Krakow, Poland.

Kraków After Dark – Images from the Old City

‘Twas the night before Christmas and given that Kraków locals take their Christmas traditions earnestly, we decided that we had to check out Midnight Mass at the churches in the Old City. The churches were bursting at the seams and the singing and the atmosphere were special.

Back out on the streets of Kraków, the start of Christmas day, the Old City was spookily shrouded in mist. We snapped a few photos and from then on tried to capture the city at night every time we went out. It was often eerily beautiful during our stay here.

These were photographed with my Nikon D700 (still my all-time favourite digital camera) and generally with my 35mm lens. Occasionally, I would grab my old wider Nikon 12-24mm DX lens that I still carry around when I need to get those really wide shots. Even though I was freezing, the camera still kept working and didn’t miss a beat — unlike my heart when slipping on icy paths.

The reason for making these images black and white is because there really isn’t much colour in the frames anyway and black and white film is what a first learnt to process and make prints with and while I don’t really miss the darkroom, the stink of chemicals and the long hours under a single red light, I miss the feeling of making a hand-crafted print.


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  1. sugoto

    hi Terence,

    What do you use for your night shots of cities? I love your shots. Mine always come out a bit blurred as I rarely carry a tripod. Do you use a fast lens along with high ISO’s or you always carry a tripod with you?

    Thanks. Keep up the great work. Krakow looks magical in these night shots.

  2. Terence Carter

    Exactly, fast glass, high ISO. I wouldn’t use these shots in colour, they’re too grainy.
    When I used to do these kinds of shots for a living I used to have ‘tripod night’ when I’d go and shoot all the buildings and sights that are best done at night.
    These days I’m a bit more freewheelin’ and only use a tripod for time-lapse.
    Thanks for your comment!

  3. sugoto

    Thanks Terence. Love the blog, the shots and the writing. I hope a nice travel book comes out of this. I will surely buy one. I like to make my own plans while traveling and your blog is a fountainhead of ideas to do (outside the usual LP and Frommer, etc guides).

  4. Keith

    How did you do these?

    Did you use film, or do you have a b/w feature on your digital camera?

    Or.did you just manipulate them with your photo software?

  5. Terence Carter

    I do it in software. I don’t shoot film anymore, though I do miss it – particularly B&W.
    Because all these shots were at night and at high ISO, they don’t really look that great in colour because they’re quite ‘noisy’.
    If I was using film I would most certainly have used B&W.
    The software I use actually simulates the old film stocks I used to use and I add some custom settings and a little voodoo 😉


  6. Lara Dunston

    Gabby, I’ve just noticed this comment, sorry (in case you subscribed to this comment), I was so sad to have missed you too. In Budapest AND Berlin it seems. Hopefully we’ll catch up in some other part of the world one day. 🙂

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