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Analog Travel Story: Venice, Italy

Updated: Jan 19

The moment it was confirmed that I was going to Venice last summer, my mind was already going through different film rolls trying to decide which would be best to capture my Venetian adventure. I hear "Venice" and I instantly think of canals, gondolas, and old, classical Italian architecture. With that in mind, I thought a black and white film would be best in order to capture the classic, vintage feeling and add character to the photos. But at what speed?

I thought a 400-speed film would likely result in several overexposed photos considering the amount of sun present during this time of the year, but I also wanted some versatility so I wasn't super comfortable going for a slow-speed film. That leaves me with ISO-200 films.

So I know I wanted a 200-speed, black and white film. My choice for the make of the film is pretty much just for the sake of the experiment. I've heard a lot of great things about the Fomapan 200 and have never tried it, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to do so.

In terms of the camera, it was pretty much a no-brainer for me. I've always loved shooting with the Olympus AF-1 and I think it gives great results for a point-and-shoot camera. Considering that it's a point-and-shoot, the camera doesn't provide much space for manual focus, which can limit your shots to an extent. However, when I travel oftentimes I don't want to be spending too much time on a shot, which can happen when using an SLR camera. Plus, a point-and-shoot is also much lighter to carry around. So, it's decided!

Shot with the Olympus AF-1 and Fomapan 200

The photo on the top right has got to be one of my absolute favorite shots of people that I've taken. If you've read my post on photo challenges to do in 2023, then you'd know that I often get intimidated taking photos of strangers, so a shot like this does not come by often for me. I'm very happy with how I've managed to capture two strangers talking to each other so naturally and in such a way that it also shows the unique backdrop of Venice.

I feel like I've also managed to capture some good stills, like the ones below, that really depict Venice. Although, more credit might be due to Venice for being just a very picturesque city

View from the Rialto Bridge, Venice
View from the Rialto Bridge

The above photo was taken from the famous Rialto Bridge, and I'm really happy with the way it turned out. I feel like there is so much life in the photo with there being pedestrians, tourists, and people on the gondola, but it is equally balanced with the vast architectural beauty in the background. And the black and white just blend everything well, somehow accentuating the attire that people were wearing at the time, and giving the photo an overall classic look that I was looking for.

Yet more photos I am really happy with. On the top right is just a precious moment that I managed to capture of a gondolier taking a nap on his gondola. A moment like this is what reminds me that great photos can come as a result of just going out of your comfort zone and taking the shot, even if it's of a total stranger. 10/10 would recommend taking more photos of strangers.

Final Thoughts

I am happy with my choice of camera and film roll for this trip, and I am also happy with the photos that resulted from it. I had already expected the photos to be beautiful since... well, Venice. But I am actually still quite pleasantly surprised at how fond I am of the photos.

There are parts of Venice that are more colorful and perhaps worth to be captured in color, but for the most part, I am happy to have been able to capture Venice exactly the way I did. I cannot imagine shooting the photos I've shot in color. Shooting with a faster-speed film would certainly result in some overexposure, but I could potentially see myself shooting with a 100-speed film.

With its history and vintage architecture, Venice could perhaps strike some as pretentious and somewhat of a bore. And yet, to me, the photos from this trip have come out feeling lively, casual, and unpretentious, even in black and white.

All in all, another great analog trip.


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