On my last post, I wrote about how I’m always looking for a certain variables to line up in Venice. Ponte dei Sospiri (The Bridge of Sighs) is a perfect example of this. Over the last series of visits, It’s always been covered with scaffolding and under restoration. Because of this, I’ve never been able to get a clear shot of it. Well, that is, until now.

I did quite a bit of scouting on this visit to Venice and thankfully I was able to shoot this on the same morning as Venetian Blues. Any time that I can squeeze 2 shots out of a 4AM wake up call is call for a celebration or at the very least, an extra shot of espresso in my victory coffee. 😀

Technical Mumbo Jumbo

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: 24-70 f/2.8 (Shot at 45 mm)
Tripod: RRS TVC-33 / BH-55 Ballhead / RRS L-Plate
ISO: 100 at f/8 / 400 at f/2.8
3 Exposure Brackets at f/8, 1 Exposure at f/2.8

Hardware: 15” 2011 Macbook Pro, Wacom Intuos5 Small Tablet

Software: Lightroom, Photoshop, NIK

Technique and Details: Digital Blending using 3 Bracketed Exposures at f/8 and 1 Manual Exposure at f/2.8. The f/8 was used to correct the motion blur on the boats from the long exposures at f/8.

In photoshop—with the help of my Wacom stylus—I blended the 3 exposure brackets ( -1, 0, +1) together with simple hand painted masks. Then, with an additional layer, I masked in the boats from the fast exposure at f/2.8. Since the water wasn’t completely soft, I softened it by using a gaussian blur filter along with a few brush strokes with the blur tool. This allowed me to seamlessly blend the edges where the building structure meets the water.

Espresso: Lavazza Rossa (one of my staples)

A morning view of The Bridge of Sighs, one of the most famous briges in Venice.