USA | Flume Covered Bridge

USA | Flume Covered Bridge

Covered bridges have a romantic appeal to me – hard to explain, but the nostalgia and history they evoke somehow draws me in! This one is the Flume Covered Bridge, located on the way up to the Flume Gorge in New Hampshire in Franconia Notch State Park. It was built in the latter half of the 19th century.

Czech Republic | Prague Skyline

Czech Republic | Prague Skyline

A view of Prague’s skyline – shot from one of the bridges crossing the Vltava River, looking towards Charles Bridge and Prague Castle. Taken at blue hour using a Hoya NDX400 filter and a 3 minute exposure.

Berlin | Oberbaumbrücke

Berlin | Oberbaumbrücke

While most of Europe has been blanketed in snow this week, Berlin has managed (for once in winter) to stay sunny – but it’s misleading since temperatures have dropped to as low as -13C at night with highs of -5C or -6C during the day! Whenever there are several consecutive days of sub-zero temperatures, chunks of ice collect on the river Spree upstream of the Oberbaumbrücke in Eastern Berlin, as shown here shot earlier today during blue hour.

Austria | Salzburg Blue Hour

Austria | Salzburg Blue Hour

The city of Salzburg sits on the Salzbach river, near the border with Germany. The old town sits on and around the Salzburg hill (literally “Salt Fortress”). From the river there are beautiful views of the city and surrounding mountains. This shot was taken at blue hour during my visit last summer.

Bode Museum Blue Hour

Bode Museum Blue Hour

Last week was like Christmas – I opened the box of my shiny new Nikon D7100!  I took a few test shots to try out the settings and menus, but on the weekend I finally headed out with my new toy in Berlin.  And here it is: my first “real” shot!

I actually wanted to try some against-the-light sunset shots, but the sunset was a little disappointing, so I decided to concentrate on the blue hour – the time after the sun has set but the sky still has a blue tinge. I use a Hoya NDX400 filter (9 stops) to get very long exposure times; usually I aim for 1-2 minutes. By the time I’d figured out where all the settings were that I wanted to use on the new camera, the light had faded so much that I ended up needing a 4 minute exposure with the filter. When it flashed up on the LCD screen at the end of the shot, I was stunned – I didn’t expect this from my very first 4 minute blue hour shot with a brand new camera!