Carnival of Venice: A Cool Place for Colorful People Pictures. Dates Set for 2012 Workshop!

The Carnival of Venice (Carnevale di Venezia) is an annual festival held in, where else, Venice, Italy. The event starts about two weeks before Ash Wednesday and ends on Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday.

Carnevale is a great opportunity for people pictures - and to eat great food and to buy Venetian glass.

If you plan to go, below are a few photo tips.
(I am running a photo tour to Carnevale in 2012. Shoot me an email if you are interested in joining the photo fun:

But first, here is a short movie with some music that includes the photographs in this column. It's just for fun.

I took all this photographs with my Canon 24-105mm IS lens – my favorite lens for people pictures. For the flash shots, I used my Canon 580 EX II.

Okay, on with the photographs and the tips.

Choose a creative angle (opening image for this blog post). Break the traditional rules of composition and look for unique angles.

Make the picture – don’t just take the picture. Take the time to expertly position a subject or subjects in a scene. Remember, when you are behind the camera, you are the director of the shoot. It took me about 15 minutes to set up the above photograph . . . after which dozens of other photographers crowded around me and pushed and shoved for the same shot, making it very difficult to shoot. Be prepared - and warned.

Shoot with your shutter speed in mind. Blur or freeze the subject with the correct shutter speed. The choice is yours.
Choose your camera settings carefully. Check your ISO, white balance, aperture, shutter speed and focus to ensure the end-result you envision in your mind’s eye.

Think color. Look to see how colors can compliment each other in a scene.

Be aware of the background. Know that the background can make or break the photograph.

Look for body language. Body language greatly affects how the subject comes across in a photograph. Pay extra attention to the subject’s hands.

Fine-tune your flash pictures. Use exposure compensation to reduce the light from the flash to the point where your picture looks like a natural light shot.

Create a sense of depth. Use the different elements in a scene to add a sense of depth and dimension in your photographs.

Have fun with the experience! What more can I say!

You'll find more tips on people photography in my apps: Rick Sammon's 24/7 Photo Buffet and Light It!

Explore the light,

P.S. I will be doing a workshop during Carnival in 2012. Let me know if you are interested in joining the photo fun. I know the good places to eat, too! Email me at ricksammon@