Berlin by Night

Charlottenburg at midnight

I was visiting my son in Berlin. After a few drinks at the Cafe Z in Mierendorffstraße 25 – a bar with more than 500 bottles of whiskey, rum, vodka and tequila – I headed out for some night shots of the quiet part of Berlin around Castle Charlottenburg.

It was freezing, so I went light with my Fujifilm X-T2 camera and the XF18-135mm lens and a JOBY Gorillapod. A tripod is most certainly a good thing when it is freezing – and the photographer had a few drinks.

First stop was a bridge across the river Spree. I placed the small tripod at the pavement so the camera was approx. 1 feet / 30cm above the ground. At the left side I used the fence as a stabilizer and went for a handheld shot 2 feet above the ground with the image stabilization turned on. I found the shot from the right side most appealing.

EXIF: X-T2, XF18-135mm| 23 mm|ISO800 | f13 | 10s |Tripod
Schlossbrücke, Charlottenburg, Berlin
EXIF: X-T2, XF18-135mm | 18mm | ISO1600 | f8 | 2,3s | handheld w OIS


At daytime, the 17th century castle Charlottenburg is most appealing from the garden side. But both castle and garden was closed. So I walked up to the main entrance from street side. I managed to squeeze the lens without the hood inbetween the gate bars, and twined the legs of the gorillapod around the bars to get a stable position. Thanks to the portrait position on the ‘tripodhead’ it was relatively easy to switch between horisontal and vertical orientation. The JOBY gorillapod is very sensitive to movements when it is clinging to bars (or branches), so the 2 seconds timer function in the X-T2 was handy.  After some shots of the main building, I walked back to the right wing of the castle. A small puddle was handy to get some reflections. This time the flexible legs of the gorillapod was very convenient. I would have to fiddle hard to get my normal tripod down to the same low level. Being able to flip the LCD screen in both horizontal and portrait orientation was very nice. Otherwise I might have been arrested for crawling around on the ground…

Schloss Charlottenburg
EXIF: X-T2, XF18-135mm | 18 mm | ISO200 | f4,5 | 1,5s | Tripod
Schloss Charlottenburg
EXIF: X-T2, XF18-135mm| 18 mm | ISO200 | f7,1 | 25s | Tripod
X-T2 in portrait orientation merely above the ground
Schloss Charlottenburg
EXIF: X-T2, XF18-135mm| 40 mm | ISO200 | f7,1 | 17s | Tripod

City Hall / Rathaus

The Charlottenburg city hall is (re)build in a beautiful early Art Nouveau style (Gruenderzeit). The streets are wide in Berlin, but long exposure photography is a dangerous occupation in the traffic. Fortunately, one of the numerous Berlin Bears was placed in front of the city hall in the middle of the road. So I could use the head as steady place for my small gorillapod. After a few exposures of the gate, I went to the other side of the street and found a ok place for a ‘full house’. Unfortunately, a wagon parked just in front of me after a few minutes, and I decided to walk back to the appartement. On the way back I tried a handheld shot of the castle. The image stabilization in the XF18-135mm is very impressive!

City Hall/ Rathaus Charlottenburg
EXIF: X-T2, XF18-135mm| 28 mm | ISO200 | f4 | 1,7s | Tripod
City Hall / Rathaus Charlottenburg
EXIF: X-T2, XF18-135mm| 18 mm | ISO800 | f3,5 | 0,5s | Tripod
City Hall / Rathaus Charlottenburg
EXIF: X-T2, XF18-135mm| 18 mm | ISO800 | f8 | 2,5s | Tripod
Schloss Charlottenburg
EXIF: X-T2, XF18-135mm| 40mm | ISO1600 | f8 | 1,3s | Handheld w OIS



As an enthusiastic amateur photographer, I spend most of my spare time finding the next photo opportunity. I favor landscape photography and portraiture, and challenge myself with street.

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