This is the blog of Steve Burkett of Italy, Our Italy

Transforming a Water Gate #2

On March 22nd, I presented to you Transforming a Water Gate #1. Today, I transform another of these uniquely Venetian phenomena....just for you.

So, there you have another example of Venice brought back from the present to the past

Here is today's water gate, with modern distractions which give me great pause in my quest for a Venice of days-gone-by. But I'm not averse to all of these distractions. Normally I would eliminate the downspout, but I'm thinking that I can age it a bit and not treat it as a character flaw. And the laundry and plastic at the top can be cropped out.

Original snapshot with distracting elements

Below is the image with a tighter crop and some alignment of verticals. 

The lines are now straightened and some elements have been cropped out

And here we are at the stage where I start to add an atmosphere of aging to the image.

Starting to look a bit more old-Venetian

And for the final photo, more cracks, grit and saturation of the colors.

So, there you have another example of Venice brought back from the present to the past. That's my job...and I enjoy it. I hope you do, too.


Ciao for now,



Transforming a Water Gate #1

A quick transformation today, where one of the functional water gates of Venice goes from blah to ahhh. 

Typically, steps disappear into the waters of the canal

There are many, many water gates throughout Venice. These water gates are water-level entrances to businesses and homes that sit on the 175-odd canals of Venice. Deliveries of people and goods have come through these doors for centuries. Some are very basic -- just for goods -- and some are a bit more fancy -- for people who want to arrive by boat, rather than by foot.

Many of the water gates are difficult to photograph, as there is no visual access to those gates from across the small canals from which they have their access. But, I have been able to capture photos of many, like the one that is the focus of today's article.

Typically, steps disappear into the waters of the canal. These steps allow for fluctuating water levels created by the tidal affects in the Venation lagoon -- whether the water levels are high or low, one steps out onto stairs. 

Here is the original snapshot of this water gate, with its spiderweb-inspired door insert. My only disappointment in this layout is the age of the doors...I would have preferred older, weathered doors...but I'll work on it. This snapshot is a bit wonky, as I couldn't get a head-on photograph. And I can't say that I like the downspouts intruding into this scene are of interest for the final image. And then there's the bit of white card on the right-hand door.

Just below, you can see the next step in the photo's transformation. The image has been straightened so that vertical lines are vertical and horizontal lines are horizontal. I've also removed the downspouts to the left, as well as a bit of window.

It's now time to age the photo a bit through the addition of richness, which I create with color, luminosity and sharpening.

I was pretty happy with what I had at this point, but I thought that the doors were kind of lost...they needed some lightening and a bit more texture. I also wanted a bit more mid-tone contrast, so I did those things and you see the final result, below.

Now, take a look at the original snapshot above and the final version below. Quite a transformation, huh? Now I've got that more-ancient look for which I always strive. I hope you enjoyed the transformation process. 

Ciao for now,