Pellestrina Fishing Huts
The small town of Pellestrina, near Venice, Italy, plays host to a number of photogenic fishing huts. Situated in the sea, a few hundred yards from land, these make curious and interesting subjects for a photography project.
Where is Pellestrina?
Pellestrina is not the kind of place that you pass on the way to somewhere else. It’s a thin island about 7 miles long. On a map, the island resembles a delicate hair joining Venice in the north and Chioggia in the south. The island is so narrow you can walk from the east coast to the west coast in a few minutes.
On the east coast, the island looks over the Adriatic Sea towards Croatia. But look west from Pellestrina over the Venetian Lagoon and you’ll see these curious huts used by fishermen. They look as fragile as the island itself but I suspect they are stronger than they look. Perhaps it’s their sheltered location in the lagoon that protects them.
To travel from Venice to Pellestrina, you take a 20-minute boat ride to Lido, then take a 40-minute bus ride to Pellestrina. At one point, the bus gets on a ferry to cross from one island to another. It’s quite a journey, made less stressful by following along on Google Maps. My thanks go to Colin Jarvis as I would never have visited without his knowledge of the location.
Composition-wise, these are all long-lens images (120mm - 300mm equivalent focal length). Other than moving left and right to avoid foreground boats and other potential overlaps, there’s not much control you have over the composition.
Because I was so far away, relatively large changes in tripod-height had little effect on shifting the horizon, relative to the fishing huts. So I decided to compose the pictures with both the hut and the horizon centred in the frame.
I used a long exposure to calm the water, which for the images shown here was 60 seconds. I achieved this by combining a 10-stop physical ND filter with the OM-1’s ‘Live ND’ to achieve a total filtration of 13-15 stops.