How to Photograph an Overphotographed City?

photo © John McDermott

John McDermott is going to explore Venice with a group of passionate photographers in a Masterclass to be held February 7-11, 2018 during the famous Carnival of Venezia season.

Here are some thoughts and impulses from John about capturing a destination that has been photographed a million times. How can you find “your way” and ever new perspectives…?

“The prospect of photographing Venice can be both exhilarating and intimidating. Exhilarating because it is truly a unique and beautiful place, with amazing light and moods and lots of interesting daily life. Intimidating because it is one of the most photographed places on earth so there is a lot of great, and not so great, photography already available.

My advice to anyone headed to Venice, but especially to those who will be attending or are still thinking about attending, our IF/Academy Masterclass, is to look at everything you can before you go. Inform yourself. Check out the greatest Venice pictures by masters like Ernst Haas and Gianni Berengo Gardin(google berengo gardin venice photos). Go to the Magnum website and search for the best Venice images by that agency’s roster of great photographers, such as Elliott Erwitt and Bruno Barbey. Then even look at the paintings of Canaletto, who captured the magical light and moods of Venice with brush and oil paint in a time before photography existed!

All this should be informative and inspirational. Then, put it all aside. Go to Venice, see it with your own eyes and show the world what YOU see, show everyone YOUR unique take on Venice. Every photographer who has ever gone to Venice has faced the same problem: how do I do something which is good but which isn’t a repetition of a cliché, something which hasn’t been done and seen before? It’s actually easy. Just go to Venice, and then let yourself go. Free your vision. You will do something unique, because Venice is an ever-changing tableaux of light and shadow, mood and activity, every day is different, every photographer is different. Go, look, listen and do your best. You will succeed. In Venice it’s very difficult to fail.”

If you like to join John McDermott on this journey through Venice with an exclusive small group from February 7-11, 2018 you can find all information here (last chance…there is one spot left! ( For English click here…) (For German click here….)

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