"I knew I wanted to get back down here to capture a moment when the scene was lit up and decided to try to make it before full darkness (known as the 'blue hour'). I just love how the lights add to the scene, not to mention the fountain."
When I started properly learning photography with a course, this iconic scene in The Hague was naturally one of my starting points and I still come back here time and time again to see if I can get the perfect shot! It's almost as if someone designed the city for landscape photographers!
As I've written in the past, this is the original part of The Hague and a very historical building, where the Dutch government now sits and where monarchs from around Europe once lived. It is where the old and modern come together so beautifully.
I knew I wanted to get back down here to capture a moment when the scene was lit up and decided to try to make it before full darkness (known as the 'blue hour'). I just love how the lights add to the scene, not to mention the fountain.
As is always the case with sunset or night shots, I'm watching the sky and the weather like a crazy person and then hoping that it all comes together on an evening that I can make it! Truthfully, sometimes I just don't have the time or enthusiasm to rush around, but on this evening I managed it. Luckily, I can jump on tram 16 very near to my home and it drops me right alongside the lake.
I pitched up my tripod and was not surprised after a short while to see another photographer arrive and set up a short distance from me. We are a common sight around here! There were also a number of tourists wandering around, also snapping away with their camera phones.
I knew I wanted to use a long exposure on this scene to smooth out the water and it's the use of a small aperture that helps to capture the lens flare around the lights - you might have noticed that I am quite a fan of this effect, especially in my shots of architecture!
I took many, many photos here but this earlier shot from the evening is one of my favourites 😊 The sky was still relatively light and the detail in the buildings and trees was still clear and visible. That said, I really haven't yet found a bad time to photograph this location apart from perhaps a completely cloudy sky (I've seen a magnificent shot of it for sale in a local gallery with a sky like that though!)
People walked by, occasionally interested in what I was doing. Trams go by along this route with their bells dinging as they pass. After a while I wandered back into the city where I took a few more shots. It was a relatively warm evening and still ok to sit outside; some people were eating ice cream outside a new ice cream shop that recently opened.
Eventually I headed back home...my next challenge at this location? Morning light and the sunrise! Let's see if I can get out of bed early enough one morning to make it!
You can see this picture in my gallery of The Hague, where it's also available to buy in a number of different formats.