Burning the witch in a bonfire in Basiliano-Vissandone in Italy to celebrate a Pignarul
Taking on the Carnival in Venice
​Between excitement and frustration
Venice/Italy (2012) – For a photographer who loves to capture special moments, the Carnival of Venice in Italy is the place to be. Not an easy task though, I have to say. In fact, it can become quite a challenge. Especially during the last weekend of the celebrations and on Fat Tuesday, when hundreds of thousands of visitors overrun the delicate lagoon city. Newbie to this event and the ones who don't know their ways around in Venice might even experience little breakdowns and the loss of cool at times. The very narrow alleys filled with thousands of people can be terrifying, especially when one is right in the middle of it. The entire city becomes one long convoy of people, moving sluggish non-stop from the outside of the city to the main plaza, the Saint Mark's Square – all day long. And while being pushed and pulled constantly the dream of a very cool day in this beautiful city fades out and reality sets in, everybody in front and behind has the same goal, getting the best possible photo of a carnival's mask at the Carnevale di Venezia. Once there, at the big square at Saint Mark's, the real challenge starts, the race or fight against the professional photographer with their heavy equipment, the semi-professionals, the hobby photographers and the thousands of cell phone or tablet clickers.   
Hundreds of thousands with the same goal – On the hunt for a great carnival's photo 
In general, I try to avoid big masses and still during carnival season I have the urge to go to Venice to finally hunt down these great shots of these beautiful Venetian masks during the celebration of the Carnival in Venice. The only carnival pictures I had so far were from previous visits in the '80s and '90s, from the time long before digital photography, when analog photography still was the way to go. So it had to come down to the last day of carnival, in fact to the last hours of celebration on "Fat Tuesday", until I showed up in Venice in 2012. And even though I kind of knew what to expect, I still jumped right into the crazy crowd, full of expectations and excitement.

Equipped with my two digital Nikons I finally made to Saint Mark's Square – thanks to suggestions of locals much faster and easier than expected. After seeing the masses at the square I promised myself to be kind and nice and not to hurt anybody during the war for the perfect shot. I kept my resolution, I can tell you but I might have hurt some feeling though. I didn't really warm up to the people taking pictures with their phones and tablets, quite frankly they right away annoyed me. Professional photographers kind of look out for each other on events like this one, they understand at times the crowd has to be organized, so everybody can achieve decent shots. Unfortunately, when two different worlds – professionals and non-professionals – collide, even the best organization won't work. While some wanted to shoot the Venetian masks posing others preferred to take selfies with the protagonists. Needless to say, the excitement faded by the minute and the frustration grew. In six of ten shots on average, I captured an arm of a cell phone clicker or had a big piece of a phone or tablet in my shot. About half of my shots went straight into the garbage because of it. Oh well, I can't say I didn't foresee that. 

Anyway, even though I'm not a friend of flash photography some of the flashed shots turned out pretty much okay. I've decided to share some of my "Last-minute" carnival photos, even though most of the photos are not really my standard of quality but for me, it had been a lesson of how to handle chaos and in hindsight, photography hadn't been really the main focus on this day.
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