Most photos that you’ll see from the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin are taken from its eastern side. There are simple reasons for that: First, the Pariser Platz on the eastern side is not accessible for cars, so the tourists gather there. Second, Victoria on the Quadriga is looking towards East and therefore it seems to be the front of the gate.
However, the western side has two other advantages for photographers. For one thing you can capture the colors of the rising sun (it’s no fun to shoot a sunset at Brandenburg Gate, too many tourists) and for another thing you can catch some light trails of the passing cars.
Camera: Canon EOS 500D
Lens: Canon EF-S 10-22mm @ 22mm
Exposures: 3 (-2, 0, +2)
Exposure time (middle): 3s
Tripod: Manfrotto 190CXPRO4
Size: 15 MPx
Date: Taken in November 2013
Software: Lightroom 5.2, Photoshop CS6, Photomatix Pro
Workflow: Small aperture is the key. At first I thought it’s already too bright for light trails but it was just dark enough. Aperture set on 22 and exposure time on just 3 seconds. That had the nice effect that you don’t only see the cars backlights but also the blinking indicator.
With those settings I stood there for a few minutes until I had some shots to go with. In Photomatix I first merged 3 different exposures and then I blended the original photo with the light trails back in.
Before / After – Comparison:
This photo was taken at: