We saw a lot of different places, in a very short time — 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 — 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 Tomáš 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 …well…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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — the social aspect. I think it’s one of the big reasons why Photo Walks in general are such an amazing experience — 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 Tomáš 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 — 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