I’ve moved onto a new, larger external hard drive for storing my photographs. So, I went through all the photos I had left to process and moved them over to the new one prior to flying out to Africa. I was sure I’d processed all the Prague photos I was going to process but decided to take a look anyway. Then, I found this one. It won’t have made the cut originally because I was focused on trying to capture Prague with minimal people. Upon looking at this photo again, I decided I kind of liked it. The sky is beautiful and it doesn’t look so crowded as to be uncomfortable (which it can be sometimes). So, I thought it might be nice to show just how lively Prague actually is.
Every time I went out to take photos in Prague I seemed to end up on the Charles Bridge. I’d take off down a random alleyway but always wind myself back to the river and pop out near the bridge. I kept trying to get across it to photograph the other side but always took ages to cross the bridge as I kept getting tempted into photos of the various statues in front of the surrounding landmarks. Maybe next time I’ll have to stay on the other side of the river. That way at least I’ll start out there before spending my whole time on the bridge.
This is the last of my photos from Prague, for now, anyway. It’s a great city and I’ll certainly be heading back at some point. This is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Prague, Charles Bridge. It’s pretty difficult to get a shot with no tourists crossing the bridge. I’ve talked about other methods I’ve used involving combining multiple images to mask out any people or just getting there really early. With this shot, it all came down to patience. I set up and waited until there was no one in the way.
As I mentioned yesterday I’ve been doing a lot of photo processing this weekend. As a side effect I’ve found photos that needed processing I’d forgotten about. I started by going through my Prague file, even though I was sure I’d exhausted that supply. As a result I found today’s photo, and I’m glad I did. I spend a lot of time while I’m wandering about with my camera looking for a good foreground for something interesting I’ve found. The breakwater, with its ducks and seagulls lent itself very well to this purpose.
This is a canal that runs underneath the Charles Bridge. As I came across this view I liked the shadow of the house falling on the other houses. Before long a boat passed through. I decided that this as just what I needed for a picture so I set up my tripod, got the camera ready and waited. As I’ve mentioned, in just about every post from Prague, it was cold. This was a particularly long wait. I enjoyed the funny looks I got and watching people walk up to snap a photo in the general direction of where my camera was facing before moving on. After a wait a boat passed through, but it was a little tiny thing that I didn’t think did the trick. So, I continued to wait. I think I’d been there for about half an hour when the boat I’d seen originally returned and this is the result.
This is a combination of 3 exposures. I used the selective anti-ghosting tool in Photomatix to select one exposure of the boat and the surrounding water.
While wandering around Prague I was trying to take photos that didn’t conform with every postcard hanging in the shops. It’s pretty difficult not focusing on exclusively photographing the landmarks here. There’s lots of them and they’re everywhere. So, I was pretty pleased when I looked over the edge of the Charles Bridge and spotted this scene. The bridge was crowded with street vendors and tourists bustling by. Then, over the edge it was just peaceful. As I set up I noticed that every now and again someone would stroll through. So, I waited until someone got right into the spot I was looking for. It was a surprisingly short wait.
This is a combination of seven exposures from -3 to +3. It was important to use this wide range of exposures because, as you can see, I was shooting directly into the sun. This photo is a good illustration of the capabilities of HDR photography. Typically, shooting into the sun is considered a no-no and with the limited light range of my camera’s sensor I’d really only be able to capture a silhouette of everything lined up in front of the sun. By combining multiple exposures the details in the trees’ bark have been captured along with the camouflage jacket the man is wearing. These are all details I was able to see while I was there.
The East end of Charles Bridge, taken at night. I used a long exposure, by attaching my ND-4 filter, in order to erase the people walking to and fro. The last time I was there a friend of mine took a photo on the bank just to the left of this tower, looking across towards the castle with the bridge and it’s statues in the left of the frame. I really wanted to get down there to do the same. Unfortunately, that area was closed for construction.
I set out early in the morning to get some photos of Prague’s main tourist sites, the Old Town Square and the Charles Bridge, without hordes of tourists blocking my view. There’s a few ways to create images without people in them. Of course, the best is to take an image when there’s no-one there. Another method is to set a long shutter speed so that any people moving through the scene will not register in the final image. This requires two things. Firstly, the people crossing through the frame need to keep moving enough that you won’t end up with a ghosted image of them. Secondly, you either need low enough light levels or a dark enough filter to use a long enough exposure.
Neither of the above methods worked for me in taking this picture. I was there early, but not early enough. On top of this people like to stop on Charles Bridge and I didn’t have a dark enough ND filter to really extend my shutter speeds to block them out. As a result I set about working on a post processing technique. I took a bunch of pictures so that I could blend them together and end up with a people-free Charles Bridge. Then, this little girl walking with her parents suddenly took off running and stopped at this little plaque. I decided this made for a nice image and decided to keep her in the photo. Once I got home I decided I’d actually have liked to show the various stages of her approach. Unfortunately, I hadn’t taken enough images to make this work. I’ve seen an intriguing e-book called “Photographing the Fourth Dimension – Time” . It’s available at Flatbooks which is run by Trey Ratcliffe of Stuck In Customs. The photographers he works with in producing these books are always interesting and informative. I’m planning on buying this book and giving it a read as the concept sounds intriguing to me. Also, the next time someone starts moving through a scene in an interesting way I’ll make sure I keep the shutter firing.
I took this on my last night in Prague. I went out for what I thought was a couple of hours, it turned out I was out for 5 hours just wandering and taking photos. I discovered this viewpoint in a park by the river up from Charles Bridge. This photo is most interesting viewed at full size where you can scroll around the details of the skyline. On the right you see St. Vitus Cathedral jutting above the Prague Castle. Moving to the left the dome of the Church of St. Nicholas is visible with the gateway to Charles Bridge leading into the bridge itself to the left. Up on the hill opposite the castle can see an Eiffel Tower like structure. You could probably take photos all night long in Prague on an overcast night as the lights from the city give the clouds a yellow glow.