Cities of light: capturing the magic of cities at night

4

Cities are exciting places, each with its own character and its own kind of beauty. Some are beautiful from first sight, others take a little time to reveal themselves. But no matter how they look in the daytime, almost all cities put on a fascinating new face once night falls. Plain-looking streetcorners become theatre sets, warm pools of light spill from busy cafés, grand buildings become illuminated paintings: exploring cities at night can be a magical  experience.

Whenever I visit a big city, I spend some time wandering after dark with my camera, capturing the dramatic and beautiful scenes that wait around every corner. And the Viking cruise  I took this summer, called Cities of Light, was a great opportunity to do just that, with visits to two of Europe’s most beautiful cities, Paris and Prague, a side trip to Tours and a trip down the storied Rhine River.

Here’s a gallery of some of the night shots I captured on my night-time rambles in these cities. With apologies to Viking, I call it Cities of Light.

Bridge on the Seine, Paris

Bridge on the Seine, Paris

City hall, Tours, France

City hall illuminated, Tours, France

Old Town Square, Prague

Old Town Square, Prague

Bacchus on a Paris bridge

Bacchus on a Paris bridge

Wenceslas Square, Prague

Wenceslas Square, Prague

Hotel de Ville, Paris

Hotel de Ville, Paris

La Liberte cafe, Paris

La Liberté café, Paris

Colonnade, Old Town Prague

Colonnade, Old Town Prague

Medieval town on the Rhine

Medieval town on the Rhine

And finally, the magic of night combined with the magic of special digital effects.

Café in Old Town Square Prague

Café in Old Town Square, Prague

I hope you enjoyed this moonlit photo trip through the cities of Europe. If you did, it might just inspire you to think about taking night shots yourself when you travel. It’s not that hard: your camera probably has a “night landscape” mode, or something like it. Let it do the work. And if not, just let the scene inspire you — but hold the camera still.

Photos taken with the Nikon D5500 and the Fuji XQ2 cameras

Share.

About Author

Paul Marshman is a retired journalist who spent 30 years as a writer and editor on Canadian newspapers, while travelling to the ends of the earth. Now he continues to travel while passing on his travel experiences to you.

4 Comments

    • I never carry a tripod, either, Marie — just another thing to carry when you’re trying to pack light. All these shots were hand-held, including the Tours city hall. I was experimenting with using a slow shutter speed there to blur the traffic going by. I find I can hand-hold down to a quarter or an eighth of a second pretty easily when using a wide-angle lens. It just takes a bit of practice. Sometime I rest the camera on a railing or something similar to steady the camera. However, the Fuji XQ2 also has a night landscape mode that takes two shots and combines them to get the best quality.
      Paul Marshman recently posted…Cities of light: capturing the magic of cities at nightMy Profile

Leave A Reply

CommentLuv badge