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  • Writer's pictureRobin Yong

Take your Time for the Original Signs ヴェネツィアのカーネヴァーレの星座 威尼斯嘉年華的十二生肖

Every year during Carnevale, the city of Venice becomes an open-air theater for an edition dedicated to free expression and creativity.

Every Carnevale, there is actually a theme to it and participants are encouraged to follow this theme. “Take your Time for the Original Signs” is the title of the 2023 Venice Carnival . The symbols of earth, water, fire and air pass from origin to originality to become a unique and imperfect sign, an expression of the unique and unrepeatable self.

Under the motto “Take your Time for the Original Signs”, the city of Venice invites its visitors to look inside themselves and find their own original zodiac sign as an expression of identity and self-affirmation.

2023 is my 9th year at the Venice Carnevale and this year, I get to know the festival a little bit more. Some of my local Italian friends make it a point to follow the theme closely.

On this day, I meet up with my Italian friends Alessandra and Pietro who turned up in the Zodiac costumes of Scorpio and Capricorn. On this day, I am very lucky to get a few fan pics. This one here is my favourite because the lighting and mood is just right! So happy to have one of us with the ever popular gondolier Valentino. Valentino is the one of the go-to man for the masks when it comes to gondolas and gondoliers. (The other 2 are Fillipo who's retired but I do hope he comes back one day because he makes the best photos with me and Alvise but he does the Grand Canal...hmmm...maybe I should do a photo series on the gondoliers...)

The Carnevale really does become very crowded nowadays so I generally like to avoid the crowds and do my photo projects after breakfast at 8am when the light is gentle and the streets remain relatively empty. I shoot using only natural light 99% of the time (with the exception of making the Venetian Movie Series at the Mystery Hotel). Most people think I am a big name and so carry a lot of gear with me, but I normally just have one borrowed camera and a couple of lenses. Most times it's a Canon because it works well with low light - the Olympus and Sony do not function well during the early morning shoots at San Marco Square although they are much lighter in weight and easier to carry around. I might actually consider switching back to them because I no longer like to get up early in the morning for those San Marco shots. (Those are becoming too common for my liking nowadays.)

There's really a lot of walking to do for about 12 hours everyday so I need to make sure only half the backpack is filled with camera gear, otherwise it becomes a bit too heavy and I need to leave some space for shopping and gifts.

The little bridge at Formosa Square is always a great backdrop for photos. They are a real life couple so intimate poses like this comes naturally.

The original tilted door shot that I created during my 1st Venice Carnevale in 2014 is still a popular shot and frequently asked for by my model friends.

My signature black background...just getting the subject to stand at the entrance of a tunnel and let natural lighting do the rest.

2023 is also the year where I took more time off my photo projects to hang out with my local friends. So most photo subjects this year are local Italians who mostly prefer historical costumes and painted faces to full masks. The overall result gives a more balanced representation of the costumes at the Venice Carnevale....

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