On my second to last morning in Venice, I decided to head down to Piazza San Marco to shoot San Giorgio Maggiore during blue hour, inspired by a shot Elia Locardi had posted of a similar scene. Unfortunately, almost all of the piers were occupied by gondolas, and the one empty one I found was quickly filled by a delivery boat during one of my long exposures. That pretty much killed blue hour.
I found another free slip, though not as picturesque as the first, in time to catch an absolutely amazing sunrise. While the sky turned orange and red spectacularly to the left, softer pink and purple tones spread out behind the church on San Giorgio Maggiore across the Grand Canal. It gave the scene a very soothing, soft feel, which really came out nicely with a long exposure use a 10 stop neutral density filter.
This shot is a blend of four exposures, ranging from 1/5 seconds for the pier to 6 minutes for the water. The long exposure hides a lot of the traffic on the canal, including an enormous cruise ship that completely blocked the island for a good 45 seconds in another frame.
San Giorgio Maggiore is one of the outer islands of Venice, situated across the Grand Canal from Piazza San Marco, and accessible via vaporetto. I had visited it the day before - briefly, as the island is very small.
San Giorgio is probably best known for the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, designed by Palladio.
Full resolution: 500px