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  • Writer's pictureRobin Yong

Reign of the Eternal Phoenix 永遠の菲妮克絲

This is one of the most iconic photos from years of the Venice Carnevale.

The Phoenix costume by my friend Comtessenathalie Desmons. To date, it is still one of the biggest, most elaborate and beautiful costumes ever made. With a wingspan of more than 3m, it is simply breathtaking, extremely heavy to carry and put on. The costume took 2 years to make and it's a feat to transport this from France all the way to Venice just for the Carnevale. It can easily take 45 minutes just to put this one on and walking with a costume like this is extremely difficult.

The photo was done as part of a collaboration with my teacher Jim Zuckerman's photo workshop in 2017. Jim loves to shoot in this 15th century Palace in Venice so I invited Nathalie along for the shoot. With the help of 4 people, it took us 45 minutes to walk with the dismantled costume from Nathalie's apartment to the ferry station and from there another 45 minute ride on the very crowded ferry. Thereafter it took nother 15 minutes to walk from the ferry station to the shooting site. After that we had a 30 minute break before putting on the costume. The logistics for this shoot is simply crazy. Some of Jim's students told me they cried when they saw the Phoenix on the staircase. The scene was just like a fairy tale, except everything was real and happening right before their eyes.

After the photo shoot, we have to dismantle the costume and make ur long way back to Nathalie's apartment.

The photo became a winner of many photo contests, film festivals and of course the grand winner of the Venezia Eventi Contest Fotografico Internazionale Carnevale di Venezia 2017.

After a hiatus of 3 years, I will be back at the Venice Carnevale from 10th February to 21st February 2023. I will be available on selected dates for private workshops. Looking forward to making memorable travel photos with everyone real soon...

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