A trip to Venice, Italy with Lensbaby & Fujifilm X-pro2 and X100S

donderdag 19 januari 2017

Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
A Lensbaby view of the Grand Canal of Venice seen from the Rialto bridge

Last september I went on a trip to the beautiful city of Venice, Italy. I'm addicted to travelling and Venice was on my wish list for a long time. And I can tell you that it was definitely worth the waiting! What a beautiful city. Along with London and Prague it's in my favourite top 3 of the most beautiful places in Europe! 
I prefer to travel light. So I decided to only bring the Fujifilm X-pro2, the Fujinon 16-55mm F/2.8, the Lensbaby Edge 50 F/3.2 and the Fujifilm X100s with me. This is my favourite set-up while I'm travelling. It's light and fits perfectly in my beloved NGC backpack, which is my favourite bag while I'm on my way. I use the Lensbaby with the Zhongyi Lens Turbo II adapter. This adapter is great since it has a focal reducer. That way I can use the Lensbaby as a Full Frame lens on the X-pro2, which is a crop & mirrorless camera. 

Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
The narrow streets of Venice - X-pro2, Lensbaby Edge 50 & Zhongyi Lens turbo II

For this trip my only "must see" was the Rialto bridge. The rest of the time I wandered through the small canals and narrow streets of Venice.  I like to see the heart of the place while I'm travelling and for me it works best if I just start walking and get lost. This way I discover places that I otherwise would have missed. 

Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
A gondolier waiting for customers - X-pro2 & Lensbaby Edge 50

Venice is amazing! The narrow streets and canals are hiding beautiful treasures. There are a lot of tiny shops and studio's where people really understand the art of hand craft. For example the little ateliers where they make the masks for the Venice Carnival or the beautiful glass of Murano! While wandering through Venice, I noticed how relaxed the Venetian people are. No stress or hurry and there is a place for every one. For the small or big artist. You'll find the most beautiful and tiny studios right next to the big stores like Armani, Michael Kors & Burberry. To me the heart of Venice are the squares. This is where old meets young, children are playing, people are dancing, parents showing their new born babies and the elderly come together to mingle and chit-chat. That's life, the life I love and totally different than the life know from my homeland, The Netherlands. People over here are always in a hurry and stressed out. Such a relief to see that it was the opposite in Venice. It's simply impossible to get stressed out because the only traffic here is a boat! Or you go by foot! Even the garbage man is picking up the trash by boat! There are no bikes, no cars, no nothing! And that means no noise and fresh air!! In the Venetian dictionary there are no such words as stress and rush..


Fujifilm X-pro2 Image of Venice by Willie Kers
This is why I love Venice! 
When entering Venice, you'll fee like you went back in time. The city hasn't changed in centuries and still looks exactly the same as many years ago. How do I know? As a huge fan of the painters 17th and 18th century, I studied the art of the Venetian painter Canaletto (1697-1768). Canaletto has made several paintings of Venice during his life. If you want admire his work, you can explore some of his art in the National Gallery at Trafalgar square in London, UK.  The only thing that's different from his paintings are the people. Now a days they've changed from locals into tourists. And by tourists I mean a lot of tourists! And they all want to walk across the Rialto Bridge and take a (not so) romantic ride in a gondola! The only fun thing about a ride in a gondola is to watch other people try taking a ride in a gondola! I never thought that something like a "gondola traffic jam" really exists! Not to mention the price you have to pay for a ride. 80 euros for a 30 minute ride during day time. 120 euros during sunset. And if you're looking for a singing gondolier, you have to pay 40 euros extra! 

Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
A traffic jam of Gondola's - X-pro2 & Lensbaby Edge 50

As for photography, the X-pro2 is a great camera! Especially for street & travel photography. I really love the range finder style. Thanks to this I can make a composition and wait before click. I can see when someone is entering my frame who's not supposed to be in my frame. The Fujinon 16-55mm 2.8 amazes me every time! What a great lens! So tack sharp and fast with the I.Q of a prime lens.  

While traveling and capture some street shots, I like to behave as a "mom with a cam" instead of a photographer. And the X100s is perfect for this kind of photography. It fits in the pocket of my coat and it's very small. It's the size of my iPhone. The X100s is only a few inches thicker than my phone. I always look on the rear of the LCD instead of looking through the viewfinder while using the X100s. The moment I bring the camera to my eye, people are aware of the camera and start posing or look weird or shocked into my lens. Which sometimes can be fun ;) But while I'm looking at the LCD nobody will notice me and it's just like I'm taking pictures with my iPhone, just like every one does. Taking pictures of everything with your phone has become normal these days so staring at a screen has become a second nature of people these days. 

Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
Tourists in the streets of Venice - X-pro2 & Lensbaby Edge 50
If you follow my work, you most likely have noticed that I'm a big fan of MF lenses and particularly the Lensbaby. A Lensbaby gives me the feel that I'm really painting with light and texture. And even more important, It keeps unwanted noise out of my head. Especially in crowded places. Since I have ADHD, I don't function very well in big crowds. I get overwhelmed of all the impressions and people and I become distracted, tired and in the end, very irritated. But that's not the case while I'm photographing. That way I can cut out all the unwanted noise and overwhelming impressions. The only focus I have while photographing or looking through my viewfinder is the composition and the image. You almost can say that my camera is my therapist ;) And it works not only for me. One of my sons is diagnosed with autism and the best way for him to keep his head clear in unpredictable and distracting situations is when he's looking through the viewfinder of his X-T1. Together we went to London last Christmas of which I wrote about in one of my previous posts
When it comes to the Lensbaby and the X-Pro2, I really like this combination because of the focus peaking on the X-pro2. Thanks to focus peaking it's really easy to manual focus with an analog lens compared to my dslr.   


Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
The "harbor" of Venice - X-pro2 & Lensbaby Edge 50
I've captured a lot of images in Venice so beware it's a huge share! All images with the X-pro2 are captured in RAW. The ones made with the X100s are Jpegs. 

Here's a glimpse of how Venice look through my eyes :)

Thanks for viewing.


Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
A view at the Grand Canal of Venice
Fujifilm X100s Image of Venice by Willie Kers
Even in Venice you can find some graffiti - X100s
No cars or trucks, only boats in Venice - X-pro2 & Fujinon 16-55mm F2.8
Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
Tourists near the Rialto Bridge 
Fujifilm X-pro2 Image of Venice by Willie Kers
The fish market - X100S
Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
A lot of gondola's in the small canals
Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
Near San Marco
Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
Waiting for the water bus
A typical scene of Venice - How they dry their laundry
Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
A beautiful sunset near the train station that brings you to the main land
Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
The back side of the Rialto bridge. It was under construction 
Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
The Venice youth are gathering around the squares
Fujifilm X100s Image of Venice by Willie Kers
The X100s is still one of my favourite camera's
Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
X100s

The most beautiful hotels are hidden in the tiny streets

Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
Laundry time - X100S
Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
For 2 euros a Gondolier brings you across the Grand Canal from one side to the other
Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
You can find a lot of talented artists on every corner of the streets
Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
Small art galleries are the beautiful hidden treasures in Venice
Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
More laundry

Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers

A beautiful lady in front of her "store"
A beautiful lady at the Venice market - X100s


Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
X-Pro2 & Lensbaby Edge 50
X100s 
Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers

Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers

Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers

Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
The only large wooden bridge in Venice
Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
Mid day sun flare captured with the Lensbaby
Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
A typical scene of tourists. Making selfies. 
Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers

Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers

Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers

Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers

Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
All that people on the Rialto Bridge!
Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
And when you're done viewing the canals, you can always go chasing some Pokémons. ;)
Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers

Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers

Fujifilm x100s image of a mask maker in Venice by willie kers
One of the artist who make the beautiful masks for the Venice Carnival. It's such a beautiful but very difficult craft. - X100s
Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
I always wondered what the guys of ZZ-Top where doing these  days. ;)
Fujifilm X-pro2 Lensbaby Image of Venice by Willie Kers
Flying back home... Goodbye Venice. I'm sure we'll meet again really soon.








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