Aperativo break at the Venice Carnival

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I wasn’t able to make it to the Venice Carnival this year as I’m in a play and can’t miss the rehearsals. So, I’m post photos from previous years instead.

I love the expression on the gentleman’s face on the left. He doesn’t look too happy. Maybe his wig is itching him, or he’s wishing he was drinking an Aperol Spritz like his companion. I felt a bit like a time traveller watching them both anyhow – was it really the 21st century?!!! The wonderful thing about Venice is that the backdrop looks so historic, and there are no cars, so once people step into period costume you really can start to believe that you have stepped back in time.

(Very) Little Red Riding Hood

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I saw three Little Red Riding Hoods during carnival: one lady in a very fantastical costume which made her a magnet for the photographers; a guy comically dressed as the girl in red, and this one, which is my favourite. I know I am starting to have a thing about toddlers in costume – but there really is something very endearing about the sight of them dressed up. So I expect there will be more to come!

I spotted a unicorn

 

Venice Carnival-7Today was the last day of the Venice Carnival. The city will seem like a very different place without seeing people dressed up in various costumes covering the whole gamet from hilarious to outragious, surreal or just plain exquisite. It felt like only yesterday that I was cooing along with everyone else at the spectacle of the flight of the angel and yet here we were today gathered again in St. Mark’s Square to witness the Flight of the Lion – the official closing event of the carnival involving a huge flag unfurled over St Mark’s Square; patriotic music and much ticker tape. Just as the ceremony finished the wind picked up and it felt that a storm was coming in – which seemed a fitting end, as if it was blowing away the carnival.

Before calling it a wrap I took some atmospheric shots without flash to capture the mysterious nature of the carnival at night. I caught a fleeting glance of a winged unicorn running along a piazza (these things tend to happen in Venice) and found the photographs that I took to be eerily beautiful, like paintings from a carnival of old. What do you think? Is it just my imagination or does the one featured look like an old, cracked oil painting?

And don’t think I’m totally through with the carnival just yet. I will be picking out my favourite pictures and posting them here to keep the spirit of it all alive for just a bit longer…

Weekly photo challenge: Abandoned

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This little ‘lion cub’ looks like he has been abandoned amongst the crowd at the Venice carnival celebrations. Actually he was very safe and seemed to be in heaven amongst the streamers and confetti and the street band playing in the sunshine. I was in heaven too capturing his movements. I would love to give the pictures to his parents (who had not abandoned him by any means and were standing by keeping an eye on him!) I gave the father my business card and am hoping they will get in touch.

Here’s the full story of his escapades (see photos below). I love the look on the mother’s face –  it seems that she too is moved by watching her adorable little son during this precious time in his young history. It’s being able to capture beautiful scenes like this that makes me so happy to be a photographer!

(I have, ahem, edited this post after the parents did to my delight get in touch and I discovered that it is a little boy called Levante and not a girl as I had wrongly assumed. Sorry Levante, but you just look so darned cute!)

Posted for the weekly photo challenge

Venice promenader

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Taking a photograph of someone in costume along the Venice waterfront at sunset is a bit of a carnival cliché I know. But I  like the symmetry of her mask reflecting the dome of the church and the way her outfit mirrors the colours of the sky.

Three Venice Carnival pictures

For a change I’m posting three photos, taken earlier this evening in Venice, for the  wordpress weekly photo challenge: Threes

Busy mask and costume makers

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It’s that time of year when the mask and costume makers are busy making the final touches to their wonderful creations in time for all the carnival balls and parades, which will be in full flow from this weekend. I love this photograph because the people look like something out of a fairy tale – they are as magical as the costumes and masks that they produce for the carnival itself!

 

Venice carnival has begun!

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This little girl sums up how everyone in Venice was feeling yesterday. The sun was shining and it felt like spring.  What’s more the Venice carnival had begun!

The opening ceremony part one took place on Saturday evening and involved two dragon floats bellowing smoke plus some fun street bands that entertained us well into the night. Venetians came out in costume for the occasion, and with glasses of ‘vino rosso’ from the local bars  at just 1.50 euros a glass how could we not have fun?!

The second day involved a flotilla of boats led by a giant rat (I’m not sure why but it appears to be an annual custom) which released yet more smoke as well as hundreds of balloons. Thanks to the lovely weather,  plenty of confetti and yet more music, the atmosphere was again fantastic. And this time the wine was free, along with delicious ‘pasta fagiloi’ dished out from stallls along the canal-side.

If the last couple of days is anything to go by, I’ve a feeling this carnival is going to be a lot of fun!

You can see more photos in my Venice Carnival gallery, which I’ll be updating regularly throughout the next couple of weeks.

Weekly photo challenge: solitary

I took this photo at the Venice carnival earlier this year. I’m not sure if the costumed participant just wanted a quiet moment or she was just still playing her theatrical part and posing for the cameras in a solitary pose.  I guess that is what carnival is all about, hiding your true self behind a mask so that no-one is sure exactly how you are feeling. Anyway, I’ve included it for the sense of solitude that the photograph conveys, whether contrived or genuine.

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Weekly photo challenge: purple

 

This week’s entry for the weekly photo challenge was taken at this year’s Venice carnival – a wonderful treat for photographers, especially as I was blessed with clear blue skies on the day that I visited.

 

At the carnival, Venice

 

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to spend a day at the Venice carnival. I took so many photos of the wonderful participants that I feel sure this will be the first of many that I include on this blog.