Morning Preparations – © Jed Smith

Be an early riser to witness a workman’s life along Venice’s Grand Canal

A self-imposed photo assignment, earlier this year, took me to Venice, and required I be up at the crack of dawn. Timing was essential to capture the energy of Venice’s main artery coming to life while not being obscured by massive swarms of tourists. Believe me, as much as I wanted to sleep yet another hour, capturing the morning light, and the workmen starting their day, was well worth it. Imagine the main thoroughfare in your city and the garbage trucks starting their rounds, and delivery trucks heading to their destinations. Then, transpose this to the complexities of a city on water, and you begin to get the picture.

I witness a reverence, and a sense of meditation and focus, as these people begin their workday.

I hope you’ll experience, as you look through these carefully chosen images, the same energy I felt as a witness to a foundational part of Venetian life – one that many visitors don’t get to experience, or appreciate fully. These are hardworking folks, and life on the Grand Canal requires a sturdy constitution.

And, then, alongside the Grand Canal you can experience a host of stores and services starting the day. Think pastry makers (for the delicious sweets and breads you’ll be eating later), bar/cafés (helping caffeinate workmen and early commuters), and Venice’s lively Rialto Fish Market.

As a photographer and photo journalist, this kind of setting is paradise.

I am repeatedly drawn to the life and texture of simple, hard work. Glamour and glitz can make for powerful imagery, but for the most part, I’ll leave that to other photographers who excel in telling those kinds of stories.

Now, I’ll shut up and let the images speak for themselves. And, if you’re interested, be sure to check out my online gallery of photos.


Grand Canal, Venice

Pastry Making- © 2017 Jed Smith


Grand Canal, Venice

An Early Commute – © 2017 Jed Smith


Grand Canal, Venice

Trash Collection – © 2017 Jed Smith


Grand Canal, Venice

The Fish Market Comes to Life – © 2017 Jed Smith


Grand Canal, Venice

Bundled Up, and Heading Out – © 2017 Jed Smith


Grand Canal, Venice

Heavy Lifting and Hauling – © 2017 Jed Smith


Grand Canal, Venice

Let the Workday Begin – © 2017 Jed Smith