Carnevale di Venezia:
The Accidental Photographer

When Alan Lake took photos of his trip to Venice's "Carnevale di Venezia" his photographs took on a life of their own, both in art galleries and for private collectors.   See the gallery here.

This was all a magical “accident”. Never intended to be. I’m convinced our paths take a detour for a reason. I’m not sure why yet, but I’ll take the ride and see.

Another Satisfied Customer

In November of 2001, an old friend had called and asked if I could help him for the busy holiday season he had booked at his restaurant/nightclub in Zurich. I’m a chef, and we’d worked together before in the States. Within the week, I was there.

Armed with a Eurail pass and a borrowed camera, I planned to travel to Tuscany, Paris and Provence before returning to the States, after I had finished my “stage”.

What I hadn’t planned was that the timing coincided with the celebration of Carnevale throughout Europe. That’s how it came to pass that I was where I was, when I was. I didn’t seek this out. Carnevale was a by-product of my travels.

Overcome by fantasia. Instant awe.

The dream like quality of the sights and sounds of revelry of a quarter of a million partygoers-and the strong surreal images that I had never before envisaged, compelled me to record as much as I possibly could.

I shot these photos for myself and for that reason only. Not to show or sell them later. I imagined myself to be on assignment from National Geographic, clicking away and buying more and more film.

When it was over I continued on to France and kept taking what I thought were pictures of my vacation. And they are that…and more.

I couldn’t get the Fellini movie I’d just watched out of my head though. It kept haunting me.

When I got home and had the pictures developed, I was shocked. I’d managed to capture some pretty surreal visuals. I showed them to a few of my friends, and they encouraged me to exhibit them.

One thing has led to another, and here I am. The response has been overwhelming and these images seem to have taken on a life of their own.

Here’s hoping that you enjoy and remember them.

- Alan Lake