISO 200
The Crystal Ball Man
The Crystal Ball Man, shot w/X-E2 infrared, 18mm, ISO 200 with Fuji Flash+MagMod grid

One last infrared shot…

Steampunk Couple
Steampunk Couple, shot w/X-E2 infrared, 35mm 1.4, ISO 400

Of course, I captured many images in regular, full-color, with my favorite camera, the Fuji X-T1— I almost always had the 18-135mm zoom onboard, as I consider this to be the ideal all-purpose lens for street shooting! I spent most early mornings out before dawn at St. Marks square—the costumes show up before the sun comes up because they know only the serious photographers are out that early. It is the best time to work with the “models” because you are not pestered by tourists who want their picture taken with the costumes. I shot with the Fuji Speedlight, on camera, with a MagMod grid or snoot, to get a narrowly focused beam of light…

The Red Sisters
The Red Sisters, shot w/X-T1, 18-135mm, ISO 3200
Under the Lights at St. Marks Square
Under the Lights at St. Marks Square, shot w/X-T1, 18-135mmm zoom, ISO 3200

Of course there was leanly of opportunity to shoot during the daylight hours—the first day of our stay had wonderful misty soft light that made for some magical images!

Misty Blue Couple
Misty Blue Couple, shot w/X-T1, 18-135mm zoom, ISO 400
Colorful Couple
Colorful Couple, shot w/X-T1, 18-135mm zoom, ISO 400
Lutenist, shot w/X-T1, 18-135mm zoom, ISO 800

Go here:  to see more photos from our tour, including some shots from colorful Burano! Compare these shots with photos from last year’s tour here: If you would like to join us for next years photo tour for the photo adventure of a lifetime, don’t hesitate! Chromasia’s Carnival tour fills up fast—sign up here: