Venice After Dark – A Photo Essay.

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pin it button Venice After Dark   A Photo Essay

I know I’ve said this before but it’s true…

Walking in Venice at night is a bit like being drunk and in love – in a good way.

We only spent two nights in Venice but I couldn’t get enough of it. I desperately want to go back for several months just so I can wander the streets after dark. The hoards of tourists disappear leaving behind the crumbling remains of what was once one of the grandest cities in Italy. All you need to do is step outside and the soundtrack follows you through the alleys and canals – water lapping, wine being poured, forks and knives clinking, children running & people laughing.

All at once it seems like a distant far off land, yet close at hand. It’s the kind of place where you see the next square and wonder if you’ll end up in a completely different world when you just turn the corner.

There is just no doubting in my mind that I am going back to Venice for an extended stay. It has some weird hold on me. I’m not sure what it is, it just seems like a place I need to explore further. It feels very familiar yet unimaginable.

Venice is mysterious & mystical without being cliche.

Everyone looks so in love in Venice. It’s a place where people dress up, jump on their motor boat for a quick ride and then spend the rest of the evening dining, drinking & holding hands. It’s also a place where the real estate is crumbing, graffiti is plentiful and it’s not uncommon to find dead birds in the alleys.

The new blends seamlessly with the old in Venice. Time keeps marching on even though it looks like it’s been standing still for centuries.

Venice has an elusive, almost aristocratic spirit with a gritty and dirty soul.

It’s a juxtaposition of itself and I think that’s why I love it so much.

She’s the girlfriend you’ve always wanted. The one you can take to the opera and throw back shots of Jose Cuervo with on the limo ride over. She’s that kind of cool. You can tell you don’t have the whole story but you don’t care because being with her puts you on top of the world. She doesn’t give it up easy yet you keep going back for more. You just can’t help yourself.

I guess that’s why she’s so easy to fall in love with. It’s the way she makes you feel – ALIVE.

Welcome to my version of Venice after dark – gritty, grimy and utterly enchanting. I hope you love her the way I do.

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All of these photos were taken in Venice, Italy using the manual setting on my camera and without the use of a tripod.

Check out my photo ebook – Getting Out Of Auto. Learn the ins & outs of exposure, composition and special techniques to help you get photos like the ones you see here.

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Shameless Plug: Want to learn some great tricks for taking photos in low light situations?

All of these photos were taken in Venice, Italy using the manual setting on my camera and without the use of a tripod.

Check out my photo ebook – Getting Out Of Auto. Learn the ins & outs of exposure, composition and special techniques to help you get photos like the ones you see above.

 

 

*Please remember all photos on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of Beers and Beans Travel Website & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you do want to use one of them please contact me first because I do love to share and I would be flattered. Thanks!

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(103) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Turkey’s For Life - Reply

    August 11, 2011 at 3:01 am

    I’m sold. I’d love to be in Venice right now! I can see why you love her so much – especially after all the crowds have gone.
    Julia

  • Italian Notes - Reply

    August 11, 2011 at 3:09 am

    Amazing photos. You really have made the most out of those two nights in Venice.

  • Maggie - Reply

    August 11, 2011 at 3:13 am

    Wow. This photo essay is intriguing…like a dark mystery filled with romance and charm. I loved your description of your perceptions of Venice beforehand and then seeing all the photos. It has a good flow. I think this is my favorite photo essay yet!

    • Bethany - Reply

      August 11, 2011 at 8:52 pm

      @Maggie,

    • Bethany - Reply

      August 11, 2011 at 8:53 pm

      Thanks Maggie! I definitely think Venice is romantic and gritty at the same time – such a cool place! @Maggie,

  • Bridgette - Reply

    August 11, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Oh, absolutely stunning, I absolutely MUST go back. Venice is just gorgeous and your photos make it even more magical! Well done! Beautiful photo essay!

  • Simon - Reply

    August 11, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Amazing photo essay! I am speechless!

  • Alouise - Reply

    August 11, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Beautiful photos as always. I think Venice at night might be more intriguing that Venice during the day.

    • Bethany - Reply

      August 11, 2011 at 8:57 pm

      Thank you Alouise – I do think it is. During the day the crowds can get annoying. At night though, totally different story. @Alouise,

  • Sarah - Reply

    August 11, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    I want to be in a committed relationship with Venice.

    • Bethany - Reply

      August 11, 2011 at 8:58 pm

      Haha! Me too! Well actually I don’t even need to be committed. A fling will work right now! :) @Sarah,

  • Andrea - Reply

    August 11, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Stunning!!!! and the words are beautiful too.

    Thank you for sharing your talents.

    • Bethany - Reply

      August 11, 2011 at 8:59 pm

      Thank you Andrea – I’m so glad you like them! @Andrea,

  • Andrea - Reply

    August 11, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    ps – Just bought your book. Busting to know how to take such beautiful photos without lugging a tripod!

    Thank you!

    • Bethany - Reply

      August 11, 2011 at 9:02 pm

      Hi Andrea,

      So glad you bought the book – I hope you love it! Check page 49 for all the tips I use when I don’t have a tripod with me or don’t want to use one. And check page 31 too for other night photography tips! :) @Andrea,

  • Carol - Reply

    August 11, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    I was in Venice in my 20s with beau on arm dressed like Katherine Hepburn and walking the streets like I was the queen of style. It was so long ago and Venice has not changed (except for the plastered billboards). I would give anything to walk those streets 40 years ago again and giving my glorious smile full of a vitality that only that city can give.

    • Bethany - Reply

      August 18, 2011 at 10:42 pm

      Carol that is such a beautiful comment! Thank you so much for leaving it. Reading it, I feel like I can see you there in just the way you describe beautiful and full of love. Venice is something out of the ordinary and unlike anything else isn’t it?
      @Carol,

  • Muza-chan - Reply

    August 11, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Great pictures :)

  • Kristina - Reply

    August 12, 2011 at 12:32 am

    lovely pictures, venice is such a dreamy and pretty place!
    which lense do you use? :)

    • Bethany - Reply

      August 12, 2011 at 1:29 pm

      Thanks Kristina – Most of these were taken w/ an 18-250 3.5 not the best lens but one I had with me. @Kristina,

  • Mariya - Reply

    August 12, 2011 at 6:10 am

    Stunning pictures.Well done!

  • Nancie - Reply

    August 12, 2011 at 6:27 am

    Beautiful and haunting……….nice work. It’s been years since I’ve been to Venice. It will always hold special memories for me.

    • Bethany - Reply

      August 12, 2011 at 1:30 pm

      Perfect description Nancie – that is what I thought of Venice too – Beautiful & haunting. @Nancie,

  • Jim - Reply

    August 12, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    Loved the Venice photos. While Nancie says it’s years since she’s been, for me it’s decades! Try 1974. But I still remember just wandering the streets, old churches under renovation, 2 litres of wine for less than a dollar in those days, can’t remember much after that somehow…

    • Bethany - Reply

      August 13, 2011 at 9:09 am

      hahah! Sounds like everyone loves the same things about Venice. There just isn’t anywhere else like it. Thanks for commenting Jim – glad you like the images. :) @Jim,

  • Katherine Brown - Reply

    August 12, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    Everything I wanted to say, has been said already – most of all ‘speechless’ and ‘inspired’ would sum it up! Brilliant!!!

  • Sheryll (@wnderlustprojct) - Reply

    August 13, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    I’m blown away. This cements the fact that I HAVE to go to Venice when I’m in Europe soon. Simply stunning photos.

    • Bethany - Reply

      August 14, 2011 at 7:57 am

      Thanks Sheryll! Yes, definitely go! Just make sure to stay out at night. It’s beautiful during the day but tons of people. Sometimes you feel like a sardine. At night though – amazing! @Sheryll (@wnderlustprojct),

  • Les - Reply

    August 13, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    Amazing photos! I’m so impressed!

    • Bethany - Reply

      September 2, 2011 at 8:32 pm

      Thanks Les – I’m so glad you like the photos of Venice! @Les,

  • Michael Hodson - Reply

    August 14, 2011 at 10:01 am

    You know how much I love Venice already. You HDR’ing any of these shots? Love night shots. These are great.

    • Bethany - Reply

      August 14, 2011 at 3:25 pm

      I know, Venice is something else for sure. I really want to go back. I HDR’d only one of them and only very slighting – between 2 photos instead of the typical three. Just kinda merged them together instead of going for that real HDR look. The one I did it to is 13th photo in – the one taken at street level with the buildings on each side and the big dark sky. There are some cafe tables on the left w/ umbrellas – one of the guys is looking at me. Glad you like them! :) @Michael Hodson,

  • Tours Of The Vatican - Reply

    August 15, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I was going to ask if there was a bad way to be drunk and in love, but realized that there definitely is – if said love is unrequited or unreturned, anyway! But having experienced Venice at night, I’m definitely in agreement that it is like the *good* kind of drunk and in love. ;) Gorgeous photos! They really capture the essence.

    Heidi

  • RyukyuMike - Reply

    August 15, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    Sorry I’m so late. Busy, busy, busy and can’t recall if I even posted for TPThursday this past week. Anyhoo, I always enjoy your photography and excellent writing. Ya got a follower !

  • Andrea - Reply

    August 17, 2011 at 3:40 am

    I think this might be my favourite of your photo posts yet! I haven’t been to Venice in 12 years and this just makes me want to go back even more…

    • Bethany - Reply

      August 17, 2011 at 3:12 pm

      Thanks Andrea – this one is actually my favorite too! @Andrea,

  • Cailin - Reply

    August 17, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Gorgeous!
    Love your photography! Makes me want to go back! :) I haven’t been there since 2007!

    • Bethany - Reply

      August 17, 2011 at 3:37 pm

      Hi Cailin! Thank you! I want to go back too! @Cailin,

  • Sophie - Reply

    August 17, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Gorgeous and unusual photos, as always :)
    Love Venice at night. And in winter.

    • Bethany - Reply

      August 18, 2011 at 10:44 pm

      Thank you Sophie! It’s funny you mention that because I really want to see Venice in the winter too! I think it must be breathtaking! @Sophie,

  • Amanda - Reply

    August 17, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Amazing photos, as usual! That one of the gondoliers sitting next to the canal (at least I think that’s what it’s of) is stunning. Love it!

    • Bethany - Reply

      August 18, 2011 at 10:45 pm

      Thank you Amanda! I really like that one too. When I saw the guy sitting up there with the hat I knew I had to grab a shot as quick as I could. :) @Amanda,

  • [...] couple weeks ago I did a very large photo essay – Venice After Dark. It’s probably my favorite photo essay yet – if you haven’t seen it definitely [...]

  • Thomas | Jus Getaway - Reply

    August 19, 2011 at 5:19 am

    Love this photo essay the photo bring out the character the Venice already has. The photo of the hanging clothing is one of my favorite in this one. Nice with the shameless plug at the bottom!

  • Jon - Reply

    August 19, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    I was in Venice in May this year it was fantastic. Many of your photos I recognise from my own wanderings through the streets there. It’s funny walking around there, not many street names but after a little while you begin to recognise the different intricacies about each street and can navigate your way around without a concern.

    I am nearly 100% positive that I ate at the restaurant where you have taken the photo of the menu sticking in the alley way! Cant for the life of me think of its name though! Sadly, I lost my camera in the canal so I don’t have any photos to share – mind you they pale in comparison to yours!!!

    • Bethany - Reply

      August 23, 2011 at 12:38 pm

      That’s crazy that you ate there! I have to know – how was the food? That was the only issue with Venice was trying to find good food. I got over it pretty fast though just because I liked the city so much! @Jon,

  • Nomadic Samuel - Reply

    August 20, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    This is one of the nicest photos essays I’ve ever seen – it just makes you want to be there NOW! :)

  • GotPassport Family - Reply

    September 10, 2011 at 9:07 am

    this photo essay had me longing for many more trips back to Venice . Incredible pictures.

  • Bobbi Lee Hitchon - Reply

    September 14, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Love these photos! So romantic <3

  • Jenna - Reply

    September 18, 2011 at 7:16 am

    I really enjoyed looking at these photos. And I love Venice, too. It is a special place with a fascinating history, so I always feel sad when I hear people say that they hate it.

    • Bethany - Reply

      October 3, 2011 at 1:33 pm

      Thanks Jenna, I’m glad you liked the photos. I know, I can’t understand when people say they don’t like Venice! @Jenna,

  • David @ MalaysiaAsia - Reply

    September 18, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Absolutely lovely Beth! I can imagine lugging the tripod all over town. By the way, what lens are you on for these shots?

    • Bethany - Reply

      October 3, 2011 at 1:36 pm

      Thanks David! Yeah, I actually brought a tripod w/ me on the trip to Europe I am on now and have yet to use it once! They are such a pain to travel with! I think all of these shots were with an 18-250 3.5. I kind of remember when I looked at them later thinking ‘Duh, that was pretty stupid, why’d I do that?” Because I had a 35mm 1.8 with me and it would’ve been better for the low light. oops… @David @ MalaysiaAsia,

  • EmmaculateReflections - Reply

    September 19, 2011 at 5:39 am

    I love that you display both the good and bad parts of Venice. It gives the city more meaning and value. And you are right, despite the obvious history, she is still magnificently beautiful. Venice is first on my bucket list for travel places! Do you recommend any other places in Italy when I go?

    http://www.emmaculatereflections.com“>Restaurant & Kitchen Cleaning Services

    • Bethany - Reply

      October 3, 2011 at 1:37 pm

      Well I loved Venice so I def. recommend it. I also really loved Cinque Terre. Bit tougher to get to but really worth it. Hiking through the towns is like stepping back in time. You will really feel like you’ve arrived in Italy! Truth be told, anywhere in Italy is good! @EmmaculateReflections,

  • Vera Marie Badertscher - Reply

    September 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Actually, I did was not enamoured of Venice….but your photos–that’s another story, and a beautiful one. I MUST learn how to take better night time photos. Mine are pathetic.

    • Bethany - Reply

      October 3, 2011 at 1:39 pm

      Hi Vera,

      Oh that is too bad! I can understand in a way because during the day it is madness and hard to appreciate among the crowds. I really fell in love with Venice when walking around late at night. For night time photos try to balance your camera on something stable (bench, fence, whatever) and use the self timer to take the photo. Two tricks of the trade I use almost every time. @Vera Marie Badertscher,

  • Calogero - Reply

    September 22, 2011 at 1:11 am

    Nice Venice by night in the photos, thanks.

  • Mandy Kilinskis - Reply

    September 28, 2011 at 6:04 am

    First of all, your photos are absolutely breathtaking. I especially adore the one of San Marco’s Plaza. Thank you for sharing.

    Second, I completely share your love for Venice. I was only there for two days as well, but there’s something utterly enchanting about the city — even during the day, too. I think the absence of cars and being surrounded by water makes you feel like you’re holding your breath in a fairy tale, never knowing what comes next.

    • Bethany - Reply

      October 3, 2011 at 1:42 pm

      Thank you Mandy! I’m so glad you like them! The one of San Marco’s square (the one of the group of kids walking) is one of my favorites too!!

      Thank you for your EXCELLENT description of Venice. It is like holding your breath and being in a fairy tale. You just never know what is up around the next corner. What an amazing place! @Mandy Kilinskis,

  • Victoria - Reply

    October 11, 2011 at 7:45 am

    These photos are stunning! I absolutely loved Venice…even if I did get a little lost! I never made it back in at night because I was staying on a camp site a ferry ride away and getting back at night was a bit more difficult. But it looks magical. There’s something so James-Bond esque about Venice…hence why it’s in Casino Royale!

    • Bethany - Reply

      October 14, 2011 at 6:13 am

      Thanks Victoria! What campground did you stay at? We were supposed to camp but decided to stay in the city because we needed a little down time after camping for a few weeks up until that point. I am still really curious about the camping in Venice though. :) @Victoria,

  • Gretta - Reply

    October 11, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    These photographs are incredible. I have to be honest my only experience with Venice was a trip to Brupark in Brussels, a miniture version of all European cities. I honestly imagined Venice as streets entirely made of water. There are so many beautiful walking places! You’re photo essay really leaves the viewer dying to visit to soak up some of the mystery and wonder. I’d love to see your “walking Venice in the daytime” photos!

    • Bethany - Reply

      October 14, 2011 at 6:15 am

      Thanks so much Gretta! I have so many daytime photos of Venice too – I just need a million more hours to process them all and get them online. I will get to them though. :) @Gretta,

  • Conny Nordin - Reply

    October 23, 2011 at 12:00 am

    When visiting Luxembourg and Switzerland on business, we asked someone where would we go to have really good food and wine. The response? Italy. So we boarded a taxi then a train then a bus and arrived in Venice. It was January, we walked everywhere and of course went by water, a must. San Marco was deserted, the hotel was delightful and reasonable off season, the late night walks mysterious and beautiful, there were no line-ups at the galleries, no cover charge on the tables on the square, the cafes had lots of room, and best of all the food and wine was amazing. Or maybe best of all were the unimaginably beautiful and interesting vistas and glimpses everywhere: which you have captured in absolutely stunning photography. THANK YOU…I want to go back now!

    • Bethany - Reply

      November 12, 2011 at 12:18 pm

      It sounds like you had an excellent adventure! I think you got lucky with the food though – we are here now and having a hard time finding good food in restaurants. Glad you had a different experience and so glad you like th ephotos too. :) @Conny Nordin,

  • Sarahsomewhere - Reply

    November 9, 2011 at 6:36 am

    Wow, amazing images… I love the San Marco one. The simplicity of it. And looking up at the clothesline- took me a while to figure it out. And then the Gondaliers, beautiful image. Well done, might have to buy your book I think…

    • Bethany - Reply

      November 12, 2011 at 12:17 pm

      Thank you so much! I think we have similar tastes! Those 3 are three of my faves too. Esp. the San Marco one! @Sarahsomewhere,

  • dtravelsround - Reply

    December 30, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    You’ve captured an entire different side of Venice. These are beautiful.

  • Culture-ist - Reply

    January 4, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Stunning and sexy photo essay of Venice. We’ll certainly be back to your site.

    • Bethany - Reply

      January 9, 2012 at 11:55 am

      Thank you so much! I look forward to chatting with you in the future. :) @Culture-ist,

  • Ken Kaminesky - Reply

    January 8, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Every-time I see new photos from you Beth, I just wanna hang out with you and talk about how awesome the planet is with you.

    Keep on rockin in the free world :)

    • Bethany - Reply

      January 9, 2012 at 11:59 am

      Ok, I think you have just officially nominated yourself for best blog comment. EVER.
      Thanks for ‘getting me’ Ken and getting this song stuck in my head! Hopefully 2012 will be the year we can hang out and chat it up in real life. :) @Ken Kaminesky,

      • Ken - Reply

        January 9, 2012 at 3:24 pm

        :D I hope so too!

  • Linda Bailey Zimmerman - Reply

    April 4, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Bethany…..F A B U L O U S ! !

    Venezia at night…..ahhhhhh!! You captured her mystery.
    When will you return??

    • Bethany - Reply

      August 3, 2012 at 9:48 pm

      Hi Linda, Thank you so much for leaving a comment! I am hoping to return to Venice is fall. It has been too long and I must get back to watch the sun bounce around her alleys and canals! Glad you like the photos. :)

  • Lowe Promotions - Reply

    May 22, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    I’ve never been to Venice before but looking at these pictures makes me want to visit. A friend of mine went a few years ago and says it was one of the best times of his life. Those cat mariachis are awesome!

    • Bethany - Reply

      August 3, 2012 at 9:49 pm

      Thanks for commenting! So glad you like the photos of Venice. It is a very special place and I agree with your friend – one of the best places on earth! Unlike anywhere else in the world.

  • Larissa - Reply

    October 16, 2012 at 4:30 am

    WOW. Where have you been all my life?? Your blog is officially my new favorite. Can’t believe it took me so long to – really happy we met in Girona :)

    Puppet photo is just awesome – love those colors!

  • Pointsandtravel - Reply

    December 17, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    I love her too! She is amazingly wonderful and does make you feel drunk with love. Great shots!

  • Cailin - Reply

    January 10, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    STUNNING photos! I was just there again in October (my second time) but unfortunately for only one night. I really want to go back and visit and spend more time again. If you guys ever get an apartment there I’ll come stay for a week! haha

  • Betsy Beier - Reply

    April 20, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Love, love, love!! Bought your ebook last night (!)– I need to get out of Auto– and especially master low light/night shots. Photoshop is my “out of auto”, but would love to do it with the camera. Can’t wait to learn more. Also, one of my stops this summer is Venice– these photos have me counting the days.

  • Kori - Reply

    May 23, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    This is exactly why I love traveling to Venice. It’s just as beautiful at night as it is in the daytime. You took some amazing pictures.

    • Bethany - Reply

      June 12, 2013 at 6:48 am

      Thank you so much Kori! I absolutely love Venice and I’m so glad you like these photos. :)

  • Anita - Reply

    September 4, 2013 at 9:11 am

    I so love all your photo essays. You really have a great eye for capturing this little details and moments! Great work! :)

  • Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey - Reply

    September 5, 2013 at 8:58 am

    I love a city that looks even better in the dark. Must be the (former) New Yorker in me.

  • Zara @ Backpack ME - Reply

    October 20, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Great photos!
    I visited Venice years ago, just during the day… I don’t have amazing memories from that time (not bad either, just not particularly memorable) but I must admit at night Venice seems to have a different charm to it.. warmer, more cosy.
    Maybe I’ll get to come and see by myself sometime.
    Cheers!

  • Julie K. - Reply

    November 29, 2013 at 12:20 am

    I loved you description of Venice! So heartfelt, it was a real pleasure to read those couple of lines:) I think Venice is so alluring to people partly because it appears to be disappearing, sinking to the sea..and there´s nothing anybody can do to stop it. I´ve always imagined that it´s tired of being a tourist attraction and just wants to lie peacefully at the bottom of the Adriatic..

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