Dusseldorf Promenade

Rhein Dusseldorf Germany PromenadeCanon 5D Mark III, 24-105mm f/4L IS USM at 105mm, f/11 for 1/25s at ISO 100


Dusseldorf is one of the largest cities on the Rhein River and is the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia. It is a city known for the arts, high fashion and architecture. Also, as a major city on the Rhein River, it sees a high amount of traffic from cargo, tanker and cruise ships.

How to get this type of shot

I wanted a sweeping shot of the river promenade with the nice fluffy clouds overhead. All the components of a nice photo were in place if I were to setup and make a shot of the landscape itself. However, there was a large amount of negative space on the lower left portion of the photo where the river was. This negative space did not balance well with the city and clouds overhead. Therefore, I waited for one of the large ships to fill the void in the river. Adding this interest item not only helped balance the photo, but by including a commercial tanker, reinforced the utilitarian use of the Rhein as a major German transportation medium.

The image was made with a polarizer on the lens to help darken the sky and to make the clouds pop. I used an f-stop of f/11 which gave enough depth-of-field considering the nearest object, the cargo tanker, was a couple of hundred feet away. The resulting shutter speed was 1/25s of a second which was fast enough to freeze the slow moving ship. I racked out the lens to 105mm to compress the elements in the image since I was already able to create a sense of depth from the sweeping promenade and the ship in the foreground.


Dusseldorf Promenade taken from a viewing platform near the Rheinkniebruke (Coordinates 51.219666,6.764841).


7 thoughts on “Dusseldorf Promenade

  1. fabulous…looks like a post card! I see what you mean when you talk about the negative space…interesting because I would have taken the shot without waiting for the tanker and not thought anything of it…another lesson learned!

  2. Impressive scene. Not being a photographer, your explanation of the effects by filling the void in negative space to take an ordinary image to a vision of excellence was a valuable to see as a painter.

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