A series of posts following David and Gail as they walk 480 kilometers from Prague to Vienna in 2014.
October 20, 2014
I love walking around cities late at night. The streets are cool and quiet. The hoots of late night revelers echo through stone and brick canyons. Storefronts glow with mannequins and merchandise. Historic buildings and statuary are all lit up, their details chiseled out of deep shadows in a ghoulish Boris Karloff flashlight-under-the-chin fashion. It all seems a little dangerous, a little mysterious, with dark corners hiding who-knows-what activity.
A night in Prague is particularly engaging. There is a peculiar liveliness to this city’s darkest hours. Beer halls and cafes operate late into the night. Night crawlers, drawn through the narrow streets of Staré Město and Malá Strana, meet on the romantic Karlův most (Charles Bridge) to promenade its length and explore its darkness in hushed voices.
The title of this post, Prague at 3200, contains a photographic reference. Street photography at night means shooting in available darkness. It demands wide open apertures and slow shutter speeds. And it requires as fast a ‘film’ speed as possible. A speed of 3200, for example.
What follows is a compilation of photos taken in Prague over four nights in early September, before setting out on our Prague to Vienna walk. All were taken at a very high film speed of ISO 3200 with shutter speeds falling between 1/8th and 1/40th second. All were handheld with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera. If you happened to have read my previous two posts reviewing this camera, you will know that I am a fan of its high film speed quality and excellent image stabilization.
These are a few examples of this camera’s low light capabilities, nicely wrapped in the night time glow of Prague.