Three photo spots for night photography in Warsaw, Poland

Warsaw was a truly interesting city. I felt that they’re currently rebuilding the entire city. Lots of small, old, partially demolished, buildings and a huge number of construction sites in between those where new skyscrapers are being built.

One of those skyscrapers is the Warsaw Spire where I began my nightly photo safari in Warsaw. But before we begin the nightly tour, here are 3 travel tips for Warsaw, Poland.

3 Travel tips for Warsaw, Poland

  1. Public transportation is great in Warsaw. But when I visited in 2018, I had to be prepared for delays and unannounced route changes. Public transportation schedules and route planing is available in Google Maps; but it's more a rough guideline than a true schedule.
  2. Be careful what you photograph. Military and governmental buildings must not be photographed. I had a friendly encounter with the police because of that on my first evening in Warsaw.
  3. Book a hotel near the culture of Palace. A lot of places to visit are somewhere near that place and you can walk or use public transportation (see tip #1) to get everywhere fast.

And if you’re looking for a decent hotel in Warsaw, I stayed at the Platinum Residence. I actually booked that by accident: It had good reviews, was affordable (despite the „luxury name“) and the location was great so I didn’t pay much attention to the room itself, which was actually a 300 square foot apartment consisting of two rooms, a fridge, full equipped kitchen including dish washer, two TVs, a big bathroom and a number of small grocery stores near it. Well, things happen, I guess.

And just to be prepared for discussions with Polish people: Remember that famous musician Frederick Chopin was Polish, not French. And now, here are the three photo spots

Police encounter at the Warsaw Spire

The Spire is the newest skyscraper in Warsaw and was located right behind my hotel. I went there immediately after I arrived and had my first (and luckily only) encounter with the Polish police.

After I had put up my tripod a police officer approached me and warned me not to photograph the building to the left of the Spire because „they didn’t want that“. I told him that I’d focus (literally) on the „I love Warsaw“ sign and he was satisfied and I could take photos.

So here’s this is the first photo I took in Warsaw. By the way, the sign Kocham Warszawe means „I love Warsaw“.

Spire Skyscraper in Warsaw, Poland, photographed with Moment Superfish lens

Spire Skyscraper in Warsaw, Poland, photographed with Moment Superfish lens

To get the entire Skyscraper plus the sign inside the frame I used the Moment Superfish Fisheye Lens (Get 10% off your first purchase from Moment if you buy through this link). Then I ran the photo through SKRWT App up to fix the perspective distortion, removed a crane using Touch Retouch App. Finally, I adjusted a few settings in Lightroom Mobile.

Long exposure at the Palace of Culture

The palace of culture is an iconic landmark in Warsaw and a photogenic one, too. It looks great from each angle and there’s something different on each side of the building: a fountain, a busy road, the huge main entrance and a huge conference hall. So take your time here to find your perfect shot.

Long exposure of the Palace of Culture using Slow Shutter Cam App

Long exposure of the Palace of Culture using Slow Shutter Cam App

For this photo, I positioned myself and the tripod on a small green area between the two lanes of a busy road. After my first encounter with the police at the Spire, I hoped that I could get this shot quickly and leave because I was standing on this small area between two lanes. Worked out.

To capture the light trails I used Slow Shutter Cam App (reviewed here) in light trail mode and my Apple Watch as a remote shutter release to avoid camera shake.

Cancelled Show at the Multimedia Fountain Park

The fountain park in Warsaw is a busy place, especially during the evening when 100s of tourists come here to see the multimedia fountain show. So don’t expect to have any room to put up a tripod unless you arrive here by 6pm and “reserve“ your spot right near the fountain pool.

Unfortunately, the show had to be cancelled this evening due to some technical problems. At least, I guess that was the reason. The announcement was in polish and I understood only the word technical. People we’re booing and the crowd left right after the announcement.

So all I got here were a few „warm up“ shots like this one.

Warm Up Shot | Warsaw, Poland

I created this long exposure from a handheld Live Photo taken with the Stock Camera App. Then I added a little bit of extra space to the top using Recrop App (iTunes Link) and finally ran it through Lightroom Mobile like all the other photos.