The Amazing Sunset over Warsaw


I had a gut feeling yesterday morning that we’d have an amazing sunet over Warsaw. And I was right. Luckily, we planned ahead.

I used my Fuji X100T for all of these shots. They were compressed for the web, to load faster, so please take into account that their quality is lower than it should be.

Warsaw has a few observation decks that are open to the public. A ticket is usually needed, but they’re cheap and worth it usually. The particular spot we chose is at the top of the St Anne’s Church bell tower. All that is required is a €1 entrance fee and the ability to walk up a few hundred steps.


There’s something to see in all directions — you can look at Warsaw’s city centre and its ‘skyscrapers’ (above) or towards the Vistula river, with the National Stadium in the background (bottom).


We arrived over an hour early — I didn’t want to miss the spectacle. I also got a chance to take some panoramas, which I combined in Adobe Lightroom.


The photo above was created from a total of 8 shots. All handheld — I didn’t bother using my tripod.


Krakowskie Przedmieście — the street in the photo above — is full of people during the weekends and a great place to visit in Warsaw. St Anne’s Church is on the left, just out of the frame.


The weekend means weddings. There were at least a few, but I took notice of two in particular. One couple is about to leave the church and get into that beautiful white Rolls Royce, while another is already on their way in that fantastic Jaguar E-type, escorted by a few motorcyles.


Looking north of the bell tower, you can see the Royal Castle and the Castle Square in front of it. The sun is just beginning to set. The panorama above was combined from 12 separate shots.


My wife was quite bored after an hour of waiting and quite frankly… so was I. We almost missed it!


The sun started setting a few minutes later, while the sky started turning red.


At one point, the sky was quite bright, and I decided to try to get Warsaw’s silouhette. It took another 12 shots, but I think I nailed it.


As the sun was continuing its journey down towards the horizon, the sky was on fire. I rarely get the chance to see these kinds of colours with my own eyes.


While waiting for it to go down, I decided to get some long exposures using an ND filter1, which allowed me to expose the photo above for 500 seconds (over 8 minutes).


I managed to get to the other side of the bell tower in time for a few last shots of Warsaw’s skyline. Each shot was exposed for 30 seconds or so, without an ND filter this time.


And then it happened. The sky lit up perfectly. I actually had to lower the saturation on the image above, because the colours were too rich.


Before we left, I took one more shot of the city…


And one more of Castle Square. Note the group of people dacing with fire in the bottom of the shot.

I’m glad we went — it was an amazing day and the Fuji X100T performed much better than expected. It really is a great little camera.

  1. Neutral density, NDx400 in this particular case.

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