Bratislava is a very vibrant city with a wide variety of Renaissance and Baroque architecture. The huge Plaza Principal is full of shops, restaurants and cafes.
Our main mode of transportation for this trip was a river cruise. Traveling on a river cruise is not always convenient for photography. But it definitely allows you perspectives you wouldn’t get if you were traveling by car. It’s also a pretty relaxing way to cover more ground and not have to worry about a thing.
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 the old town and the Danube River.
We boarded the ship in Budapest and our first stop was Bratislava. Then, as part of the tour we signed up for, we boarded a bus and went on a two-hour walking tour. We ended up in the Plaza Mayor and we had an hour to ourselves. I have previously written about photography during walking tours. There’s some good advice in there.
Bus photos aren’t the easiest (or best), but I can’t help it. Fortunately we were traveling at a fairly 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 come back. So even though you may not have a lot of portfolio images, take the photos anyway. With your camera and your phone. Just record your trip.
The main attraction of our tour was the Bratislava castle. You can read more about his story here. The castle is located on a hill above the old town and offers great views.
The castle grounds were very well kept and cared for. However, getting photos without any of the tourists required a bit of patience. Sometimes you just have to hug people and know that they help tell the story and give buildings a certain scale.
Old Town and Plaza Mayor
I love the different types of architecture that you find in European cities. Bratislava was no different. The colors, shapes, and textures 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 topic that you can search for can help you slow down a bit instead of just clicking. You’ll end up seeing a lot of other photo opportunities just because you’re looking for that subject.
I travel relatively light. My trusty Lowe Pro Passport Sling (the original model) carries everything I need. I have a camera body, a Canon 6D. On this particular trip, I opted not to 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, identification and important things like that, they go in my pockets and they stay on my person. In case someone decides he wants to grab my bag.
Tips for walking tours
- Do not get in the way of others in the group.
- Make sure you don’t fall too far behind
- Pay attention to the tour guide from time to time, it will help you to identify what is in your photos later.
- Be sure to bring water with you and snacks.