Berliner Dom – Berlin Germany

Berliner Dom Cathedral on Museum Island in Berlin Germany shot from the Spree river with the Radisson Blu Hotel reflectingCanon 5D Mark II, 17-40mm f/4 USM at 29mm, f/8 for 63s at ISO 100


I have had my blog for around six months now, but I have been shooting for around three years. Therefore, I have a fairly extensive catalog of images that I have shot, but yet to share. Although I prefer to show my most recent work on this blog, I will occasionally go back and process some of my older photos in the event that I did not get the chance to go out and shoot during the week.

This shot was made in Berlin Germany around New Year’s Eve and is of the Berliner Dom. It runs alongside the Spree river and is in the part of Berlin called Museum Island, named for the many significant world class museums that reside there. Celebrating NYE in Berlin should be on everyone’s bucket list and I personally have not experienced another party quite like it.

How to get this type of shot

The first shot was made from the east bank of the Spree river shooting south west towards the Cathedral. When I can, I like to shoot the Canon 17-40mm f/4 USM in the middle of the zoom range. Generally zoom lenses are weakest at their extreme ends (in the case of this lens at both 17mm and 40mm) and it is best to avoid those focal lengths if maximum sharpness is desired. Also, this lens has particularly soft corners (as do almost every zoom in this range) even at f/8 when using either the extreme wide focal lengths. For this shot I used 29mm and an aperture of f/8 to maximize sharpness since I wanted to capture all the fine detail of the Cathedral. A shutter speed around 60 seconds was perfect in being able to capture the fast moving clouds as streaks overhead. The purple lights that you see reflecting off of the Dom are from the Radisson Blu hotel, which sits directly across the Spree river. The purple lights nicely complement the tungsten street lights of the Cathedral itself, and it was this visual that attracted me to make this shot.

The second shot was made shooting eastwards towards the front of the Cathedral. It was taken the night prior to shot number one. Here you see no vibrant lights, but almost a monochromatic image. This is further accentuated by the thick low clouds over the area. The thick low clouds also allowed the TV tower to be hidden. You can barely make it out on this photos directly behind the Cathedral. On a clear night, the tower takes over the composition due to the intense red lights that emanate from it, so I was actually fortunate to have the cloud cover. Again, to maximize sharpness, an aperture of f/8 was selected. This gave a shutter speed of 15 seconds, but since there were no interesting clouds in the sky unlike in the first photo, it was not an important aspect in getting this shot.

Berliner Dom Cathedral on Museum Island in Berlin GermanyCanon 5D Mark II, 17-40mm f/4 USM at 35mm, f/8 for 15s at ISO 100


Shot Number One

Berliner Dom from the east bank of the Spree river (coordinates: 52.518676,13.399886)

Shot Number Two

Berliner Dom (coordinates: 52.519939,13.401678)


18 thoughts on “Berliner Dom – Berlin Germany

  1. both are stunning photos…each in their own way! Love the clouds and lights in the first one, as well as the almost completely monochromatic color of the second…in the first photo the building appears approachable, in the second photo the building has a truly regal appearance…

  2. I like the smooth and seamless sky from the first shot. It isolates the Berliner Dom and makes it “pop”. For the second shot, I think the vignetting is very well applied here. Overall, I love the detail and lighting of both shots. Great work, Mark!

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