Wawel | Kraków, Poland

The Wawel Castle in Kraków enlightened at night. HDR Photo taken just before sunrise from the opposite side of the Vistula

There are days when you wake up in the morning and even though it is still pitch black outside, you already have a feeling that the photos are going to be great today. This was such day when I found myself more or less running through Kraków to be at the Castle Wawel on time. Somehow distances in unfamiliar places look always that much smaller on a map than what they really are.

But the running was worth it, I was just on time. The Wawel, residence of the Polish kings for so many centuries, was still enlightened and offered, together with the clouds, a breathtaking scene. I set up my tripod in the mud of the Vistula river bank and just as I finished shooting, the lights went off. I guess, once more I was incredibly lucky, but next time I rather wake up 10 minutes earlier.

Technical Details

Camera: Canon EOS 500D
Lens: Canon EF-S 10-22mm @ 18mm
ISO: 400
Exposures: 3 (-2, 0, +2)
Aperture: 6.7
Exposure time (middle): 2s
Tripod: Manfrotto 190CXPRO4
Size: 13.4 MPx
Date: Taken in November 2013

Location: Riverbank of the Vistula, south-west of the Wawel Castle

Software: Lightroom 5.2, Photoshop CS6, Photomatix Pro

Workflow: Sometimes you have to get dirty to get a good shot. For this one I had to go down as much as possible what meant for me: Get down there in the mud of the Vistula riverbank.

I opened the aperture as much as possible and put the ISO to 400 to have an as short as possible exposure time. Only that way I could capture the clouds the way I wanted. As the Vistula was incredible calm, it was no problem to get a perfect reflection even with the short exposure.

The Wawel is part of the UNESCO World Heritage

The Wawel and the whole Historic Centre of Kraków are part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 1978. Together they’ve been among the first 12 inscribed World Heritage Sites.

» UNESCO Description of the World Heritage: Historic Centre of Kraków
» Other photos of the World Heritage: See more photos

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