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.

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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.

Slovenia | Vintgar Gorge

Slovenia | Vintgar Gorge

This is a view of the Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia, located near the beautiful Lake Bled.  A wooden walkway follows the river path through the gorge, and it takes about 30-40 minutes to walk from one end to the other – unless, like me, you constantly stop to take pictures!

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!

Skogafoss

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Skogafoss is easily accessible, located just next to route 1, the main ring road around Iceland.  It’s also one of the largest waterfalls in the country, and is therefore also one of the most photographed!  I got there quite late in the day, and since it was a cloudy day the light was fading fast.  I decided to shoot a long exposure shot in order to blur the waterfall and river in the foreground, using a Hoya NDX400 filter (9 stop filter).  This also gives the shot a slightly blue and darker hue, which I always think gives a kind of sad or mysterious atmosphere.

Montenegrin Horseshoe

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Lake Skadar National Park is in eastern Montenegro, on the border with Albania, and hosts a large array of bird life.  This view is taken near the town of Rijeka Crnojevića, where a river flows into the lake.  The town of Rijeka Crnojevića doesn’t have much of interest to be honest, although it used to be where Montenegrin royalty went in the winter to escape the cold weather in the capital, Cetinje.  This view point is a few km outside of the town, along a twisty, narrow mountainous road which is itself off the Podgorica – Cetinje highway.