The longer you spend in a city such as Venice, the less you have to worry about the big picture and ticking off sights, and the more time you have to take in the tiny details. Photographing Venice in details allows you to focus on the minute details of history that abound in the city.
This was our eighth trip to Venice (and we had stayed in an apartment here for a couple of weeks many years ago), yet each day as we’ve strolled around the city we’ve noticed exquisite details we’ve overlooked before: finely carved statues, antique clocks hanging above shop doors, wall plaques bearing coats-of-arms, and intricate reliefs on the capitals of columns. And once you have covered the big places and sights the more photographing Venice becomes about noticing the details.
However, this is something that we’ve always done coming from our background in film, you always shoot wide, mid-shot, close-up. I always apply this when photographing a restaurant, I photograph the room first, a waiter or the chef in the room and then the plates of food and the little details, such as a waiter holding a plate or a close-up of Champagne bottle labels in a bucket of ice.
You can apply the same rules to a city – provided you have enough time there to really explore. Which is why staying in a rental gets around the prohibitive prices of Venice’s hotels – lovely as some of them really are.
Each little detail tells a story – about an esteemed family, an influential figure, a social custom, or a rule or law – but even before we investigate their meaning and dig a little deeper into Venice’s culture and history, it’s satisfying enough simply to appreciate their beauty.
The city really is one to get lost in to discover these details and get a little lost in – even if you can geo-locate where you are with your phone. It’s worth venturing off the beaten track and find these small details. You might even come across a local restaurant that tourists can’t find and have a great lunch or dinner as a reward – this has happened to us numerous times. Just get out there and explore!