Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice, Italy

The Gilded Room in Venice

I have been to Venice many times, but for some reason I never took the chance to visit the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, an amazing masterpiece of Renaissance architecture and painting. All the paintings in the building are by Tintoretto or other members of his school and they decorate every wall and ceiling, especially those of the great hall on the upper floor.

Photographing this room is not easy, as it is normally filled with tourists as quite dark. I didn’t even try asking, but I guess a tripod would not be allowed there. Since I didn’t want a blurry picture, but I desperately wanted one, I resorted to putting my Fujifilm X100s on the floor, then waited for a moment when there were as few people as possible.

Just when I had decided to take my shot, a young man entered the room and stood squarely in the middle of it. I drew his attention and asked him if he could please step aside for a few seconds. One of the security guards was not happy with this and reprimanded me, telling me I could take pictures, but I could not ask people to move out of them. The guards there take their job very seriously and even Trey Ratcliff had a run-in with them some time ago.

The base exposure was 1/30s at f/2.0, ISO 640. I used the auto-exposure bracketing feature of the camera to also take two other images, one stop brighter and one stop darker, respectively. I merged the three exposures using Adobe Lightroom’s Merge to HDR feature.

Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice, Italy

Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice, Italy

Would you love to see Venice and its fabulous monuments and maybe get a chance to photograph some masked models in this scenery? I am currently busy organizing a photography workshop in Venice during the days of the Carnival next year. Check out this page for more information.

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