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John Einar Sandvand

Krakow´s fantastic market square – and how to get rid of the crowd

Market_Square

PICSPIRATION SUNDAY: Krakow´s main market square can take the breath away from any photographer. But taking night photos can be tricky. Could all people please move away?

I find that the best time of the day to take city photos often is just around sunset. This is the time when light from the sky mixes beautifully with the first artificial city lights.

The big contrasts in lighting makes this time also often good for using the HDR technique, mixing several exposures into one and thus making sure all parts of the image are exposed correctly.

But there is a problem: What to do with the crowds?

As light disappears it very soon becomes necessary with longer shutter speed. But that leads to blurry human beings.

And it is not like you can just ask people to move out of the Market Square because you want to take pictures.

So what to do?

Basically there are two alternatives:

  • Try to make the blurry movements a creative part of the picture.
  • Increase shutter speed so much that human beings more or less disappear.

Using movements creatively

The techniques are very different. To use blurry movements as creative part of the picture you need to experiment to find the right shutter speed. 0,5 to 1 second can be a good starting point. The camera have to be on a tripod, so that buildings and everything that does not move is completely sharp.

Wiping humans away with long exposures

The other technique means using so long shutter speed that most human beings are no longer visible. The main photo on this article is taken with this technique. The exposure time is 10 seconds – and all human beings who kept walking have more or less been wiped out of the photo.

To make this technique work you may have to use a neutral density filter in order to have long enough shutter speed.

Enough talking. Here are some of my shots from Krakow´s fantastic market square, taken at different times during the last couple of years.  Enjoy!

More photos from Krakow´s main market square

Krakow´s main market square - taken from the tower of St. Mary´s church. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Krakow´s main market square – taken from the tower of St. Mary´s church. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

HDR photo of St. Mary´s church at the market square in Krakow. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

HDR photo of St. Mary´s church. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Another HDR photo from the market square in Krakow.  I love to take the photos  around sunset - when you can get a beautiful mixture of natural and artificial light. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Another HDR photo from the market square in Krakow. I love to take the photos around sunset – when you can get a beautiful mixture of natural and artificial light. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

The market square in snow. The photo is taken with tripod and long shutter speed to show the movement of the heavy snow. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

The market square in snow. The photo is taken with tripod and long shutter speed to show the movement of the heavy snow. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Krakow market square during the annual Christmas market. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Krakow market square during the annual Christmas market. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Different version of the main photo in this article - here with 1 second exposure to make the movements of people a part of the photo. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

Different version of the main photo in this article – here with 1 second exposure to make the movements of people a part of the photo. Photo: John Einar Sandvand

About the author: Communications officer, journalist, author, digital strategist, photographer, traveller…and more.

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