Budapest 2015

Welcome to Hungary
Welcome to Hungary

My husband, Bob, and I were able to participate in a longboat cruise down the Danube River starting in Budapest and ending in Nuremberg. The only problem was that we learned that the water level on the Danube is dangerously low. We received an email just before we left Charlotte telling us that the boat could not navigate up the river to Budapest because of the low water levels and we would stay in a hotel the first night and take a bus to Vienna where we would board our ship. No problems with that. We were excited for our trip to start.

We arrived in the city of Budapest in the afternoon and had a few hours of light to see some of the city. After dinner we were able to get out and photograph. On these travel trips with my husband it is not practical to carry around a tripod. We were walking among crowds of people and there is just not time or space to set up a tripod. The photography is either handheld or placing the camera on a stationary flat place to combat camera shake. Also, if your lens has a vibration control button, this would be the time to turn it on.

Budapest, Hungary
Budapest, Hungary

Szechenyi Chain Bridge is a suspension bridge that spans the Danube River between Buda and Pest, the western and eastern sides of Budapest, the capital of Hungary. ┬áTaking photos at night with traffic all around you is a good time to focus on a structure and slow your shutter down so that you can get light trails from the car tail lights–see below.

Bridge Opening, Chain Bridge
Bridge Opening, Chain Bridge

Farther along the Danube is the beautiful St. Stephen’s Basilica which was named in honor of Stephen, the first King of Hungary who ruled from 975-1038. Today it is the third largest church building in Hungary and the co-cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Budapest. This photo was taken from the bridge. My lens has a nice telephoto capacity so I was able to “fill the frame”.

St. Steven's Basilica
St. Steven’s Basilica

Fisherman’s Bastion is a terrace in neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque style on the Buda side of the Danube on the Castle hill in Budapest. From the towers and the terrace you get a great view of the Danube River, Pest and the St. Stephen’s Basilica.

Fisherman's Bastion and Bob
Fisherman’s Bastion and Bob
Fisherman's Bastion
Fisherman’s Bastion

Another interesting viewpoint is heroes square is a major square in Budapest that has statues of important national leaders such as the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars. Here is a statue depicting Stephen 1.

Stephen ! of Hungary, 1st king of Hungary.
Stephen ! of Hungary, 1st king of Hungary


Directly in the middle of the two colonnade is the column topped by a statue of the archangel Gabriel, in his left hand the angel holds a two barred apostolic cross, a symbol awarded to St. Stephen by the Pope in recognition of his efforts to convert Hungary to Christianity.

Heroes Square
Heroes Square


The Danube river is an important waterway and separates the two parts of the city.

Danube River
Danube River with St. Steven’s Basilica in the distance.

At the Sandor Palace you can view the changing of the guard which takes place every hour. The soldiers march in with a drum at the lead and exchange guns. The Sandor Palace is situated in Buda, just north of the Buda Castle it is the official residence of the President of Hungary and the seat of the Office of the President.

Changing of the Guard at the President's House
Changing of the Guard at the President’s House


I was transfixed by the soldier’s stride and tried to position myself to get a good view. Catching his foot at full stride requires a fast shutter speed.

That was our first day on this trip. Stay tuned. It turns out there was a whole lot more to see.

6 Replies to “Budapest 2015”

  1. Hey Phyllis!

    Congratulations on another successful photo adventure. And Budapest – wow! Your photos are absolutely inspiring and I always look forward to your reports. I especially enjoyed your photo of St. Stephan’s Basillica as I have heard so much about it. Keep ’em coming!


    1. I had never heard of St. Stephan’s Basilica but it was stunning-no matter if you took it in the daytime or if you took the photo at night. So happy you enjoy the blogs.


  2. I love these photos Phyllis! How did you manage the slow shutter speed at the bridge without a tripod? I would love to be half the photographer you are!


    1. Jane,

      There was so little light at night that I think I had no choice but to use a slow shutter. But I think you mean when I got the bus going by me. That was planned. I made my husband stand there as I took different shutters speeds. I knew I wanted a slow shutter (1/30-1/60 seconds), f/22, ISO 3200. The arch in the photo was an arch I had seen before. When I saw the arch, it was like an aha moment because I had seen it somewhere and I knew I wanted to repeat the photo. I got right in front of the arch (with my husband there) and I turned up the ISO until I got something and I knew I wanted it to be in focus, front to back so f/22.
      Jane, the more you do it, the more it becomes second nature. It will be fun to go over this stuff when we get together in the spring (waterfalls).


  3. I love the feeling of depth in the pictures of St. Steven’s Basilica and Fisherman’s Bastion. Beautiful pictures, well composed and finished.

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