St. Michael's Church, Vienna

St. Michael's Church, Vienna

I just don't get tired of shooting all the beautiful churches that I come across in Europe.  I found this one in Vienna, Austria by accident - sometimes I get lucky!  I'll take it!

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Morning in Vienna

Vienna is a beautiful town - have you been?

I have been to Vienna, Austria a couple of times in my life.  Once as a kid, which I barely remember and once a year or so back, which I definitely remember because I shot like crazy there!  In my limited experience, it's a very beautiful town.  I wandered around a LOT (even though I was only there about 18 hours or so) and took many shots.  It's just what I do.  :-)  

My best results were on the morning of my departure.  I got up early and wandered the streets during sunrise.  Luckily, I was close in to all the key sites, so even though I didn't have enough time to shoot them all, at least I was able to get street scenes like this one with very little people in them.  That's one of my favorite reasons for shooting sunrise in distant cities (or any city for that matter).

This is the Graben, which is one of the famous streets in the historic city center of Vienna.  It's all pedestrian and full of shops and restaurants, so while not a totally authentic, cultural experience, it's still a beautiful walk, especially when you can get it mostly empty.  I walked along here the night before to find dinner (and take a few shots, of course), and it was CROWDED.

Vienna is definitely a place to see, assuming you are nearby.  I would love to get back someday.  Fingers crossed on that one. :-)

Blue hour on the Graben

The Graben is a large pedestrian thoroughfare in the historic center of Vienna, Austria.  As you can probably imagine (and as you can see in this photo), it gets very crowded around the dinner hour.  I was only in Vienna for one night, so I made sure to get out and photograph the place as much as possible.

I went out photo-walking as I made my way to find dinner.  I strolled along, shooting this and that.  I feel no hurry to eat when I find such lovely light and perfect subject matter.  The light only lasts for a little while, and I can get food anytime.  You see, I just love European streets, even when they are crowded.  I thought the blue hour light was really beautiful, and I liked the shapes in the building, how they curve into the distance, and the criss-cross pattern on the ground.

So, I just set up right in the middle of the crowd and fired away.  I didn’t want to remove the person on the left that ghosted his way through the shot – I thought it fit the scene. 

A fountain in Vienna

As you have probably read here before, I love to wander on back streets in cities - there are always interesting things to point a camera at.  I was somewhere in the historic part of Vienna, Austria and doing that wandering thing.  I came across this fountain which was tucked into a courtyard, so of course I just walked in there like I belonged there.  Though that behavior has backfired on me in the past, this time I was alone and able to grab this shot.

Things like this are one of the reasons I enjoy going to Europe.  Little fountains tucked into courtyards - you just don't find that much here in the US.

St. Peter's Church, Vienna

St. Peter's Church in Vienna, Austria is amazingly beautiful on the inside.  The outside, as you can see, doesn't really let you know that.  I'm not saying the outside is ugly - far from it - but it is sort of non-descript, it blends in well with its surroundings and it's tucked just off their main pedestrian thoroughfare, the Graben. 

In other words, it's not obvious.  I don't really expect big, blinking neon signs saying "kick ass photo opps here" or "Jim, please pay attention" but you know what I mean.  Anyways, I obviously found it, which is a good thing.

I had heard about this church's interior from my friend Pete Talke and of course had also seen pics of the inside, but really had no idea what to expect on the outside.  I walked past it the first time.

But thankfully my little map helped me figure out that I needed to double back, so I did and since it was early morning, I was able to fire these brackets uninterrupted.

Morning on the Graben

There is nothing quite like wandering a European street early in the morning.  I find all European streets beautiful in some way or another, even when they are crowded.  But when you get up early and have it all to yourself, it's an entirely new type of beauty to me.

Gone are the masses and along with them, the noise.  It's quiet - almost eerily so.  The shops are closed.  The cafes are quiet, not yet ready for all those caffeine-seeking customers to arrive.  It even seems like the wind is still.  In short, it's a perfect time to be standing there, camera on tripod, with just the ritual clicking of brackets firing into the void.  It's awesome.

This one was captured on the Graben, which is one of the most famous streets in Vienna, Austria's historic city center.  And it was just me.  :)

Strolling on the Graben

I have a lot of photos to work on from Vienna, and just recently realized that I have only shared one thus far - so time for that to change!  I got up early on my only morning there - partly because I had a plane to catch, and partly because there were a few spots I wanted to shoot.  Since my hotel was inside the Ringstrasse, it put me in close proximity to those spots, and I got up early to grab my brackets.  The Graben is one of the most famous streets in central Vienna, and there are some great shots to be had here, especially when the rest of the town is asleep. This is one of them - just a simple shot down the street, admiring the mix of old and new.  I love empty European streets.  Love them.

Technicals: Nikon D700, 14-24 wide angle lens (at 24mm), 7 exposures at f/13

Software: Photomatix to create the HDR, then filters applied in Color Efex Pro, and minor corrections in Aperture

I have also been doing some HDR "before & after" comparisons, and thought I would share what this photo would look like straight out of camera, at a 0 exposure.  Let me know if this is the kind of stuff you enjoy seeing!  I plan to share more of these.  I find it interesting - hope you do!

St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna


Vienna, Austria is an incredible town - some day I would like to spend a little time there!  :)  I passed through it rather quickly a couple of weeks back, just enough to whet my appetite for this lovely town and all that it has to offer.  I did find a little time to shoot, mostly early one morning as is often the case.  But that's ok, because when you can walk around a nice European city like Vienna and have it all to yourself...well, that's just awesome.