We saw a lot of different places, in a very short time â” 10-days total, with barely a day in each city (except we had 2-days just in Prague before the 8-day cruise began).

So, we started in Prague, then headed off by river cruise boat to:

> Nuremberg, Germany
> Regensburg, Germany
> Passau, Germany
> Melk, Austria
> Vienna, Austria (just one day there â” not nearly enough)
> Budapest, Hungary (just one day there, too! Ack!)

With such a quick trip, we got to see a little of a lot, but it was so worth it!

I put together my favorite images from the trip, including some of the layout spreads from my photo book, over at Exposure.co so if you’ve got a sec, I hope you’ll check them out. Here’s the link.

Making friends along the way
Before I left, I did a shout-out on my Twitter and Facebook pages that I was headed out to Prague and Budapest on summer vacation and did anybody have any ideas on where to shoot? I quickly got an invitation from newspaper photographer Lukas Biba (@bibalukas) who said he’d be happy to show me the sights, so I was set.

Then I got an email from my friend Frank Doorhof, who told me about a friend of his named Ivan Navratilova who makes his living arranging and leading photo tours for photographers in Prague. I contacted Ivan and we set up to meet the 2nd morning I was there, and he brought along his friend Tom¡Å¡ Pipek, and the three of us just had a blast!

Yes, we went to lots of cool places — Prague is an amazing city, and Ivan knew all the cool shooting locations like the back of his hand (Ivan has led the Prague photo walks as part of my annual Worldwide Photo Walk), but beyond that, we laughed our way around the city. These were such really great guys (each one seriously good photographers, too!) and it really made my trip to Prague so memorable. In fact, we all decided to meet up the next morning at 4:45 am to shoot the Charles Bridge at dawn, and the laughing and shooting continued until I had to head to the bus for our four-hour drive to Nuremberg, Germany to join our cruise.

Above: The “Four Horseman of the Freshly-baked Croissant:” From L to R: Ivan, Tomas, Lukas and Tom Cruise.

Above: The “Charles Bridge Brightly Colored Tripod Crew:” Tomas, Ivan and Lukas. Notice that each of them has parts of their tripods that are neon colored. This should have been my first warning sign. ;-)

Above: Before I left on my trip, RC insisted that I visit a McDonald’s for breakfast while in Prague because he said it’s a totally different experience, and he wasn’t kidding. It was â¦wellâ¦it actually tasted really good. LOL!! ;-)

Above: There’s my travel gear (a 5D Mark III with a Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5 to f/6.3 lens) next to my breakfast gear (a freshly baked croissant with Nutella). It was meant to be. Thanks RC! (and you were right!). 

When I got to Vienna, Ivan was there visiting his cousin, so we got to shoot again around Vienna (after visiting a local beer garden). But we only had the afternoon, and Vienna is such an amazing city that all it made me do is want to go again when I had more time. We made the most of it, and once again, Ivan and I were laughing our way around time. Wish Tomas and Lukas could have joined us.

Above: This is Lukas. Little children would see him coming and run away screaming. Same thing with women and squirrels. Anyone that has a “fold-up” bike is simply not to be trusted. ;-)

On to Budapest, Hungary
When I got to Budapest on the final day of my trip, I got to meet up with another photographer I met through Twitter, Budapest-based fashion photographer Viktor Fejes (shown below). I wish he could have been with Ivan, Tomas and Lukas in Prague because he would have fit right in. He was just terrific and we had lots of fun, lots of laughs, nearly got in trouble a couple of times (as you’ll read in my Exposure.co post), and he couldn’t have been more gracious, patient or fun. Just a really great guy all the way around, and we spent the whole day shooting around the city and riding the Metros for me to get Metro station shots (you’ll see them on my Exposure.co post). 

Above: My buddy in Budapest â” fashion photographer Viktor Fejes, pictured in his downtown studio, shot with available light. 

We got to stop by his studio for a quick visit, and he’s got just a great set-up, in an incredible location, at an amazingly affordable price. So jealous! Plus, Budapest is one of the coolest cities I’ve ever been to, so he’s doubly set. And the icing on the cake is â” he’s a kick-butt photographer, and based on what I saw of his work, he’s going to be somebody we’re going to be hearing a lot about very soon. A real talent despite the fact that he almost got us arrested. Since he does lead my Worldwide Photo Walk in Budapest, I’ll let him off the hook. ;-)

This is what I love about photography
I really enjoy travel photography â” I love seeing new places and I love trying to bring some of the experiences home in my images, but I have to say one of my favorite parts of it all is making new photography friends along the way, and this past week I really felt like I made some great new friends. This is one of the things I truly love about photography â” the social aspect. I think it’s one of the big reasons why Photo Walks in general are such an amazing experience â” they’re ALL about the social part of it, and when photographers get together in person, it’s always a lot of fun, sharing, laughing and learning and I feel very fortune I got to spend some time with Ivan, Tomas (seen below), Lukas and Viktor.

Above: After just two beers Tom¡Å¡ jumped up and started dancing wildly and we couldn’t get him to stop until we promise to buy him another beer. By the way, that’s not actually a camera in his hands. That a camera-shaped beer flask / hash pipe. True story. ;-) 

As much as I enjoyed the trip (the Viking Cruise Line experience was really wonderful), it’s also great to be home.
On every trip, I learn a lot about shooting, about the post processing, and about shooting on a time crunch from a city tour bus. I have lots to share, and hopefully I’ll have a live Webcast coming up soon (like a did covering my trips to Rome and Cuba) to talk about some of these camera techniques, the post processing, and the challenges you face during this type of shooting. I’ll let you know the time and date as soon as we get something set up.

Above: Ivan told me to bring my camera into the restroom to see something I would never see in the USA. I gotta tell ya, I didn’t exactly rush right in there, but once I got inside, and saw the wall â” I just had to crack up (and I got this one quick shot, which was kind of bad timing for Lukas).

Thanks to my buddy Frank Doorhof for bringing Ivan and I together, and thanks to Ivan for bringing Tomas along. Also, thanks to Lukas and Viktor to reaching out to me on Twitter and giving so freely of your time and talents. Thanks to you all for reading all of this, and I hope you get a chance to check out the images, and the story behind the shots, over on Exposure.co

Best,

-Scott

About The Author

Scott is the President of KelbyOne, an online educational community for Photographers, Photoshop and Lightroom users. He's editor and publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, Conference Technical Chair for the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, and the author of a string of bestselling Photoshop, Lightroom, and photography books.

39 Comments

  1. Anytime, Scott!
    I love the shots. It was worth the wait in the Opera. Wondering if we did get arrested could you have titled this article: My photographs of a Hungarian prison. :))

  2. Thanks again, Scott:-).

  3. Great post, Scott! I only had a chance to skim the Exposure photos (I’ll read the rest after work today). Wonderful stuff! I hope you do that broadcast fairly soon. I love the photo books that you create, but I don’t think you’ve mentioned the size you prefer for those books? Do you go as large as possible for them for the impact? Or do you go a bit smaller. Just curious….

    –John

  4. Really great shots, Scott! Did you know, that the area you pictured from the Palace at Passau was completely under water last year? Standing on the Rathausplatz the water would have reached your chest ….. Greetings from Germany, Ferdinand

  5. Beautiful images, Scott. When you share this on The Grid, would you please talk about using the Tamron 28 – 300 vs. the Canon version? I love the Nikon 28 – 300 and am looking for something comparable for my 5d Mark III. As always, thanks for sharing.

  6. Scott, my first comment on your blog. How do you remember all the comments regarding the shots. Do you keep any audio notes while taking shots.

    Zaffer

    • Hi Rashid (and welcome). I don’t take any notes, but I do have to write these posts right after the trip or I will forget some of the details, so I try and write it while it’s still pretty fresh in my memory. :)

  7. Scott, I bet it’s great to have an army of friends anywhere you go! In our business it’s rare to go somewhere and not see a customer. We went to Aruba and ran into 2! I’m thinking that last shot is an expectancy of privacy, but not in Europe!

  8. Holy crap, that’s the best travel photos ever!!

  9. Wow!, that’s it, just Wow!

  10. How about comments on the river cruise? Pictures on board? Any Kalebra pics, maybe from the women’s restroom? Any contact info/rates for Ivan?

  11. ps Stunning pics on Exposure. Especially love the library and the cathedral. Photo rich environment.

  12. Thanks for sharing the great photos. Ivan is a great guy and photographer. I know he leads photo tours with http://www.PraguePhotoTours.com.

  13. Great photos! I would have loved to see you here in Germany.

    Little correction: The german town is called REGENSBURG not Regensberg. I’m from there and happy that you have visited this amazing town.

  14. Excellent stuff on Exposure.co as usual Scott. I liked all of them but the Metro ones were very cool as you mentioned. How did you get (almost) all of them without any people around? And during the daytime to boot? These were not long exposures, correct? Well done.

    • Hi Bill. I’ll be talking about that on my live Webcast on Thursday night at 7:00 pm, but I can give you a little hint (and I’m not making this up), it’s patience. :)

      • Oh wow. You must have been twixt and between, since you were on a time budget yet wanted to get these shots. When you said you were hopping off and on the metro at each station I thought these might be 1-2 minute stops each. Looking forward to hearing your story on the Webcast, although I won’t be able to watch it live being out here in Vancouver, Canada. :-)

  15. A pleasure to see you post Scott! Thanks for being such an excellent supporter of what we are trying todo over at Exposure.

    If anyone would like 20% off their first years subscriptions of either our Pro or Plus plan they can visit this link. https://exposure.co/join?signup_source=affil-3.

    Any any questions feel free to drop luke@exposure.co a line!

  16. Hey Scott,

    Nice pictures! While i was looking at the pictures, i was wondering if you where planning to do a webcast about your trip? Like you did with Paris and Rome.

  17. Hey Scott,

    I’ve always been blown away with your photography – seems if you point a camera at it, you capture magic – but this last trip and batch of photos; Wow! I’m not sure why I’m so struck by them (Hungarian ancestry?) – they’re all stunning, rich and vibrant! Beautiful work Scott (the subway shots seem unreal – very cool!). Also really like your fave too, the old instrument on the craggly, old road (or walk).

    Take Care!
    Doug

  18. Really enjoying your images and stories at Exposure.

  19. Great pics Scott! Did you take the one big picture from the opera house and from the monestary library with the canon lens 16-35 mm? Just asking, because if yes, I will buy this great glass soon ;-)

  20. I know you always say ‘you don’t show all the shot you take, just the really good ones’.. And I get that. But holy mackerel Scott, these really are outstanding. In looking over these shots, as compared to the ones….say, when you went away with your Brother. These are day & night incredible.

    The way you can tell a story, get the shots, and the use of expOsure now for the output to us. it’s crazy insane good. I remember the Paris trip when you say in the cafe and took us through the book output (which was an amazing, amazing class) I was interested in seeing your choices and layout for this book…as I didn’t know Lightroom could do this whatsoever. The total class was a win-win. And this time seeing your choices. It makes me wish I was on the ‘getting’ end of one of those.. or sitting down and hearing you tell the story of the trip with the book.

    I caught between envy, and just all out WOW. SO glad I found KelbyTraining SO far back, the things you have brought to the table can’t be quantified anymore. I just look in awe.

    Very Thankful for you sharing all of this.

    • John — thank you so much for the kind words — you’ve made my day and it’s still just morning. :-) I hope you’ll come catch my free Webcast tomorrow night at 7:00 pm (New York Time). I’ll have all the details later today, but I’ve got some new tips I hope you’ll dig. Cheers, and thanks again. :)

  21. I’m really looking forward to your webcast of the trip. I love your walk in Rome and I’ve been watching it for more than 2 times already ;)

  22. Scott, your vacation posts are my most favorite thing on your blog. I just love seeing all the wonderful places around the world and the way you capture them just so beautifully!! We’ve gotten the Viking River Cruise catalog for a while now and I’m always dreaming about the places we could go. One day, for sure!! Thank you for always inspiring us!! :)

  23. The photographs are extraordinary. I have a 5D Mark III but I don’t get the same results you do when you use the Tamron 28-300. I may have to re-try that lens. Thanks for posting. Prague is on my bucket list.

  24. That wall in the bathroom…Excellent. Back in the `80’s I had a picture very similar with Vanna White in my apartment bathroom, ahhh the good times.

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