I’d just come out of a long, tiring, frustrating and difficult week. In the middle of a long, tiring, frustrating and difficult month. Being tired makes everything so much worse for me; the Wednesday before my trip to Vienna I was absolutely knackered and consequently miserable.
However, I was really looking forward to my long weekend in Austria, so by the time I reached Friday things were looking up. I’d also managed to get in a good night’s sleep and played some happy music as per my method of dealing with problems. I was taking the overnight train from Zurich to Vienna that night, I hopped on the Basel to Zurich train straight after my German class and thus ended up with an hour or so to kill in the Zurich Hauptbahnhof. Amidst the smokers, vagrants, aimless packs of youths and other malicious loiterers.
Yeah right. I’m taking my camera and going for a walk.
I’m the owner of a nice camera…but not a Serious Photographers’ grade one. My Olympus shoots pretty pictures with 12 megapixels, has several functions for indoors/snow/candlelight/outdoors and fits into my coat or trouser pocket. But coaxing it into taking good pictures at night has proven to be a bitch. With an exposure time of several seconds, the slightest movement of your hands after pressing the ‘shoot’ button will render your night scene a blurry mess capable of inducing headaches.
Thing is, I really like night scenes. I think that cities really come alive after dark: I love how everything becomes just that little bit more magical and mysterious.
And Zurich…well, upon stepping out of the train station I became very determined indeed to capture Zurich after dark.
Photographic success was achieved with the help of walls, railings and parapets: through resting my camera on something solid and flat I was able to keep it steady for the requisite length of time to take a proper picture. I should probably think about buying a tripod or something. At some point. It isn’t perfect, but I think I managed to capture that elusive “sense of place”. At least to a degree that I’m happy with.
I wrote an article about my first trip to Zurich during the daytime: to me its almost a completely different place after-hours.
Perhaps the best thing about those 30 mins walking through the Old Town was that after aforementioned frustrating week I could start seeing the beauty and positives in my surroundings once more. I was able to react and feel emotions simply from admiring some buildings illuminated by light.
The frustrating month isn’t over yet, but thanks to a wait between train connections it has become tolerable once more.