Venice in Black and White

Calle Ghetto

Calle Ghetto

Travel Photography from Venice, Italy captured during the summer of 2010.  Several of these were taken in the Jewish quarter where the word “ghetto” originated.    When I stare down long hallways and look at the vanishing point, I wonder if I am headed to a place of nothingness.

Photographers, remember to make local adjustments to bring out shadow detail.  Avoid global use of the shadows slider.  In the above image the hallway to the left and a few other areas were lightened up.

Famous destinations like Venice have been photographed many times making it difficult to get something different.  Use the typical photographs of the place as a starting point for what not to do.  It is hard to look at an unfamiliar place in a different way because it all looks different to start with, but that must be overcome by the photographer.  Ideas used here include getting into the less visited parts of town, making people the subject and rendering in black and white.

93 responses

  1. Black and white is very classy! Love these pics!

    April 9, 2013 at 9:47 am

  2. Great to see this in wonderful black and white – especially “Ghetto Passage” pix.

    April 9, 2013 at 10:32 am

    • Thank you Robert. So many people take pictures here it is a challenge to come up with something a bit different.

      April 9, 2013 at 10:41 am

  3. Venice is a place I’ve not been to yet. Everyone says it is a must, but I am not big on boats etc, have terrible balance. Still one day I really should visit.

    April 9, 2013 at 10:33 am

    • You can walk to almost everywhere. The only time a boat is necessary is to enter and leave the city.

      April 10, 2013 at 7:30 am

  4. Reblogged this on takeaasmile.

    April 9, 2013 at 10:38 am

  5. Awesome!

    April 9, 2013 at 10:39 am

  6. annapaulina

    Venice is a place I have visited on numerous occassions, it’s very beautiful. Although I know the town(?) quite well, your pictures present quite a new perspective:) one I did not consider up unitl now. Thanks.

    April 9, 2013 at 10:50 am

    • Anna, I try to look at things in a different way. That is hard in an unfamiliar place because everything is different at first. However, famous places like Venice have been portrayed by so many photographers giving a starting point for what not to do.

      April 9, 2013 at 10:56 am

      • annapaulina

        I completely agree, and I do like what you see. Keep it up.

        April 9, 2013 at 10:58 am

        • I just edited some of those thoughts into the main post.

          April 9, 2013 at 11:00 am

        • annapaulina

          Lovely :)

          April 9, 2013 at 12:15 pm

  7. Love these pictures!

    April 9, 2013 at 10:54 am

  8. Uffff… Una Bella Serie, Sin Duda Algunas De Ellas Son Muy Hermosas… Un Saludo

    April 9, 2013 at 11:22 am

  9. Great pictures. I lover black & white pictures, especially the ones in the Ghetto… ;)

    April 9, 2013 at 11:36 am

    • Well, I must be a Ghetto boy.

      April 9, 2013 at 12:02 pm

      • Hahahaha!!!
        But the word ‘Ghetto’ is originated in Venice? How come?
        Not that I’m curious, but I would like to know. ;)

        April 9, 2013 at 12:40 pm

        • Because I say so :) It is the oldest place that I have ever seen it.

          April 9, 2013 at 1:50 pm

        • Really?
          There are a lot of really old places in the world… And in the Netherlands too…. ;)

          April 9, 2013 at 3:21 pm

        • There are no old places around here. In 1900 Houston was a small town with a population considerably less than 50,000. Today the metropolitan area is 6.2 million.

          April 9, 2013 at 3:40 pm

  10. these are great! I would love to get your opinion on some of my work! would you mind if i sent you a link to my photography webblog?

    April 9, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    • Post another comment with the link in it. Remember, I am not a professional critic, curator or art collector and I have no formal education in visual arts.

      April 9, 2013 at 1:51 pm

  11. Hi Ron, I like your Venice shots …….. as you probably know, just my thing ! In fact, I have an almost identical shot to your ‘Arches and Closed Stores’ – it’s small world !! Rest assured, though, it’s not yours ….. mine’s in colour, slightly different composition but I’m sure it’s the same place. Best wishes, V.

    April 9, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    • Probably the same place. And everyone has the shot of the Grand Canal from the Rialto bridge.

      April 10, 2013 at 7:32 am

  12. I feel colour in your B&W. Nicely done.

    April 9, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    • You feel color…that is interesting. Thank you for visiting.

      April 9, 2013 at 6:20 pm

  13. Calle ghetto and Tight Spot stand out for me. Great work. You’re getting some of the recognition you deserve.

    April 9, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    • Thank you. Sometimes life is one tight spot after another.

      April 9, 2013 at 7:55 pm

  14. Digging the b & w.

    April 9, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    • Thank you. I have noticed that blogging black and white images together gets a great response. I do color too, but the trick with color is for the color to add something special.

      April 9, 2013 at 10:27 pm

  15. So gorgeous, love Power Boat Driver.

    April 9, 2013 at 8:30 pm

  16. Great photos ~ I especially like “A Tight Spot” It does seem like it’s going into a nothingness…

    April 10, 2013 at 12:59 am

    • Sometimes that is where I think I am going, to nothingness.

      April 10, 2013 at 7:34 am

  17. Another great series. I love the long hallways and vanishing points. The points don’t make me think of nothingness but more that I could on forever and ever.

    April 10, 2013 at 5:14 am

    • Just on the way to the end somewhere. Thank you.

      April 10, 2013 at 7:34 am

  18. Nice! Not the usual Venice photo show. Thanks for posting them.

    April 10, 2013 at 7:53 am

  19. Wow, these B&W photos are very striking!! Thanks for the tips. I agree its hard to get a picture that hasn’t been taken before and I do love B&W pictures. I should definitely take more B&W pictures or even Sepia, definitely going to give it a try on my next adventure, thanks Ron.

    April 10, 2013 at 8:32 am

  20. Very interesting that you posted this. I was in venice just a few weeks ago for work and, during downtime was taking black and white photos of empty alleys and streets, with a “venice in black and white” post in mind… Haven’t posted it yet but I will…

    April 10, 2013 at 10:47 am

  21. Beautiful!

    April 10, 2013 at 3:58 pm

  22. You are soooo darned good with black and white. You have inspired me to look at light different!

    April 10, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    • Thank you. I flip back and forth between wanting to do color or black and white.

      April 10, 2013 at 4:58 pm

  23. Thanks for visiting my blog! Great tip about what (not) to photograph in Venice. I’ll be there for the first time, for work, next month. Look forward to visiting the city soon!

    April 10, 2013 at 4:59 pm

  24. The pictures are really cool in black and white. Venice is beautiful but this photography really made it more beautiful :)

    April 11, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    • Thank you Sathish.

      April 11, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      • Welcome :) A small suggestion. If you could add some more background information about the pictures like history of the place, place’s significance etc, it would be helpful for the readers like me who are from other country.

        April 11, 2013 at 4:06 pm

        • Try Google.

          April 11, 2013 at 4:08 pm

        • Yup. I am doing it. :)

          April 11, 2013 at 4:11 pm

        • I am not from Italy either.

          April 11, 2013 at 4:12 pm

  25. vivozhouphotography

    Love the black and white perspective photos! And great advice for capturing non generic photos

    April 13, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    • Thank you, but the larger issue is why am I headed to where the lines converge:

      April 13, 2013 at 9:11 pm

  26. Thank you for liking my recent post. I enjoyed looking at these photos of Venice. I have visited your blog a few times now, and I notice that I am drawn to your black and white photography. Keep up the good work! :)

    April 14, 2013 at 4:02 pm

  27. barbmca

    Amazing work. One days maybe I will get to Venice on a world trip

    April 24, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    • It doesn’t have to be a world trip, just do Italy. Thanks.

      April 24, 2013 at 10:19 pm

  28. Photos of a ghetto in black and white are appropriate. Other nasty places in black and white also present the mood. These are well done. Elsewhere I find it depressing. Have your own way.

    April 26, 2013 at 12:19 am

    • B&W does not move everyone. However, I can tell you that my B&W photos are generally well received.

      April 26, 2013 at 12:25 am

  29. Reblogged this on Hey Sweetheart, Get Me Rewrite! and commented:
    Another New Friend

    May 2, 2013 at 10:48 am

  30. Great B&W images. My daughter and son-in-law are in Venice, now, as I’m writing this.

    May 5, 2013 at 8:08 am

    • I hope they take lots of pictures and see the Jewish quarter.

      May 5, 2013 at 8:45 am

  31. Reblogged this on Ron Scubadiver's Wild Life and commented:

    I am stuck in Houston for about another month wanting to go somewhere else really bad.

    December 15, 2013 at 8:03 am

  32. Monochrome gives each images a patina that helps to keep my attention.

    December 15, 2013 at 8:21 am

  33. Awesome post and pictures!
    Please check out my blog and let’s follow each other!

    December 15, 2013 at 8:27 am

  34. Really liked the glass artisan – how spare the workshop is and how delicate the work.

    December 15, 2013 at 8:32 am

  35. barrypiatoff

    Reblogged this on The Second Time Around.

    December 15, 2013 at 9:21 am

  36. really bad places
    can end up
    being really nice
    sometimes :-)

    December 15, 2013 at 10:32 am

  37. Even in the ghetto, there is beauty. It’s everywhere, depending on the lens through which one sees.

    December 15, 2013 at 2:02 pm

  38. Great photos. I was in Venice last Christmas -a magical, extraordinary place which you have captured here. More please!

    December 16, 2013 at 7:34 am

    • Try out the “Europe” drop down in the header of the blog. Thank you for the visit.

      December 16, 2013 at 8:40 am

  39. When B&W TV became available in the UK so many decades ago one of the first questions my parents asked was if it would still be possible to watch things in B&W. Although amusing when you hear it said I know exactly what they were meaning as viewing in B&W you can fill in your own colours. These are really beautiful and as has been mentioned already full of atmosphere.

    December 16, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    • I wonder if it is possible to turn the saturation down enough on a modern color TV. Actually converting a color digital file to B&W is done by mapping the colors to tones and it looks very different from a desaturated image.

      December 16, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      • Back in the day it certainly was but you’re right new techniques, new effects. It’s a while since I watched an old movie!

        December 16, 2013 at 1:56 pm

        • Watch “The Artist”.

          December 16, 2013 at 2:04 pm

        • I just looked at the trailer – I would say ‘captivating’. Many thanks for the tip and it’s fascinating that after the first 30seconds the abscence of colour is no loss. I’d forgotten how restful the subtle shading is.

          December 16, 2013 at 3:23 pm

        • Then you will not miss the spoken word either.

          December 16, 2013 at 3:24 pm

        • Very true! I spend a lot of time in the company of dogs and they are constantly reading my body language and can tell me a lot about how I’m feeling. It’s a great way to learn that the way we feel has everything to do with ourself and nothing to do with anyone else. Us watching silent actors must be a lot like dogs watching us!

          December 16, 2013 at 4:22 pm

  40. K. A. Brace

    Ron, I wanted to send you the poem of the covered walkway-alley of your photyo to see what you thought.

    Suppose One Day You Were Here?

    Suppose one day you found yourself here,
    Between the labyrinth that are the canals of Venice
    That lies the maze that is her streets,
    Those that lead to nowhere but to your beginning
    Those that lead simply nowhere.

    The twists and turns that make no sense
    When opening on broad squares, the alleyways
    Covered paths leading into a darkness
    Unsurpassed by night even in the day
    Take you back always into its past
    Of the Dodge’s palace and might of city-state
    That could have outlasted time itself
    Except for the cities sinking down into the great lagoon.

    It will claim the wretched poor as well a rich
    Merchants who from their homes
    Filled with art of beauty from an age
    That bid the city farewell to disappear
    Beneath the weight of its own hubris
    Not even time would disregard as its sin.

    Do not think you would escape without your life
    Mortality is not the toll for coming here.
    This is the place like no other who’s tax on living
    Is the expense of your small and worthless soul.

    April 7, 2014 at 11:29 am

    • I don’t know what to say as I am not much of a writer. Just make sure to link back to “Venice in Black and White” and not the Threshold post.

      April 7, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      • K. A. Brace

        It’s already on the copy. I won’t be posting it for a while, not to worry. Also next time tyou post I will reblog it. Thanks. KB

        April 7, 2014 at 12:20 pm

        • Cool, wait until the post is up at least 45 minutes, and make sure it is something that fits in with what you are doing, because the next one is going to be more babes in bathing suits.

          April 7, 2014 at 12:39 pm

  41. K. A. Brace

    Reblogged this on The Mirror Obscura and commented:
    I recently discovered Ron’s photography, both color and my personal favorite blacck and whie. Please view his work and relaqy your “Likes and Comments” directly to him. Thanks >KB

    April 7, 2014 at 12:28 pm

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