Prague, Czech Republic: Old Town Square Part Two, Old Town Hall Tower and Týn Church

The feature image is a view of the Old Town Square and the Church of Our Lady Before Týn as seen from the top floor of the Old Town Hall Tower.

Feature Image Details

ISO 125 for 5 seconds at F20. I used a  Canon 24-105MM F4 L Lens at a focal length of 24 MM. I should have used F8 or so, there was no foreground detail that would warrant such a small aperture.

Old Town Hall Tower and Týn Church From Hotel U Prince Roof Restaurant 

That view is from an open-air restaurant on the top of the Hotel U Prince. Reservations are necessary.

The hotel also has an inside piano bar. I grabbed this shot by putting the camera on the table, propped up by a book or other object.

Hotel U Prince Piano Bar

The above image was 13 seconds at F8. ISO 125 at a focal length of 24mm.

I should have used a higher ISO such as 1000. ISO 1000 would have been three full stops faster (125 to 250, 250 to 500, 500 to 1000). Each stop doubles or halves the exposure time. Thus, 13 seconds would have been halved three times (6.75 seconds at ISO 250, 3.375 seconds at ISO 500, 1.688 seconds at ISO 1000).

After a few frames, the server told me pictures are not allowed.

Hotel U Zlatého Stromu

That’s a 2-second exposure. I believe you can tell we are having a lot of fun.

View from Charles Bridge Tower

Here’s a view from the Charles Bridge Tower looking the opposite direction at the Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge.  It’s a repeat from post number one below.

This concludes Prague. It’s now back to the US for Autumn images.

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

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Top 100 Nature Photography Websites

Feedspot just featured me in their list of Top 100 Nature Photography Blogs & Websites To Follow in 2018.

There is a nominal charge of $2 per month to track whatever sites you wish to follow and see new sites as they come on board. I consider it worth it.

This post was not about nature, but the tips apply.

Prague Posts

  1. Prague, Czech Republic: Charles Bridge and Prague Castle at “Blue Hour”
  2. Prague, Czech Republic: Subway Tunnel Near Charles Bridge
  3. Prague, Czech Republic: Old Town Square, Týn Church, Orloj Astronomical Clock
  4. Prague, Czech Republic: St. Vitus Cathedral, Stained Glass Windows

Coming up next: Autumn images in the US. First Stop: Michigan.

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Prague, Czech Republic: St. Vitus Cathedral, Stained Glass Windows

These shots are taken in the St. Vitus Cathedral. The cathedral is located within Prague Castle and contains the tombs of many Bohemian kings and Holy Roman Emperors. It is under the ownership of the Czech government as part of the Prague Castle complex.

Feature Image Details

ISO 400 at F5.6 for 1/50 of a second. I used a  Canon 24-105MM F4 L Lens at a focal length of 47 MM.

I was setting up my tripod when an attendant stopped me with a warning “no tripods”.

Ouch. Even at ISO 400, I was on the edge of an acceptable hand-held image. There are a number of things I would do differently today, but my camera today is better than I had then.

I opted to use a pew railing as support, and the resultant image was very sharp.

There were other problems, notably pointing a lens up at anything. This is the actual image I captured.

The eye sees one thing, the camera another.

Both Lightroom and Photoshop have perspective controls. Lightrooms’s are far easier to use, and Photoshop’s are far more robust. In this case, Lightroom adjustments were a simple fix.

All I did was slide the vertical transformation slider until the vertical lines looked vertical. The rest of the adjustments were highlight, contrast, and sharpening.

Important Tip

Bear in mind you will lose detail at the sides for sure, and either the top or the bottom of the frame depending on which way you tilt the camera.

Compare the feature image to the one above. Check the left side and right side cropping. There are three columns on the right side. Only two remain after the perspective change.

Give yourself room to crop if you want to correct the perspective.

Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre

I just recently identified that image from a post on the Incredible Stained Glass of St. Vitus Cathedral.

This image was even more problematic. The contrast was awful as I was shooting straight into the afternoon light. Bright overcast is best, if not outright cloudy days. I horrendously underexposed the shadows.

With a tripod, this is a trivial setup. There is no wind and nothing is moving. You take a few frames and blend them. In this case, I did not even have a pew to balance my camera on.

I selected under-exposure rather than over-exposure. The latter is impossible to fix. The former results in muddy-details. Newer cameras have better dynamic range. These images were taken with an EOS 5 Mark II. I now use a Mark IV. In between was a Mark III and a 6D. The latter was a far better but less expensive camera at least as far as shadow detail goes.

Perspective-wise this was an even more severe crop than the feature image.

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

If you like this article, please share by email or use one of the share buttons beneath the article.

Top 100 Nature Photography Websites

Feedspot just featured me in their list of Top 100 Nature Photography Blogs & Websites To Follow in 2018.

There is a nominal charge of $2 per month to track whatever sites you wish to follow and see new sites as they come on board. I consider it worth it.

This post was not about nature, but the tips apply.

Prague Posts

  1. Prague, Czech Republic: Charles Bridge and Prague Castle at “Blue Hour”
  2. Prague, Czech Republic: Subway Tunnel Near Charles Bridge
  3. Prague, Czech Republic: Old Town Square, Týn Church, Orloj Astronomical Clock

Coming up next: Final set of Prague images. Then it’s back to landscape images in the US.

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Prague, Czech Republic: Old Town Square, Týn Church, Orloj Astronomical Clock

These shots are taken in the Old Town Square. The most prominent features are the Church of Our Lady Before Týn, and the Prague Orloj Medieval Astronomical Clock.

Feature Image Details

ISO 125 at F10 for 1/160 seconds. I used a  Canon 24-105MM F4 L Lens at a focal length of 35 MM.

We were on our way to dinner one evening and a huge storm was blowing in. A hole in the clouds opened up and beautifully lit the Týn Church. With all the people milling about it was hard to get a shot. I held my camera as far over my head as I could reach, then snapped two frames.

We have 3-foot by 2-foot aluminum image of this scene on our wall at home. It reminds me of the Harry Potter “Hogwarts” clock tower and courtyard.

Old Town Square at Blue Hour

On the north side of the Old Town Square is the Baroque Church of St Nicholas, built in 1735 to replace earlier medieval churches from 12th and 14th centuries.

Baroque Church of St Nicholas at Blue Hour

Prague Orloj

The Orloj is mounted on the southern wall of Old Town Hall in the Old Town Square. The clock mechanism itself has three main components: the astronomical dial, representing the position of the Sun and Moon in the sky and displaying various astronomical details; statues of various Catholic saints stand on either side of the clock; “The Walk of the Apostles”, a clockwork hourly show of figures of the Apostles and other moving sculptures—notably a figure of Death (represented by a skeleton) striking the time; and a calendar dial with medallions representing the months. According to local legend, the city will suffer if the clock is neglected and its good operation is placed in jeopardy; a ghost, mounted on the clock, was supposed to nod its head in confirmation. According to the legend, the only hope was represented by a boy born on New Year’s night.

The oldest part of the Orloj, the mechanical clock and astronomical dial, dates back to 1410 when it was made by clockmaker Mikuláš of Kadaň and Jan Šindel, then later a professor of mathematics and astronomy at Charles University. The first recorded mention of the clock was on 9 October 1410. Later, presumably around 1490, the calendar dial was added and the clock facade was decorated with gothic sculptures.

Blue Hour Discussion

Fifteen minutes to a half hour after sunset, the sky, city lights, and the ambient light all roughly balance. This ideal light lasts for cityscapes lasts 15 minutes to 20 minutes.

There is a blue hour before sunrise as well. The blue hour is roughly an hour before sunrise.

The blue hour itself, where the sky is an intense blue may last 45 minutes to an hour, but you will not have that must time to create a blur hour cityscape.

You need a tripod or a stable object on which to place your camera to take blue hour images.

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

If you like this article, please share by email or use one of the share buttons beneath the article.

Prague Posts

  1. Prague, Czech Republic: Charles Bridge and Prague Castle at “Blue Hour”
  2. Prague, Czech Republic: Subway Tunnel Near Charles Bridge

Coming up next: More Prague images.

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Prague, Czech Republic: Subway Tunnel Near Charles Bridge

This shot is an image of a tunnel at a crossing right near the Charles Bridge in my previous image. There were a lot of people in the tunnel and getting an image was frustrating as people kept walking in front of my camera.

Out of the blue, a Czech citizen walked up and asked: “Do you want me to hold the people back so you can get your shot?” I was astonished but pleased with this random event.

People were willing to wait for me and they watched what I was doing for about 30 seconds. This would never happen in Chicago.

The moment I clicked the shutter, a train came through. The train tail lights made the red lights in the foreground. Simultaneously, a bus came through the tunnel from the opposite direction, towards me. The bus made the pale green lights on the far side of the tunnel. The white lights are car headlights.

To the person who blocked the traffic: I salute you. Thanks. I hope this image finds your way. It is one of my all-time favorites.

Feature Image Details

ISO 160 for 25 seconds at F20. I used a  Canon 24-105MM F4 L Lens at a focal length of 32 MM.

This is another “blue hour” image (see the previous discussion), but right at the tail end of it.

If you are wondering “where is the train and where is the bus?” this is the known effect of lengthy exposures of moving objects. On long exposures, only the lights are bright enough to record.

On a 30-second exposure, one can put their hand in front of the camera for several seconds and the hand will not show up in the picture. But a constant barrage of people walking right in front of the kens will indeed ruin the image.

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

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Coming up next: More Prague images.

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Prague, Czech Republic: Charles Bridge and Prague Castle at “Blue Hour”

The Charles Bridge is a historic bridge that crosses the Vltava river in Prague, Czech Republic. Its construction started in 1357 under the auspices of King Charles IV, and finished in the beginning of the 15th century. The bridge replaced the old Judith Bridge built 1158–1172 that had been badly damaged by a flood in 1342. This new bridge was originally called Stone Bridge (Kamenný most) or Prague Bridge (Pražský most) but has been “Charles Bridge” since 1870. As the only means of crossing the river Vltava (Moldau) until 1841, Charles Bridge was the most important connection between Prague Castle and the city’s Old Town and adjacent areas. This “solid-land” connection made Prague important as a trade route between Eastern and Western Europe.

Feature Image Details

ISO 160 for 20 seconds at F16. I used a  Canon 24-105MM F4 L Lens at a focal length of 50 MM.

I shot the image from a pay-access tower overlooking the bridge. My tripod would not reach the window so I propped up my camera in the window and took a series of shots.

This is not a blended image, but I did edit out a large annoying ad on one of the buildings across the bridge.

I also had to remove flare in the lower left.

Blue Hour Discussion

Fifteen minutes to a half hour after sunset, the sky, city lights, and the ambient light all roughly balance. This ideal light lasts for cityscapes lasts 15 minutes to 20 minutes.

There is a blue hour before sunrise as well. The blue hour is roughly an hour before sunrise.

The blue hour itself, where the sky is an intense blue may last 45 minutes to an hour, but you will not have that must time to create a blur hour cityscape.

You need a tripod for these images. In this case, the overlook window provided a substitute tripod.

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

If you like this article, please share by email or use one of the share buttons beneath the article.

Coming up next: More Prague images.

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Mike “Mish” Shedlock