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The Pier – Bled Lake – Slovenia

Dock at Bled Lake - Slovenia
Pier at Bled Lake – Slovenia

Location: Bled Lake, Slovenia.

What to shot: Bled really is the perfect training spot for landscape photography. Its lake is dominated by the iconic Bled Castle, perched on a rock, and embellished with a fairy-tale small island, which lies just in the middle of the lake, between the thermal waters and the Alps, and  is home to the Assumption of Mary Pilgrimage Gothic Church. A local tradition at weddings is for the husband to carry his new bride up these 99 steps, during which the bride must remain silent. I was there for three days of a rainy week of June, but I was lucky enough to spectate to a gorgeous sunrise, when the sun broke through the clouds, and filled up the sky with brighty colors. Getting up early is really well rewarded at Bled. You can place your tripod on the bank on the west shore of the lake and take your morning shots pointing your camera right toward the small island and the sun rising behind. Sunset and the blue hour offer good light condition too, of which you can take advantage from the boardwalk on the south coast.

Ideal time to shot: Both sunrise and sunset.

Gear: Standard zooms in the 24-105 mm range.

How to get there: The nearest international airport is Ljubljana Airport, 36 km away. Regular bus routes connect Bled with all major towns in Slovenia. The Lesce-Bled railway station (4 km) lies on the Villach – Jesenice – Ljubljana – Belgrade – Istanbul – Athens railway line.

Coordinates: 46°22′04″ N 14°06′45″ E

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Sunset over la “Salute” – Venice

Santa Maria della Salute
Santa Maria della Salute

Lately I had been photographing a lot the installation “The Sky Over Nine Columns” by Heinz Mack before it was removed from San Giorgio Maggiore island to reach its next home. But my eye inevitably converged on this terrific sunset over “la Salute”.

Location: Riva degli Schiavoni, Venice.

What to shot: Punta della Dogana and the church “Santa Maria della Salute” are well in range of your standard zooms to teles from this bank next to St. Mark’s Square.

Ideal time to shot: At sunset the sun will set behind the church who is nicely illuminated by lamps. At the beginning of the day it receives the light directly from the rising sun.

Gear: Tele zooms.

How to get there: Public transport water bus station S. Marco S. Zaccaria (line 1, 2, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2).

Coordinates: 45°26′00″N 12°20′25″E

www.brunobiancardi.com

Saint Mark’s Skyline – Venice

Venice Skyline
Venice Skyline

Yesterday I was at San Giorgio Maggiore’s island to take some last photos of the exhibition “The Sky Over Nine Columns” by Heinz Mack, before the structure will leave Venice, that should happen in a couple of days. The sun set down, leaving the sky half bright, half dark, as the first lights of the city were lighted up creating a terrific atmosphere for a skyline shot of St. Mark’s Square with its Campanile and Doge’s Palace.

The photographer within the frame is one of the participants to the enticing workshop held by Rohan Reilly (definitely worthy to check his website).

Location: San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice.

What to shot: San Giorgio Maggiore has a small harbor, a renaissance church, a Benedictine monastery, but it also offers a good view of St. Mark’s Square and the lagoon across.

Ideal time to shot: I prefer to be at San Giorgio at sunset, when the light illuminates the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Campanile sideways.

Gear: From wide angles to teles.

How to get there: Public transport water bus stations S. Giorgio (line 2).

Coordinates: 45°25′45″N 12°20′35″E

Better quality here.

Port des pêcheurs – Biarritz

Port des pêcheurs . Biarritz
Port des pêcheurs . Biarritz

Surfing through the web looking for some pictures of Biarritz, I have encountered a lot of iconic places of this wonderful city on the ocean: the “Grande Plage”, the lighthouse, the “Rocher de la Vierge”, the tiny beach of “Port Vieux”, but once I was there many other enchanting spots made my list grow longer. I really recommend to have a stroll on the seaside from the lighthouse to the Boulevard du Prince de Galles, that allows to see some of the most exciting seascapes and cityscapes of the place. It will take less than one hour and it is really worthy. During one of these walks I spotted the view of the “Port des pêcheurs” that made me set my tripod and wait until the sun was completely beyond the sea line.

Location: Rocher du Basta, just beside La Grande Plage of Biarritz, France.

What to shot: At sunrise the Grande Plage and Biarritz receive their first light on the east, while at sunset the sky offers its best colors on the west side, just over the lights of the city and the small harbor “Port des pêcheurs”.

Ideal time to shot: Sunrise, sunset and the Blue hour.

Gear: Standard zooms.

How to get there: Biarritz has both an airport and a train station. The Grande Plage lies next to the centre of the city and is easily reached by foot from the town. The nearest bus stop is “Mairie – Edouard 7” served by lines A1, 8, 10.

Coordinates: 43°29′01″ N 01°33′42″ W

With this entry I partecipate to the WPC: Cover Art. Better quality on 500px.

The Ice Cream Vendor – Biarritz 2

ICE CREAM VENDOR AT LA GRANDE PLAGE – BIARRITZ
ICE CREAM VENDOR AT LA GRANDE PLAGE – BIARRITZ

I went back to La Grande Plage more than once. I always do so when I find a spot I love to photograph to try and shoot it with different light conditions. Also trying to change the composition often helps in getting more dynamic framing. So here it is a second shot of the same ice cream vendor on the beautiful beach of Biarritz.

Location: La Grande Plage, Biarritz, France.

What to shot: The small ice cream vendor at the entrance of the beach really appealed to me, being so evocative, especially at the blue hour, when its artificial lights started to compete with the fading natural brilliance of the sky.

Ideal time to shot: Sunset and the Blue hour.

Gear: Standard zooms.

How to get there: Biarritz has both an airport and a train station. The Grande Plage lies next to the centre of the city and is easily reached by foot from the town. The nearest bus stop is “Mairie – Edouard 7” served by lines A1, 8, 10.

Coordinates: 43°29′01″ N 01°33′42″ W

The Ice Cream Vendor – Biarritz

Ice cream vendor at La Grande Plage - Biarritz
Ice cream vendor at La Grande Plage – Biarritz

La Grande Plage can get really busy during the day, but there are some moments in which you can enjoy all of its peace and quiet, and you don’t even need to get up early in the morning: spending some time looking at the waves of the ocean coming to the beach at sunset is unique.

Location: La Grande Plage, Biarritz, France.

What to shot: The small ice cream vendor at the entrance of the beach really appealed to me, being so evocative, especially at the blue hour, when its artificial lights started to compete with the fading natural brilliance of the sky.

Ideal time to shot: Sunset and the Blue hour.

Gear: Standard zooms.

How to get there: Biarritz has both an airport and a train station. The Grande Plage lies next to the centre of the city and is easily reached by foot from the town. The nearest bus stop is “Mairie – Edouard 7” served by lines A1, 8, 10.

Coordinates: 43°29′01″ N 01°33′42″ W

With this entry I partecipate to the WPC: nighttime.

Lights on La Grande Plage – Biarritz

La Grande Plage of Biarritz - France
La Grande Plage of Biarritz – France

Last week I went on a vacation to Biarritz with my girlfriend, and it has been one of the most gorgeous experience ever. It was a “study vacation”, filled with French language and surf lessons, but in spite of the busy schedule we had time to met some of the most lovely people with whom we enjoyed the relaxed lifestyle of this charming spot of the French Basque Country, and looked at the sun set over the ocean.

Location: La Grande Plage, Biarritz, France.

What to shot: This little adorable city on the ocean offers plenty of occasions to take some gorgeous pictures, from landscapes to street photography. Of course the coast, with her beaches is the most striking thing that will capture your attention as you come to visit this little oasis of delight in France. Here I share a photo of the main beach of Biarritz (La Grande Plage) at sunrise, taken from the Boulevard du Général de Gaulle.

Ideal time to shot: Both sunrise and sunset.

Gear: Wide angles and standard zooms.

How to get there: Biarritz has both an airport and a train station. The Grande Plage lies next to the centre of the city and is easily reached by foot from the town. The nearest bus stop is “Mairie – Edouard 7” served by lines A1, 8, 10.

Coordinates: 43°29′01″ N 01°33′42″ W

Traffic over the Grand Canal

Grand Canal
Grand Canal

I have just received my new Sony alpha a6000 (ILCE 6000), and I am already in love with it. It is so amazing to have such a powerful tool in such a small body. Look like this mirrorless thing can become my faithful buddy of everyday life. Being so small and light, it so handy I always put it into my bag, ready to take it out if any photographic occasion should happen. I think it could spur anyone’s street-life photographer vein a lot. Meanwhile I share one of the first shot I have taken with the tiny Sony, right this morning, heading to work, but finding easily an opportunity to stop and snap some pictures.

Location: The Grand Canal (Canal Grande) is the major water-traffic corridor of Venice. With its large reverse-S shape, it divides the central districts of the city. Leading at one end into the lagoon near the Santa Lucia railway station and at the other end into Saint Mark Basin, it is crowded with water buses, taxis and gondolas. Its banks are lined with almost 200 buildings, ranging from the 13th to the 18th century, showing the richness of noble Venetian families, and still representing the pride and the uniqueness of Venice. Four bridges cross the canal: the Rialto Bridge, the Ponte degli Scalzi, the Ponte dell’Accademia (from wich I took this picture), and the new Ponte della Costituzione, by Santiago Calatrava.

What to shot: From Ponte dell’Accademia you’ll have a vantage point toward part of the Grand Canal with its pompous buildings, the church of Santa Maria della Salute, and Punta della Dogana, where the water of the Canal Grande meets Saint Mark Basin’s ones.

Ideal time to shot: At sunrise you can frame with the sun just behind the church of Santa Maria della Salute. Also for this reason this site has become one of the favorite spots by many local and foreigner photographers. During daytime you can still catch some good glimpses and photos of the Grand Canal as it become the busy, crowded artery of the city as it is.

Gear: Wide angle to standard zooms.

How to get there: By foot is just a short walk (10 to 15 minutes) both from St. Mark Square and from the railway station. Public transport water bus station Accademia (line 1, 2).

Coordinates: 45°25′54″N 12°19′44″E

Le Mesole – Cavallino-Treporti

image

I have already told how I think the neighborhoods of Venice offer great occasions to the photographer´s contentment, and how I love to wander around these places with my camera trying to spot the right place to take some pictures, and I kept doing it throughout the summer. This time my strolling brought me to one of the most ancient rural village of the Northern lagoon of Venice: “Mesole”.

Location: Mesole, Cavallino-Treporti, Venice.

What to shot: The tiny village of Mesole consists in just a few houses and an ancient women´s monastery. It is the perfect goal for a bike trip, but is easily reached also by car. Being one of the smallest and most ancient village of the lagoon, it still emanates an old-times atmosphere. From the village you get easy access to the country facing the lagoon with cultivated lands, fish farms and old farmers´ houses. If you should get hungry or tired consider hitting one of the fabolous agritourisms in the nearby.

Ideal time to shot: Both sunrise and sunset.

Gear: Wide angles, standard zooms.

How to get there: From Venice, public transport water bus line 12, 13, 14 or 15 to Punta Sabbioni or to Treporti, then by car or bicycle.

Coordinates: 45°28′16″N 12°28′30″E

With this picture I participate to the weekly photo challenge “Adventure“.

Northern Lagoon of Venice – Cavallino Treporti

Dragon boat at Cavallino - Venice
Dragon boat at Cavallino – Venice

Not only Venice is worthy a photographer’s attention, also the neighborhood offers amazing occasions to take splendid pictures. I love to explore the many islands, small villages and beaches that are disseminated in the Venetian lagoon to look for the surprising beauty that lies outside the main tourist routes. I was strolling around Cavallino when I saw this characteristic row boat as the sun was setting down, and the scene was filled with its lovely golden light.

Location: Piazza Cavallino, Cavallino-Treporti, Venice.

What to shot: The small village of Cavallino lies next to the lagoon and has a waterside road that allows to look at the lagoon comfortably while remaining stable on the land. Be it on your foot, in your car, or even better riding your bike, as it offers an amazing occasion for a cycle trip, enjoy the Northern and wilder part of the lagoon of Venice.

Ideal time to shot: Both sunrise and sunset.

Gear: Wide angles, standard zooms.

How to get there: From Venice, public transport water bus line 14 or 15 to Punta Sabbioni, and then autobus 5 to Piazza Cavallino.

Coordinates: 45°29′03″N 12°33′03″E

With this picture I participate to the weekly photo challenge ‘Fray

 

Sakura in Kiyamachi Street – Kyoto, Japan

Hanami in Kyoto
Hanami in Kyoto

Back to Japan! Not really, unfortunately.. I just went through the hundreds of pictures I took during my recent trip and decided to share some. One thing that really struck me was how the Japanese people enjoy the transient beauty of cherry flowers (sakura), and celebrate their blossoming all over the country, the well known hanami.

Location: Kiyamachi Street, Kyoto, Japan.

What to shot: Kiyamachi Street is a vivid road near the renowned district of Ponto-chō (先斗町), known for its picturesque alleys still hosting many geisha houses and traditional tea houses.

Ideal time to shot: Kiyamachi Street is well frequented all day long and offers always good hints for some street photography. In springtime the sakura blossoming adds a magical shade to an already fascinating atmosphere.

Gear: Standard zooms.

How to get there: Sanjo station of the Keihan Line or the Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae station of the Tozai Line.

Coordinates: 35°00′47″N 135°46′14″E

Homage to the photographer

Photographer at Punta della Dogana
Photographer at Punta della Dogana

A little reward to us photography lovers and travelers. It doesn’t happen often that we take part in our own composition, usually we focus on our frame, rule of thirds, foreground and background balance, light conditions and camera settings. But sometimes we can add something to our images just popping into the scene, as I did here, at least partially. I was in my favorite place in Venice after a long morning stroll and decided to pay a little homage to my trusted shoes and to my legs, all essentials when it’s time to go for a fulfilling photo session.

Location: Punta della Dogana, Venice.

What to shot: St. Mark’s Square (North East), San Giorgio Maggiore Island (South East), and a busy section of the venetian lagoon in between.

Ideal time to shot: All day long. At dawn the sky offers often beautiful colors, while later on the day the lagoon get quite busy with all sort of boats. Foggy days offer equally good conditions for taking pictures.

Gear: Wide angles, tripod allowed.

How to get there: Public transport water bus station Salute (line 1).

Coordinates: 45° 25′ 52″ N 12° 20′ 10″ E

 

Saint Mark’s Square Through The Sky Over Nine Columns

St Mark's Square through The Sky Over Nine Columns by Heinz Mack
St Mark’s Square through The Sky Over Nine Columns by Heinz Mack

Playing again with the installation by Heinz Mack, “The Sky Over Nine Columns”, that amazingly enriches the skyline of Venice and interacts with the city in a lot of different ways. This summer I have been trying to take advantage of this piece of art to photograph some of the most iconic building of Venice (St. Mark’s Bell Tower and Doge’s Palace) on a different perspective or through an unusual artistic frame.

Location: San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice.

What to shot: San Giorgio Maggiore has a small harbor, a renaissance church, a Benedictine monastery, but it also offers a good view of St. Mark’s Square and the lagoon across.

Ideal time to shot: I prefer to be at San Giorgio at sunset, when the light illuminates the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Campanile sideways.

Gear: From wide angles to teles.

How to get there: Public transport water bus stations S. Giorgio (line 2).

Coordinates: 45°25′45″N 12°20′35″E

 

The Doge’s Palace

The Doge's Palace - Venice
The Doge’s Palace – Venice

The Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) was the residence of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the Republic of Venice, until the Napoleonic occupation of the city in 1797. It is now part of the Venetian museums network, as well as one of the main landmarks of the city. If you are going to visit Venice you will probably walk to St. Mark’s square where it has been built. There are many ways to photograph this gothic palace, both from the “Piazzetta” and from “Riva degli Schiavoni”. In the picture above I went for a symmetrical upward view of the Doge’s Palace, so to hide the people walking across and to emphasize the majesty and solitude of the building.

Location: Saint Mark’s Square, Venice.

What to shot: The Doge’s Palace, St. Mark’s Square and the Old Procuracies, the Bridge of Sighs, San Giorgio Maggiore’s island and a lot of street life with tourists, gondoliers and many gondolas.

Ideal time to shot: Sunrise, night.

Gear: Wide angles, standard zooms.

How to get there: Public transport water bus stations S. Marco S. Zaccaria (line 1, 2, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2).

Coordinates: 45°26′00″N 12°20′25″E

Sunrise over San Giorgio Maggiore

St. Mark's Square
Sunrise over San Giorgio Maggiore – Venice

Venice Photography Tips. This week I have been to one of the most popular spots in Venice: St. Mark’s Square. Being really crowded all the year round and offering many cues to your photographic spirit, it is good to arrive on the site with some clear ideas about the pictures you are going to take. A composition I like especially is the one above. You can get it shooting from the “Ponte della Paglia”, turning your back to the “Ponte dei Sospiri” (Bridge of Sighs). It is really a good vantage point over the lagoon facing St. Mark’s Square and the San Giorgio Maggiore Island (in the background). The foreground is rich of distinctive elements such as the gondolas, poles and lampposts. The shores give simmetry to the composition and lead the observer’s eye through the image.

Location: St. Mark’s Square, Venice.

What to shot: San Giorgio Maggiore.

Ideal time to shot: Sunrise, when the sun light illuminates San Giorgio Maggiore island sideways.

Gear: Wide angles to standars zooms.

How to get there: Public transport water bus stations S. Marco S. Zaccaria (line 1, 2, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2).

Coordinates: 45°26′00″N 12°20′25″E

 

The Sky Over Nine Columns

The Sky Over Nine Columns - Heinz Mack
The Sky Over Nine Columns – Heinz Mack

Hosting the 14th International Architecture Biennale, titled Fundamentals, Venice now offers even more photographic occasions. Beyond the exposition itself, various installations are placed around the city, producing both a dialogue and a contrast between the art works and the surrounding environment. As did “Boy with Frog” by Charles Ray until 2013, now it is “The Sky Over Nine Columns” by Heinz Mack playing this role. Nine columns, seven meters high and covered with a golden mosaic, stand in front of the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore. They represent both a manifestation of the human being, standing upright, and a solid connection between the ground and the sky, but also an homage to the ancient local craftsmanship, with the golden mosaic. And of course they add some temporary eccentricity to the venetian skyline.

Location: San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice.

What to shot: San Giorgio Maggiore itself deserves more than a picture, with its tiny harbor, a renaissance church, a Benedictine monastery, but it also offers from its “piazzetta” a good vantage point towards Venice, in particular St. Mark’s Square and the lagoon across.

Ideal time to shot: I prefer to be at San Giorgio at sunset, when the light illuminates the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Campanile sideways.

Gear: From wide angles to teles.

How to get there: Public transport water bus stations S. Giorgio (line 2).

Coordinates: 45°25′45″N 12°20′35″E

 

Sunrise at Bled Lake – A few minutes later

Sunrise at Bled Lake - A few minutes later..
Sunrise at Bled Lake – A few minutes later..

I already wrote about Bled here.

Location: Bled Lake, Slovenia.

What to shotHere it is another composition I took in the morning, just a couple of minutes after the sun rose. I walked to the boardwalk on the south-west coast, that offers a gorgeous vantage point to the lake. The clouds in the sky shielded the sun masking the colors of the morning but also producing a perfectly soft light, that really became the key element of the scene, so I tried to keep the composition as simple as possible, with just a fallen log in the foreground, and the small island and the mountains in the background, letting the light play its leading role.

Ideal time to shot: Both sunrise and sunset.

Gear: Standard zooms in the 24-105 mm range.

How to get there: The nearest international airport is Ljubljana Airport, 36 km away. Regular bus routes connect Bled with all major towns in Slovenia. The Lesce-Bled railway station (4 km) lies on the Villach – Jesenice – Ljubljana – Belgrade – Istanbul – Athens railway line.

Coordinates: 46°22′04″ N 14°06′45″ E

Sunrise at Bled Lake – Slovenia

Sunrise at Bled Lake
Sunrise at Bled Lake

Photo tip of the week: Simplicity.

Location: Bled Lake, Slovenia.

What to shot: Bled really is the perfect training spot for landscape photography. Its lake is dominated by the iconic Bled Castle, perched on a rock, and embellished with a fairy-tale small island, which lies just in the middle of the lake, between the thermal waters and the Alps, and  is home to the Assumption of Mary Pilgrimage Gothic Church. A local tradition at weddings is for the husband to carry his new bride up these 99 steps, during which the bride must remain silent. I was there for three days of a rainy week of June, but I was lucky enough to spectate to a gorgeous sunrise, when the sun broke through the clouds, and filled up the sky with brighty colors. Getting up early is really well rewarded at Bled. You can place your tripod on the bank on the west shore of the lake and take your morning shots pointing your camera right toward the small island and the sun rising behind. Sunset and the blue hour offer good light condition too, of which you can take advantage from the boardwalk on the south coast.

Ideal time to shot: Both sunrise and sunset.

Gear: Standard zooms in the 24-105 mm range.

How to get there: The nearest international airport is Ljubljana Airport, 36 km away. Regular bus routes connect Bled with all major towns in Slovenia. The Lesce-Bled railway station (4 km) lies on the Villach – Jesenice – Ljubljana – Belgrade – Istanbul – Athens railway line.

Coordinates: 46°22′04″ N 14°06′45″ E

Room with a Window – Burano, Venice

Room with a window - Burano, Venice
Room with a window – Burano, Venice

Venice Photography tip of the week: Room with a Window.

Location: Burano, Venice.

What to shot: An entire island in the Venetian lagoon with just 2500 inhabitants, filled with its old, authentic charm. Popular among artists, photographers and tourists for its tiny, brightly painted houses, small canals and shining alleys. This little island of the lagoon of Venice is just plentiful of photographic occasions, with picturesque scenes of everyday life and wonderful colors everywhere.

Ideal time to shot: All day long.

Gear: Standard zooms in the 24-105 mm range.

How to get therePublic transport water bus station line 12.

Coordinates: 45°29’03” N 12°25’06” E

Venice – Canals and Alleys of Dorsoduro

Venice - Alleys and Canals
Venice – Alleys and Canals

Photography tip of the week: Split-Second Story, Street Photography.

Location: Fondamenta De Le Romite, Dorsoduro, Venice.

What to shot: Dorsoduro is one of the most picturesque and graceful neighborhood of Venice. Not stricken by the crowds of tourists that rush St. Mark’s Square and Rialto Bridge, this area still hosts some of the most charming spots of Venice, like Punta della Dogana, the sunny waterfront of Zattere, the church of Santa Maria della Salute, the Squero of San Trovaso (a boatyard for Gondolas), and the island of Giudecca. Each one is well worth a picture for itself, but as you stroll around you will be surrounded by a myriad of peculiar details that make Venice the unique city it is: tiny alleys, peaceful canals, wooden boats, old shops. All there to be captured by your camera.

Ideal time to shot: All day long.

Gear: Standard zooms in the 24-105 mm range.

How to get therePublic transport water bus station Salute (line 1), Accademia (line 1, 2), Zattere (line 2, 5.1, 5.2, 6).

Coordinates: 45° 25′ 51″ N 12° 19′ 27″ E

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