Photo by: Jed Manwaring
Location: Venice Italy

Italy Venice Winter Light

  • Departure limited to 12 participants, optimizing your photographic experience.
  • The exquisite city of Venice, bound and crisscrossed by canals with their arching bridges, and the magnificent Piazza San Marco with its Basilica and Campanile.
  • The Rialto Bridge and the Grand Canal plied by boats of every description, and the incomparable wealth of art and architecture.
  • The Island of Burano, a charming fishing village far removed in spirit from the grandeur of Venice.
  • Other islands may include Lido, Murano, San Michele or Torcello.





January 17-25, 2020


8 days


per person, double occupancy*

*U.S. dollars based upon minimum of 9 participants. There is a small group surcharge of $300 if 6-8 participants. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested (subject to availability), or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, there is a single room surcharge of $645.

Tour Overview

What could be better than photographing the most fascinating and romantic city on Earth?   Good photographs of Venice are not in short supply. This legendary city of islands and canals is perhaps the most photographed in the world. Of course, we will visit all of the popular locations, but we designed this tour to be different. We want to introduce you to new sights, imaginative ideas, and unique vantage points. We want to help you create distinctive images. Please contact Strabo Tours if you...

What could be better than photographing the most fascinating and romantic city on Earth?   Good photographs of Venice are not in short supply. This legendary city of islands and canals is perhaps the most photographed in the world. Of course, we will visit all of the popular locations, but we designed this tour to be different. We want to introduce you to new sights, imaginative ideas, and unique vantage points. We want to help you create distinctive images. Please contact Strabo Tours if you would like to have additional evenings at the hotel to explore the many museums or other attractions of Venice. Brenda and Jed will have you concentrating your time on photography during the tour program. Why travel to Venice in January?   In the middle of winter, tourists are at their lowest, and there’s great potential for moody weather, and dramatic sunrises. So many memorable photographs of Venice can be made when it is moody, with wet cobblestones or reflections of the lampposts, capturing the spirit of the city. Brenda Tharp and Jed Manwaring will assist you with making creative, expressive images of Venice and the surrounding islands. They will encourage you to go beyond the typical ‘row houses along a canal’. You will be working the edges of the canals at day break and twilight. At this time of year there will be many opportunities to catch the low-angle of light, as the light is good almost all day. With their guidance, you will focus on creating pictures that show the essence and heart of Venice, beyond the tourist veil. Some will be from the camera, some from computer software with applying special effects. There will be at least one image review and one processing session. Brenda and Jed welcome any kind of camera, from smartphone to pro level. But the emphasis will be on creating meaningful, different photographs. It’s all about the light!   You will not miss any great light on this tour – you will be out early and out again late to photograph in the golden light of sunrise, sunset, and in the magic twilight of dusk and dawn. Everywhere there is water, shaping and reflecting the life of the city, its compelling beauty, curiosity, and interest. Cathedrals, gondolas, and the daily life provide continuity between past and present. Dark passageways end in sunlit squares, gondolas moor under tiny stone bridges, elderly women haul baskets to their balconies, cats dart in and out of streets marked with ancient signs and stone relief. You will have time to explore, in-depth, the tiny island of Burano, scarcely more than a half mile wide and one of the most colorful and photogenic places anywhere. You can explore the island with others or wander on your own to photograph brightly painted houses of blue, red, green, and yellow, lining the narrow canals crossed by stone and wooden bridges. There are several other islands we may have time to explore depending on the proper weather and light conditions. Your Tour Leaders ~ What you’ll learn from Brenda & Jed   With a minimum of 6 participants, you have the advantage of having two photo instructors on this trip with the expertise of Jed Manwaring and Brenda Tharp. If there is smaller group size of 4 or 5 participants the tour will be led by Brenda Tharp as the one instructor. Travel with Brenda Tharp and Jed Manwaring and explore the unforgettable city of Venice by night and day. They are both accomplished professional photographers, that will share ideas and tips for creating interpretive and personal travel photographs. Your day will begin with sunrise photography and ending with sunset and night photography, all at varying locations across the city. Venice is small and our hotel is rarely more than a short walk or quick ferry ride from our photographic locations, so you will always have the option of skipping any planned activities. There will be mid-day breaks to rest or take time to review your images before the next photo session.   Brenda and Jed will share a variety of techniques for artistic photography, offering in the field guidance for creative seeing, selective focus, panorama, and abstracts. They will also offer discussions on various other topics, including visual design, advanced composition/visual tension, and post-processing, during the mid-day breaks or after dinner, when time permits.

Photo Leader

Brenda Tharp

Photo Leader

Jed Manwaring

Welcome back to you! Chris and I just returned from our own extension to Venice you planned for us.  Wonderful!!! Loved every minute…! Many thanks to everyone who took part in the planning…and to Brenda and Jed for the expert  execution of the plan!

— Gretchen Taylor

Tour Itinerary

January 17: Home - Venice

Board your overnight flight to Marco Polo Airport in Venice.

January 18: Venice Arrival - St. Mark's Square

Take the Alilaguna, public transport, to your hotel (instructions will be sent in your final packet). After checking into the hotel, you will have time to relax and settle in after your flight. Brenda and Jed will meet you this evening for an orientation meeting and then you will go out and photograph twilight around St. Mark’s Square. St. Mark’s Basilica is on one end, flanked by arcades of shops and open-air cafes, and the Campanile soars above it all. Built in the eleventh century, the nearby basilica is an intriguing mix of eastern mystery and western opulence. After the photo session enjoy your welcome dinner. Overnight Venice (D).

January 19-23: Venice

Venice was Europe’s reigning trading republic in the Adriatic region. As a result of the wealth present then, some of Europe’s finest architecture exists here in the buildings – Renaissance, Gothic, Barouq, Byzantine. Venice stirs the imagination. As you walk the cobbled streets, the architecture, the light reflecting off canals, the prows of gondolas slipping silently under bridges — all of it feels like a walk back in time. Gondolas bob on waves in the grand canal, lamp posts glow at twilight, a lone figure walks beneath the colonnades. Bridges lead over small and large canals, leading us into winding alleys and quiet piazzas; there will be an abundance of opportunities for your photographic eyes. Winter light creates low, warm angles, light/shadow, and rich colors at sunset and sunrise. Days are short, allowing for easy sunrise/sunset in the same day, with plenty of photo exploration in between. You will photograph both as a group and individually, during these six days. Brenda and Jed have planned visits to their favorite locations, including the Rialto Market and the Accademia bridge, each with their distinct neighborhood; as well as the home of the Jewish Ghetto, Cannaregio. Take a trip up a campanile to view Venice from above, and seek out other spots within the city that are beyond the usual tourist path, finding niches and tunnels that will delight the eye. Work the edges of day and night, the blue hour, when the magic of the city unfolds in twinkling lights set against a twilight blue sky. One day the group will take a day trip to the colorful island of Burano, and other islands that peak your interest. One example is the little island of San Michele, which hosts a renaissance church and cemetery, where the famous are buried alongside the Venetian common folk. The cemetery offers intriguing opportunities for photography. During these five days you will have an image review session and a session on post-processing with creative intent. (B each day)

January 24: Venice

Your last full day in Venice can be exploring with Brenda and Jed, seeking out the less frequented small squares that cover the island, or take time on your own to visit one of the many museums of Venice. Another option is to escape the tourists of St. Mark’s Square and cross the canal to photograph Giudecca. Giudecca has interesting residential neighborhoods amidst the many mansions you have been photographing along the grand canal. Enjoy your last blue hour photo shoot with your leaders this evening, followed by a farewell dinner. (B, D)

January 25: Venice - Home

Depart Venice having filled your memory cards and your minds with wonderful images and experiences. Board your flight home or on to other exotic destinations. (B)