Sunrise Canal Grande – Venice, Italy

Picture Edit:

This Picture was a bit more work. To demonstrate this, I decided to show you four frames: baseline frame, finished blend, color & contrast correction and the final picture. As this photo is a sunrise with illuminated houses, the shooting works vice versa to a city sunset. The first shots are important for the window lights and the light reflections in the water, followed by the colorful sky and finally the details of the buildings. Due to the boat traffic on the canal I blended overall 8 different pictures together. As baseline, I used the picture of the final sky to get the reflection in the water as realistic as possible. The illumination and the lighter details of the buildings are relatively easy to overlay by the “lighter” blend mode. Increasing contrast and adding color dynamic was the next step. Finally, I reduced the proportion of pink/purple at surfaces, being white or gray. This increases again the contrast and giving the picture a bit more a high dynamic range but also realistic look.

Camera Setup:

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF 24-70mm ƒ/2.8L II @27mm, ƒ/11, 8 frames 1s-60s, ISO 100, on tripod, triggered by remote control, one frame with Lee ND Big Stopper


The location of the shot is a wooden bridge, called Ponte dell’Accademia, in Venice, Italy. I always recommend to scout the location beforehand if you are aiming for a sunrise. It is nearly impossible to find your preferred perspective in the dark. Be 30-40min before sunrise at the your spot to have enough time to set your gear up and check your settings. There is nothing more enjoying as realizing simple but serious mistakes when everything is over, especially if you start a day so early ;). As you are looking in east direction it is predestined for a sunrise shot. If you want to plan your shot super detailed, you can use an APP to predict the exact spot where the sun will rise at the morning and decide whether you want to have it in your frame or, as I decided, to have it covered by the Santa Maria della Salute church. I used a spot on the more right side of the bridge but I know also shots from the middle or the left side which look amazing. It’s really up to your taste, time of year and the weather conditions. I mentioned that the bridge is made out of wood. Even if the bridge is quite huge, you and so your tripod will be effected by the vibrations of other people crossing the bridge. I would recommend to get 2 legs on the parapet and just one leg on the stairs. Therefore you minimize the chance that the person crossing is using at same beam as you tripod. Little details which can make the difference.

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