Bratislava is a very vibrant city with a great variety of Renaissance and Baroque architecture. The huge Main Square is full of shops, restaurants and cafes.
Our main mode of transportation for this trip was a river cruise ship. Traveling on a river cruise isn’t always convenient for photography. But, it definitely allows you perspectives you would not get if you were traveling by car. It is also a quite relaxing way to cover more ground and not have to worry about much of anything.
Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia. The old town area dates back to the 18th century and is pedestrian-only. One of the main attractions is the Bratislava Castle which overlooks old town and the Danube River.
We boarded the ship in Budapest and our first stop was Bratislava. Then as part of the excursion that we signed up for we boarded a bus and went on a two-hour walking tour. We ended up in the Main Square and had an hour to ourselves. I’ve previously written about photography during walking tours. There are some good tips there.
Photos from a bus are not the easiest (or best) but I can’t help myself. Thankfully we were traveling at a pretty slow speed. It’s hard not to try to photograph everything when you’re in a new place. Especially if you know you may not return. So, even though you might not have a ton of portfolio images, take the photos anyway. With your camera and your phone. Just record your trip.
The main attraction for our tour was Bratislava Castle. You can read more about its history of it here. The castle is situated on a hill above Old Town and offers up some great views.
The castle grounds were beautifully kept and manicured. Getting photos without any of the tourists did require a bit of patience though. Sometimes, you just have to embrace the people and know that they help tell the story and give the buildings some scale.
Old Town and Main Square
I love the different types of architecture you find in European cities. Bratislava was no different. The colors, shapes and textures just seem so much more interesting than what we have in most places here at home.
Throughout our trip, I decided to focus on windows. Choosing a subject that you can look for can help you slow down a bit instead of just clicking away. You’ll end up seeing so many other photo opportunities just because you’re looking for that one subject.
What I carry
I travel relatively lightly. My trusty Lowe Pro Passport Sling (the original model) carries all I need. I have one camera body, a Canon 6D. On this particular trip I opted to not bring a second, backup body.
The two lenses that cover my particular way of creating images are the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM Lens and the Tamron 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens.
Any personal items also go in my camera bag. Money, ID and important things like those, go in my pockets and stay on my person. Just in case someone decides they want to grab my bag.
Tips for walking tours
- Don’t get in the way of others in the group
- Make sure you’re not falling too far behind
- Pay attention to the tour guide once in a while, it will help you identify what is in your photos later
- Be sure to carry water with you and snacks