Christina Goggi has one quest: to capture the pulse of life. And she strives to achieve this through her writing and photography. She is a keen traveller, and captures most of her work during her journeys. Her work is primarily portraiture and people photography, but she also has her fair share of landscape, architecture and street photography, mostly from her travels. She juggles this passion and her blogging, with her occupation as a content marketing professional.

You can view Christina’s portfolio and blog here:, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, 500px, and Google+.

It’s been months since I returned from my holiday in Prague, I’ve even been to other gorgeous places in the meantime, and yet my mind keeps taking me back to it. Prague is simply on a much higher level of awesome than many other places I’ve visited (and they were serious competitors to beat).

I’ve already listed twenty reasons why I’m so in love with Prague on my photography blog, but in this tutorial, I want to take you to one special evening and explain how I got my favourite shot from the whole series—this one:

Charles Bridge by Christina Goggi on

It was a warm, summer evening. Before setting off to Prague, I had already done my research to see what pictures of Charles Bridge had been taken for inspiration, as well as to avoid having a shot that’s already been taken before and copied multiple times.

Sunsets were unsurprisingly the most common. So how could my shot have the edge? I knew that capturing the image from Shooters Island wasn’t going to be it, but I went anyway, and I was there before sunset. Maybe at the back of my mind I wanted to have a safe shot, just in case I didn’t manage to get that something unique.

I used my favourite photography apps in advance to know what the weather conditions would be like and where the sun was going to set. I set up my tripod at the far end of the island, mounted my camera with a wide-angle lens, I connected a remote trigger as I wanted a low-exposure shot, and I waited for the sky to fill with gorgeous pastel colours.

The stunning hues were there, and I managed to get some shots, which I’m happy with, but the bridge didn’t get that edge I was after and simply merged with the horizon. So I focused on the city instead.

This is what I got:


I was a bit disappointed, and quite tired (plus starving), but I didn’t want to leave this magical city without a winner shot. On previous days, the weather wasn’t great, and the weather app didn’t show promising days ahead, so it was now or never.

I didn’t manage to get a stunning image of Charles Bridge at sunset, but I was going to improvise and get myself a great shot of the bridge at night. So I set off to the bridge with my heavy equipment. I walked onto the bridge. There it was. I could see my picture now…

Equipment Used

  • A sturdy tripod
  • Camera (I used a Canon EOS 6D)
  • Zoom lens (I used an EF 24-105mm f/4L)
  • ND filter
  • Remote trigger


Charles Bridge has seen so many happenings, and I wanted to capture that. I wanted create a spectral effect where something static like the bridge would be brought to life with motion—like the wave of time.

I decide to achieve this by shooting a long exposure of the people in motion while keeping the statues and landscape in focus. This meant that my camera needed to be mounted on a sturdy tripod. Even when I hit the button, I couldn’t cause the slightest camera shake, which is why I used a remote trigger. I used my camera bag as a weight for the tripod as well. I switched off IS and enabled mirror lookup to maximize sharpness even further.

I set the shutter speed to 35 seconds, and didn’t want noise so I kept the ISO to just 200. I used the ND filter I had used on Shooters Island to get better definition of the stone and the lamps. Since I wanted the to get the landscape in focus, I set the aperture to f/22 to get a good depth of field.

The greatest challenge was ensuring people passing wouldn’t accidentally nudge the tripod, but I was in company so while I focused on capturing the shot my partner was responsible for keeping people away. It took a few test shots and setting adjustments until I was satisfied with the result.

I tried the shot with even longer exposures, up to one minute long, and they were also quite interesting, but I preferred this one—there are some people who didn’t get too blurry and they give the shot that something more.

Charles Bridge by Christina Goggi on

In the end, there’s no golden rule for capturing a shot like this, as it’s always a matter of playing with the settings depending on the scene and the speed of motion of your subject(s). The one thing you should always control and get right is preventing camera shake. The beauty in this type of shot is the contrast between blur and sharpness, and the better you can control the latter the better your final result will be.

I’d love to get your feedback on this. What might you have done differently?