When I’m not thinking about photography, then you can almost guarantee I’m thinking about travelling. I love seeing the world, and I squeeze as many trips in as physically possible, while working 9-5 and saving for our first house.
Holidays are first and foremost about seeing new places. Of course I take my camera gear, I mean, it would be rude not too right? The problem arises when trying to organise the days around me wanting to shoot golden light or twilight skies. Poppy, my partner, is very patient, and doesn’t mind me shooting while we’re on holiday, but I normally only manage one evening out. Mornings are a different story. If I want to get up early then I can have as much time as I like, provided I’m back in time for breakfast.
With the above in mind, I don’t tend to get enough images in a weekend break to share the photos as part of a blog, so the decision was made to do a blog sharing images from a few of the European cities I have visited recently (thanks for the idea Dave)!
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
A birthday surprise from Poppy, 3 days in Amsterdam, the famous city of The Netherlands. With canals everywhere, and beautiful architecture as far as the eye can see, it is a fantastic city to explore with camera in hand. Alas on our weekend away the weather was less that ideal. Rain, rain and more rain. It felt British. I had a preconceived idea in my mind for this trip, an image I knew I wanted to take on the corner of Leidsegracht and Keizersgracht, where the canals cross and the buildings look great. I wanted the blue sky of twilight, but the rain stopped it going as blue as I hoped for. I stood with the umbrella up over the camera and waited for one of the sightseeing boats to pass through. I pressed the trigger and got an image that somewhat resembled the picture in my head.
Sometimes you don’t get any free time to go out with the camera on a holiday, you have to sneak a shot in while you’re going about your day. Bruges was one of those trips. I went for a friends birthday weekend, no tripod this time, just the camera in my backpack during the day. Two days of rain and cloud passed and the camera got no use, but on the last day we had some sunlight. I grabbed a quick snapshot across the canal looking towards the belfry.
Prague, Czech Republic
September in Prague is busy. Really, really busy. It was also surprisingly warm, we had 28-30 degrees every day of our 3 day trip to the capital of the Czech Republic. Prague is a seriously beautiful city, and by far my favourite place in Europe. Not only is the beer cheap (£1 a pint anyone?) but the gothic architecture is just stunning. The Old Town Hall has a tower you can visit the top of, and the views are really good. I still ended up pointing my camera at the floor though.
I decided to set an early alarm for the next morning, and I was out of the hotel at 5:30am and walking to the Old Town Square for some pre dawn twilight shots. I was surprised how many people were out and about. People finishing up their nights as the clubs kicked out, people walking to work, and then other photographers, up early on their holidays. I took a few shots and made my way to The Charles Bridge, ready for sunrise. I couldn’t quite believe how many people were on the bridge, so I joined the ever-growing line of photographers and stood around waiting for some colour in the sky.
Happy with what I had photographed so far, we headed into the final day of the trip, and a day of cloud and rain arrived (notice a trend with our weekends away?) and a final few hours of exploring the city before a flight back home. I had wanted to squeeze in a visit to the Cafe Orient, in order to take a photo of the very cliche “lightbulb” staircase. I often try for individuality with my images, but sometimes you need to get your own take on that famous shot, especially when visiting a new place, with no time to explore your own compositions.
Just two weeks after coming back from Prague, and we were off to Copenhagen. We’d not planned it to be this way, in fact we were meant to go 5 months earlier, but thanks to a strike in Italy our flight was cancelled and we had to reschedule the trip (after fighting for a refund from Easyjet). Finally we made it to Copenhagen in early October. We only had 2 days in the city, the first was lovely and sunny, and the second … you guessed it, it rained. Nyhavn is an 18th century port and the highlight of any tourists agenda in the city. As the light was quite nice I thought it would be rude not to grab a quick snap for the portfolio.
After heading back to the hotel to freshen up we made a detour on the way to dinner that evening so that I could grab a dusk image of the Christiansborg Palace. Earlier in the day we had taken in the view from the tower, and I decided this would be a nice place for a photo that evening.
My most recent trip was just over a week ago. 3 days in Budapest, the capital city of Hungary. The areas of the city on the “Buda” side by the River Danube are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is home to some stunning architecture, and as day turns to night the city lights really bring out the best in the country. Like usual we had one day of lovely sunshine, followed by two days of rain and freezing cold temperatures. I made the most of the first evening to take a couple of shots during the twilight (blue) hour, when the natural light is equal to the lights on the buildings and bridge.
Once the rain had set in we spent more time ducking out of the weather, and one of the places we spent some time was in the Central Market Hall. A two level market where locals and tourists shop for fresh produce and souvenirs. From the first floor walkway I rested my camera on the railings and took this long exposure image of the shoppers below.
My feet are back on English soil now, and whilst the purchase of the house gets closer and closer, we can at least look forward to another couple of trips this year, Paris in April and Cologne in December. With so much of the world to photograph I can’t see these trips ending any time soon, but for now, I better get out in the English landscape and keep the camera in good use. Who knows, this year may be the year the Canon gets replaced. Watch this space for more.
If you want to check out the rest of my travel photographs I have an album dedicated to them, which you can find by clicking here.