Carnevale in Venice sounds magical, doesn’t it? The pageantry, the history, the color in an amazing setting. That’s what comes through in the images, isn’t it?
Here’s the truth about Carnevale in Venice…
It’s all a big show for tourists and photographers. I have never seen so many big lenses in one place. Near Piazza San Marco, where the best costumes were found, it was like Disneyland. Disneyland in peak season with no crowd control. Instead of parents pushing and shoving to get photographs of kids with characters, it’s big lens photographers pushing and shoving to get the best angle on the mask. Those in the masks, the seriously gorgeously costumed people, worked it for all it was worth and even had business cards to give to those with the biggest of the big lenses.
Here’s a quick glimpse at the image those photographers were trying to get. There is probably a much better composition on this, I just didn’t feel like pushing and shoving my way in to get it.
This is not my kind of photography, not my Venice.
I am forced to admit, Venice is a place that pretty much exists for tourists any more. It is a gorgeous, fascinating place with such a rich history. In some ways it is sad that it has been reduced to this to survive. In some ways I am glad, because otherwise this wonderful place would just be allowed to sink into the lagoon.
Carnevale is part of Venice’s amazing history, maybe one of the biggest draws by the number of masks you see for sale in shops and crowds on this one day alone. It is incredible to see the costumes. I am glad we went, and I’m glad it was for only one day. I’m glad Carnevale was not my only experience with Venice, there is so much more to it than masks. I have more very cool images to share in coming days, but even as I share them I want you to know the truth behind them. It’s not as magical as it seems.