Venice at Carnival 2014 Trip Report

By Darrell Gulin on Mar 26, 2014

I had thought the 2013 Photo Safari to the Venice Carnival was the highlight of all travel photography shoots I have ever done—but 2014 exceeded even that shoot. It was fantastic! It was one of my Top 10 of All Time Photo Shoots over the past 30 plus years. In fact, over 11,000 frames were taken this year. Just open the slide show to see what an amazing trip it was. The images tell the story.

At the Venice Carnival, the celebrants in elaborate costumes are simply known as “masks.” It is theater and fantasy. Over the past two years, I have networked with a number of masks for private shoots for the tour. Our group photographed the models in prime locations around Venice. A particular highlight was an interior photo session at the Palace with 14 masks! I am already working with more masks wearing all new costumes for next year.

The weather was great for all of the tour. The day after the trip ended it rained harder than I had ever seen, even in the tropics. In fact, St. Mark’s Square (the Piazza San Marco) was flooded not from a high tide, but from rain water. I will never forget walking through the piazza with my muck boots in the rain and wind—while already planning the 2015 photo shoot.

There are so many possibilities for images made during the tour. For me, a theme running though the photo shoot this year was taking photos of Venice’s ornate doorways, balconies and windows to work with during post-processing. Post-tour, I extracted masked and costumed models with Topaz ReMask 3 and placed them in those doors, balconies and windows. I used a Textures tool to give iconic images of Venice that Old World feel and to heighten the sense of timelessness. Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro converted color into gorgeous black-and-whites. So much material to work with until next year! Yes, I can hardly wait to see what Venice and the masks have in store for us.