I wanted the city feel the sky with each nerve, each window…

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it was certainly the most craziest day in my life! I described already how it all started
in my last entry . Now I will tell you how it all ended! when we gathered back in the apartments wet and tired, we were thrilled with emotions! We got warmer with tea, shared our snowy adventures enthusiastically and wanted to have some rest before dinner when our landlady rushed in and said high water was been expected that night! I had warned my group about such possibility in advance, and some took rubber boots. But it turned out that only waders could help… That night water was 1,6 meters high at San Marco. That was 6th highest Aqua Alta for the last century! Unfortunately, I couldn’t shoot it. I will tell why under cut. Also you can see promised photos from Canon 5d MarkIII…

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Dance when it is snowing…

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I do not know if there is a more spectacular show than snow in Venice! It was my third Carnival, and I got lucky again! This time I decided I would not miss even a small street! Two cameras at my sides, I put 120mm macro lens on to middle format cam and universal lens 24-70mm on to 5d MarkIII. And thus I rushed to catch vaporetto! From Ferovia to San Marco, almost whole Venice along Grande Canal. I was lucky the vessel was not stuffed to the gilles! Normal people had no doubts I was a crazy man! Between stops I managed to run through the vessel about 3 times. I spoke word “permesso” about 500 times for half an hour! The boy responsible for tie-down helped me clear the way, and the skipper opened his window and distracted me all the way with his questions. I bet he never saw such a crazy man! When I am old and dying I will recall happy moments of life, and it is going to be one of them…

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The city is watching its dream, a cold movie…

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That morning didn’t promise anything unusual. At 7 am. Just like at work, we were at San Marco looking for new masks, scenes, ideas. A bottle of traditional Jagermeister and warm gloves didn’t let us drop off the hooks. There was no sun that could spark everything up and make us move fast from one mask to another. The only thing that did allay our boredom was meeting with Darrell Gulin, an American photographer who had been a guide in our penguin expedition through South Georgia. We hugged each other happily and he rushed to show me to American old ladies who had traveled with us and at the moment were shooting masks near by! Well, that was kinda linkage on the Elbe and a slight nostalgia. Well, for 3 years of carnival mornings at San Marco at least half of photographers seem familiar… But let’s get back to the masks…

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Game, movie again, one more encore show…

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That morning there were fewer photographers at San Marco. But it seemed old dodgers stayed only. It became more and more difficult to find good shooting angles. That’s how it usually happens. Morning twilight, masks stand in interesting places. And there are at least 10 photographers around each of them. First ones you hate are flash-men. There are hundreds of them there, starting from people with P&S cameras to those maniacs with studio light. And a third of all morning shots are light shots. Second group is a wide-lenses addicts. They need to place their cam right at the nose of a mask. And you stand close waiting for them to end their shooting, different from all the rest. But there is a third group of photographers, the foulest one, – god-photographers. They think everything surrounding belongs to them. I even had to perform peace enforcement operation with one of them, right in this gallery…

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Only time is oozing like moon through cracks, no faces seen, only smoke is visible…

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While my recollections of those crazy 5 day of our Venetian Carnival tour are still fresh, I need to tell you about it. So, in the morning of February the 8th, the first day of the Carnival I met the whole team in Marco Polo airport. A couple of Tuscany red wine bottles killed upon our meeting tuned all of us in a positive friendly way, and we set off to check-in. Apartments were beyond our expectations: gorgeous interiors, wooden ceilings, old furniture, roof exit where one can admire Venice from above. Sheer delight. But as it turned out later a simple 3-star hotel would be a better choice… But no words thereof today… So we spent the other half of the day in Osteria Giardinetto where I introduced guys to Larissa and Virgilio, best restaurateurs in Venice, in my opinion. And further on we spent every other night there, which I had been sure of beforehand. Morning after we had our first sunrise shooting at San Marco. Masks and a hell of lot photographers there. Fight for best shooting angles and no light at all. I guess it was not bad for warming-up!

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Always wearing a mask – that’s my fate ….

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For several years running I tried to visit Venice but due to different reasons I failed to, but this year I decided I won’t miss Carnival ! My friends and I booked hotels 2 months before, but it was not that easy ( as you know, there are only 2 right words out of fast, cheap and quality , we found a great and not that expensive hotel, but near to railway station. And though we had rooms with view to Canal Grande, it took us 20 minutes to walk to San Marco. On the first day we strolled through amazing city all day long. I tried to notice and memorize beautiful spots. Anxiety for photos added to overall delight from absolutely unique scenes. I just couldn’t feel the city, couldn’t catch its mood and rhythm… We had gotten ready for the good weather, but everyday it was just getting worse and worse… We reached San Marco. There were lots of masks, but there were people even thousands more. Lines of those desiring to photograph with masks, mess and fuss… I was absolutely  crushed with the pictures I made. Sad mood was compensated by a restaurant, that was a top-3-tripadvisor among Venice restaurants. But in my top it seemed to win the first place. Beautiful Larissa was owner, hostess and waitress all at once, and her husband Virgilio was reigning over the kitchen – he was a real kitchen poet ! I will post photos with description of the dishes in next entry, they taught me something… In the morning I decided to go and see the sunrise in San Marco. At 6:00, having caught tripod, cameras and filters I got off river tram at San Marco and saw the following: all picturesque spots of the piazza were occupied with masks with photographers around them. And oh happiness, none of the tourists ! I rushed to get into the process having forgotten about sunrise ( which by the way did not happen )…

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