4 October, 2012

Venetian Blues | San Giorgio In The Distance

Today is my last day in Italy and even though I’m sad to leave, I’m happy to get one more day to explore the fascinating city of Venice. With each visit, I learn more and more about the culture, the history, and the world class architecture. It’s also interesting that no matter how many times I visit Venice, I still get completely lost trying to navigate the narrow streets and bridges. In the end, I always end up where I’m going but I’m never able to take the same path to get there. I’ve never had so much fun being lost.

Ciao Italia! Fino alla prossima volta.

Before the sun rises, all alone, and overlooking San Giorgio in the timeless city of Venice.

Technical Mumbo Jumbo || Before and After Comparison

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: 24-70 f/2.8 (Shot at 30 mm)
Tripod: RRS TVC-33 / BH-55 Ballhead / RRS L-Plate
ISO: 100
2 Exposures: 5 seconds at f/8, 24 seconds f/14

Technique and Details: Digital Blending using 2 manuel exposures, equivalent to bracketing -1 and 0. While I was shooting a +1 equivalent long exposure, a garbage hauling boat pulled right into this slip, leaving a long glowing light trail and ruined the shot. Thankfully the Camera RAW files already had plenty of data inside the shadow regions and with a bit of color correction in Adobe Lightroom, I was able to recover all the luminance data I needed. After that, it was blending as usual. The Before and After comparison should help shed light on the rest. (no pun intended) 😉

Software: Lightroom, Photoshop, NIK Software

Espresso: Lavazzo Oro – My very favorite.

About the Author

Elia Locardi is an internationally acclaimed professional travel photographer, videographer, Fujifilm Global Ambassador, writer, public speaker, and highly skilled educator who spends his life shooting some of the most beautiful locations in the world.


As featured by Professional Photographer MagazineCNet Australia,, Wacom USA, and Fstoppers, Elia has built an engaged social media following of nearly 3 million people across FacebookGoogle+TwitterInstagramYouTube, and Snapchat. Due to the years of dedication and genuine openness with his audience, he has become one of the most followed photographers in the world.


Location independent since March of 2012, he and his wife live a 100% mobile lifestyle, perpetually traveling from country to country, continuously circling the globe. Since he began traveling full-time in 2009, he has visited more than 55 countries, flown over one million miles, and collaborated with major companies, brands, countries, and tourism agencies all over the world.


Using a combination of traditional in-camera techniques, targeted times of day, and advanced post-processing methods, Elia has developed a widely recognized and highly unique style of photography that has become well known around the world. With each photograph, his goal is to share his vision so others can see the world as he does, full of color, texture, beauty, depth and emotion. Many of his photos have been used in some of the most widely circulated publications in the world including National Geographic.


Throughout the journey, he shares the Art of Photography on many different websites including his popular blog, blamethemonkey.com, teaches post-processing workshops worldwide, speaks at major international photography conventions, and is proud to be one of the founders and leaders of Dream Photo Tours.

  • Beau Sorensen

    Beautiful shot. This is one of my favorite pictures I’ve ever seen from Venice. Great work!

  • Great image – perfectly blended exposures too. That Venetian water – gross in person, but BEAUTIFUL in images… especially longer exposures like this. Awesome job.

    • Thanks Joe! It’s definitely not the “swimming” type of water, that’s for sure.

  • “Ciao Italia! Fino alla prossima volta” … Why am I reading this in Ezio Auditore’s voice?? Anyway, fantastic shot Elia!

    • I guess I need to get around to playing that game eh? 😉

  • Excellent shot !
    Just made me wish going back to Venice ASAP. My lovely half caught me with this image loaded into the browser and for the last 2h she’s told everyone we’re planning a Venice trip 😛

  • Wonderful shot, and very nicely processed blend of exposures. Hope to get there someday myself. Regards, Roberto

  • Absolutely gorgeous Elia… great composition and a clear demonstration of your mastery of the creative tools, both in the field and in post.

    • Thanks Chet! That’s a really great compliment. Venice is very special to me. I always try to give my shots from that region very special consideration, both in post and in camera.

  • Wow! Beautiful shot!! love the detail in the wood, first thing that caught my eye.

    • Thanks Edgar! I made sure to highlight that detail to help draw the eye into the shot. 🙂

  • Great Work!! As always! 😉
    One Question, I saw that you used the D800 for that shot. The details and resolution of this camera are mindblowing and I’m wondering if you’re using a UV-Filter on your glass?

    • Juergen,

      Thanks for the compliment and good question. I stopped using a UV-Filter on the 24-70 because I was concerned about sharpness. I’m not sure if the UV filter was making a difference but I decided to remove it anyway, just to be sure.

  • Alistair McNaughton

    Thanks for taking us to Venice – what a beautiful view.

  • Sarah-Jo

    Looking at your images has me jolted with inspiration to travel and photograph more! Incredible worrk. Do you have any more in-depth excplanations of how you edit your photos after shooting them? I’m a new user of Lightroom/Photoshop and would love to know a little more about how to capture and create magical images like yours…

    • Sarah-Jo, Thanks for the compliment. I hope to have more in depth training very soon.

  • Hi Elia,

    Your pictures are very inspirational. Thanks for this.
    One question that I always get is how you achieve that crisp and clean look ? Answer to that would help me a lot to take a next step further because that is what I struggle a lot.


    • Gen,

      I always shoot my exposures on a tripod with a low ISO. I also use minimal (and non-destructive) processing to assure that no damage is done the final image.

  • Matt Conaghan

    Beautiful. Where exactly in Venice is this? I would love to sit down there at a similar (albeit horrible) time of the morning.


    • It’s facing Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore very near to Piazza San Marco. That whole area has many spots very similar to this.

  • Stavros_Gr

    Great work Ellia. I love reading how you took the photo with all these details !!!

  • sarilaci12

    hi Elia !
    My question is how you decide to efix settings ? ( I mean f/8 – 5” , f/14 – 24” ) instead of this , can bracketing shots do the same thing ?

    • Elia Locardi

      All depends on the desired effect. Adjusting the f-stop can dramatically change your shutter speeds. In this case, I was after a soft water effect.