Back from Prague and Budapest Travel Photography

The weather in eastern Europe has been quite varied over the last few weeks. From torrential rain, to flooding, to a heat wave! It was supposed to be pleasant in eastern Europe, perfect for walking about and taking photographs. I arrived in Prague and the weather was HOT! Over 30 Celsius and on some days it went to 36! Suffice to say that I got sunburnt, badly. I’m still peeling, two weeks later. Luckily Budapest the following week was a respite. The weather went back to what it should have been, a pleasant low 20′s Celsius.

To start off the east European travel photography experience, here are two “iconic” images, from Prague and Budapest:

PRAGUE – Old Town Square, very early in the morning


The image above is of the astronomical clock and the iconic Gothic styled Tyn Church. Taken with the Canon TS-E 24mm tilt-shift lens to keep the buildings straight. What appears to be a white area of sky is in fact a very bright yellow from the rising sun. Yep, I did not get up early enough! – See further below.

BUDAPEST – Vista from Gellert Hill, at sunset

Budapest city vista from Gellert Hill at sunset

Buda on the west side of the Danube River and Pest on the east side of the river with the Chain Bridge, amongst others, joining the two. Taken at 17mm to get the wide field of view. I also took a multi-image panorama for the details, which I will post later.

Sunrise and Sunset Travel Photography during spring/summer – What I learnt
The time of day that I take my favourite travel images are at the sunrise and sunset golden and blue hours. During daylight savings time, spring/summer months, getting up in the middle of the night to get a sunrise image is not practical. In eastern Europe, sunset is at around 9 to 10pm and sunrise is at around 4am. To take advantage of the 2 hours at sunrise and sunset, I would have to stay till 11pm for the sunset blue hour and get up at 3am for the sunrise blue hour. That gives me 4 hours; practically speaking, 2-3 hours sleep.

One could switch to sleeping during the day and working through sunset, the night and sunrise. But in countries where it could be hazardous to your health walking the streets at night with expensive equipment, this is not practical either.

In future I’ll travel during the winter months, and where I should go during spring/summer, I’ll probably do two of the days where I get a little sleep:-|

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