Dresden by the Night: An unparalleled beauty!

Dresden is a city with many faces, and each face face is revealed at a different point of time in the day. Ravaged in the last few months of the World War II during a highly controversial bombing, the city rose from it's ashes almost like a phoenix. If you walk through the city, you will almost feel like you are walking through different centuries, each separated by hundreds of years. If you don't know about the complex and layered history of the city these sights won't mean much beyond their visual appeal, but for someone like me it was a goldmine.

Dresden night photography Landhaus and the Kreuzkirche
Dresden by the night - Landhaus and the Kreuzkirche

Dresden actually changes quite a bit with the night, especially during the months of November and December when Christmas markets keep the city centre alive till 10pm or so, and then there is sudden drop in action in the streets and the city squares.

Things can get quite cold and so people heeded back home to enjoy the pre-Christmas warmth, but my motivations were different. This was actually the time when my real day started. While the days were grey with little light and occasional rain, nights were different. Yes, I would have preferred some clear skies with stars, but I was actually quite content with what I had.

Dresden night photography Frauenkirche
Frauenkirche from the front!
Dresden night photography The Georgentor and the Procession of Princesuenkirche
The Georgentor and the Procession of Princes
Dresden night photography Academy of fine arts
Dome of the Dresden Academy of fine arts

Wearing two layers of warm clothing, I would head out everyday, walk alone in the narrow lanes with my tripod, camera and notebook. Sometimes someone would get curious about me and come look at the screen of my DSLR as I shivered during the long exposure shots, but most often I would be alone. I didn't mind that, these nights showed me such a lovely part of the town which was certainly not seen during the day (btw Dresden is obscenely gorgeous during the day as well).

On one occasion I even saw a few street dogs. None believed me till I showed them the pics I took with my camera. In India I would have just ignored them, but in Dresden I had no clue how aggressive they could be, so that day I had to head back to my hotel before midnight to sip coffee and read about my the next day.

Dresden night photography Coselpalais
Coselpalais - The Grand Cafe
Dresden night photography Frauenkirche
Frauenkirche from near my hotel...

On another occasion, a woman on a bicycle suggested that I take a shot I she rode to get a stretch of red light in the frame. It was a cool idea, but I botched up the shot. But I guess these things happen, especially for an amateur night photographer. In fact this was the first time in years that I was clicking in the night using a tripod.

Here is a quick tip though, I really missed having a tripod bag that I could have on my shoulder. As result of this, I had to carry the heavy tripod (it's aluminium, not graphite) all the time and was often afraid to hit people with it.

What equipment did I use?

Camera: Canon 6D
Lens: Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
Tripod: Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB 100 Aluminium Tripod with SBH-100 Ball Head

Dresden night photography Academy of Fine Arts
Dresden Academy of fine arts
Dresden night photography skyline river water
Dresden city skyline from 


  1. Beautiful Sid :) Such lovely clicks. Love the ones especially leading the eye deeper into the pic :) Will plunge further into knowing about Dresden. Thanks for sharing the info too! :) Cheerios.

    1. Thank you so much! I am really glad you enjoyed the pictures :)

  2. so beautiful! and very interesting post. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Lovely shots sid!!

    Dresden has an interesting history for sure ...from city planning perspective too!!


  4. beautiful pics, and kudos for taking them in the shivering cold.. I too have gone with the dilemma of taking or not taking a tripod. But for night long exposure you do need a tripod...

    1. Thanks Prasad! After a long time, I have started carrying a tripod on all my trips...don't regret carrying the extra load at all :)

  5. Marvelous pictures, Sid! Whenever I travel I always hope for the sun to come and clouds to clear. But night photography, especially in beautiful cities like Dresden, could redeem a gloomy day, as you mentioned. Now I feel inspired!


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