Shimmering Light in Venice with the Fuji X100 By Drew Raitt

Shimmering Light in Venice with the Fuji X100

By Drew Raitt

Hey Steve!

Maybe your readers would be interested in my recent trip to Venice.  The shimmering light of Venice is extraordinary! I live in North Devon U.K. overlooking the Atlantic ocean and here the sea is normally cool grey or blue. But in Venice, in April, the water is a translucent green, reflected, subsumed and suffused into every nook and cranny of this lovely city.

As a landscape photographer it took a while to adjust to shooting buildings and canals where there is no horizon. Sure I took loads of shots across the lagoon but the inner alleys and waterways are where the best images are found. Here the light works magic, although colours are subdued every building seems to glow , faded paint and pastel shades come alive, in every shadow there is a glimmering, a warmth that feels unique to me. I carried only my brilliant Fuji X100 (purchased thanks to great earlier reviews by Steve and others on this site). I know things have moved on in the Fuji World and now I am hankering for maybe the XT1 with a 56mm lens but for Venice the 23mm on the X100/s is superb.

I shot pretty much in programme mode and even in the deepest dusk managed to grab the image I wanted. I felt I needed to take time over each shot, savour the light and the atmosphere. In the early morning and late evening Venice is subdued, like the light, calm and quiet and around every corner is a painting waiting to be explored. I only use the electronic viewfinder which to me seems clear and precise whatever I throw at it. With the back screen off I avoided the temptation to ‘chimp’. The exposure compensation dial is incredible, easy to access without taking your eye away from the camera and instantly responsive in the viewfinder. So plus or minus two stops enabled me to fine tune the image I wanted to take. Using Astia mode for a more natural look, plus raw mode, I shot 260 images in four days and still had plenty of battery power left. The enclosed shots are all Jpgs with shadows,highlights and tone curve adjusted very slightly in Lightroom 4. I suppose it is obligatory to visit St Mark’s Square where there are a thousand others making their images. I have never seen so much camera gear slung around, it seems, every neck and in every hand a smart phone. I am no street shooter, the concept is alien to a rural photographer, but I felt so inconspicuous with the tiny X100 every thing became possible. In this shot five Policemen walked across the square which seemed to empty for a second, one of them stopped for a moment so I took the opportunity to photograph him. The other images I enclose I believe speak for themselves about the wonderful beauty of this place. many regards and thanks for such a great website.

Drew Raitt







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  1. Fantastic shots, but imho the pix are a bit soft (low contrast) especially the first and third ones is that by design?

  2. Absolutely beautiful photo set and I really appreciate your concise writing style. Long time since I visited Venice – must get back soon.
    Since you like the Venetian light you should check out the work of JMW Turner. And he didn’t even have a camera!

  3. Please could you help me here ???? I just don’t know which camera I should buy. Fuji X100( not X100s) or Ricoh GH ???? I love Fuji’s retro look , but on a paper Ricoh leads the way in ‘pocket’ cameras. Thanks a lot

  4. Greetings Drew

    Superb, sublime photographs of Venice. Well composed and exposed.

    I too use a X100 and find it liberating to use. Don’t get me wrong, my Nikon D600 is mighty and produces wonderful files, but I love the ‘quaint’ feel of the Fuji, and it also means I’ve got extra lifting capacity left in my body to carry the girlfriends ‘Paraphernalia’ around lol

    Thanks for posting

    All the best


  5. Really enjoyed your images – especially the second and the last. Also very interested to hear how you were using your X100 – useful information for getting started with my X100S. Thanks a lot.

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