• Bird
  • Natural
  • Unposed
  • Sunrise
  • Soft Light
  • Rule of thirds
  • Playful
  • off center
  • Natural Light
  • Morning
  • Blue Hour
  • Mid range
  • Laughter
  • Laughing
  • giggle
  • Funny
  • Energetic
  • broken rules
  • Venice

The story behind the image

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This photo was taken during a shooting in Venice. It was a cool – sunny winter morning. There were hardly any people on the street and we had St. Mark’s Square all to ourselves. We wanted to take pictures with the pigeons but they were apparently still asleep. Therefore, we got our corn kernels from the bag and in no time we were surrounded by pigeons. They sat everywhere. On our heads on the camera and also on the hand Philipp.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

The two stood in the middle of the square and I gave Philipp a little corn in his hand. Then when the pigeons came and landed on their heads, shoulders as well as on their hands, the two had to laugh so much. This picture was taken in the process.

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What did you say?

Okay guys, I know it’s cold. Huddle up and take some corn in your hands. Let’s see what happens. Philipp can you put your hand in my direction?

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The image is aligned according to the rule of the golden ratio. The main focus is on Philipp who stretches out his hand with the pigeon but because there is so much action going on in this frame; the viewer has plenty to explore.

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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I focused on the eyes of Mimi using Autofocus. The difficulty was the rush of pigeons at which my camera briefly changed the focus on the pigeons. But since I always use continuous autofocus I quickly had the focus on Mimi and Philipp as the birds moved out of frame.

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Focus Mode

Continuous Autofocus

Focus POints

Single Point

Focused on

The girls eyes

Equipment &

Sony a9II
Sigma 28mm f/1.4
1/800 @ f/2.0 ISO1250 WB-Shadow

The way the EXIF is written out follows the common photographic method (with the inclusion of White Balance at the end). Here it is broken down:

Shutter Speed @ Aperture ISO White Balance.

Light & Weather

It was still very early in the morning. Roughly shortly after the morning blue hour. The sun was not yet really visible or behind the building. We like to take pictures at this time as the light is really pretty and soft, but also different to sunset. You can fully concentrate on the couple as you know that in whatever direction, the light is going to work really well.

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Light Type

Natural Light

Time of day

Blue Hour



Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I used our own presets add a little bit more contrast, grain and vignette as usual. I wanted to keep the overall tones of the image more on the warmer side without making things have an orange wash of sorts. Our preset isn’t very heavy but did need a little bit of tweaking for this image to get the overall feeling I was after.

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Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom Classic


Of all things, the temperature was challenging. It was January, early in the morning and it was quite cold for the couple. Therefore, we moved a lot and quickly. I also had slight focus problems when all the pigeons were fluttering around.

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Especially when it’s cold we do a lot of movement to keep the couple and us warm. For this reason, we also always photograph in continuous focus. Even if the focus on our couple was lost briefly, it quickly caught again. So I had some pictures with the pigeons in focus and a few with the couple.

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Location Name

mark's square venice

Location aDDRESS

30100 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy

Loation Type




I used to save Pinterest photos and look at them before I had a shoot. With the result that my pictures had nothing to do with the pictures I had looked out before. This sometimes made me feel insecure. Now I think it was wrong to have a certain image in my head. Because the spontaneous pictures are always the most beautiful. I could never recreate that image again and that’s a good thing. Always try new things. Be spontaneous and see what happens. Enjoy every unique image you produce and always be curious to create something.

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