Mother Russia Vol.3 : Night Over Moscow

One of the first things I’ve noticed about Moscow when driving from the airport into the city was the beautiful lighting. The buildings, the streets, the skyscrapers.. Are all beautifully lit. Something that I should definitely take photos of.

Tonight, I had a chance to go out for a short drive. I grabbed my camera and we headed on for some photography adventures, on the cold, wet streets of Moscow. The lens I used was the NIKKOR 18-105mm, and although the NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8 is excellent for night shots, it was way too cold for switching between lenses.

Our first stop was the Moscow State University (MSU). The main building is one of the Seven Sisters – 7 skyscrapers built in Stalinist architectural style between ’47-’53. Locals call it Stalinskiyi Visotki – meaning Stalin’s Skyscrapers. The university is lit at night, though this time, there was some server error, and instead of the usual lighting there were error messages. It did result in a cool effect, lighting the building red and blue.

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Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/50s, f/3.5, ISO 3200 @ 18mm

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The backside of MSU. Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/40s, f/3.5, ISO 5200 @ 18mm

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The backside of MSU. Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/40s, f/5.3 ISO 5200 @ 70mm

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The backside of MSU. Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/40s, f/4 ISO 5200 @ 25mm

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The backside of MSU. Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/40s, f/4.8 ISO 1600 @ 42mm

On the other side of the road, there was a nice viewing area, from where you could see Moscow City. It was very cold and windy – and though I was wearing my warmest coat I couldn’t stand there for too long. Also, having no tripod with me (the one I own is very big and heavy, so I didn’t take it on the trip. I’m planning to upgrade to a carbon tripod), I had to work with very high ISO, since the slowest shutter speed I can use without a tripod is about 1/40s, anything slower than that turns out smudgy.

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Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/40s, f/4.8 ISO 4000 @ 45mm

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Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/40s, f/5.3 ISO 3200 @ 66mm

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Moscow City. Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/40s, f/5.6 ISO 3200 @ 105mm

We headed on to one of the main streets. The old, ugly buildings turn beutiful as they are lit at night. The wet cement roads refelected the light so nicely, creating a nice effect.

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Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/40s, f/5 ISO 3200 @ 52mm

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Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/60s, f/5 ISO 2500 @ 90mm

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I wonder how it’s like to live in this buildng, having all this LED lighting in your windows at night.. Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/60s, f/5.6 ISO 2500 @ 85mm

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The wet cement reflects the light so nicely. Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/60s, f/3.5 ISO 2500 @ 18mm

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Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/60s, f/5.6 ISO 4000 @ 105mm

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Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/60s, f/5.6 ISO 4000 @ 98mm

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Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/60s, f/5.6 ISO 4000 @ 105mm

Next stop was the Kremlin and the Red Square, but on our way, we stopped at one of the main boulevards, I noticed a few days ago as we drove back from the theater. They set up a nice LED flowers – I immidietally fell in love with them! I’m not a huge fan of LED lighting, but this is so creative and well done! Loved it! Becauses of the bright LED light, I could finally use reasonable ISO and shutter speed.

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Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/80s, f/3.8 ISO 400 @ 22mm

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Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/80s, f/5.3 ISO 320 @ 75mm

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Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/80s, f/5 ISO 1000 @ 52mm

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Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/160s, f/6.3 ISO 800 @ 85mm

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Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/160s, f/6.3 ISO 640 @ 45mm

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Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/80s, f/4.8 ISO 400 @ 42mm

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Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/80s, f/3.8 ISO 400 @ 24mm

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Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/80s, f/3.5 ISO 1600 @ 18mm

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Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/80s, f/4.2 ISO 400 @ 32mm

We finished out night trip at the Red Square. The GUM store was lit all over, and so was St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin.

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Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/80s, f/5 ISO 2500 @ 58mm

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Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/80s, f/3.8 ISO 320 @ 24mm

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Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/80s, f/5.3 ISO 2500 @ 70mm

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Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/80s, f/4.8 ISO 2500 @ 45mm

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Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/80s, f/5.3 ISO 500 @ 62mm

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Nikon D7100, NIKKOR 18-105mm, 1/80s, f/3.5 ISO 3200 @ 18mm

Overall, I really enjoyed this night trip, despite the cold. Even at night this city is beautiful and I enjoy my stay here.

The annaul Circle of Light international festival will be held here on the 23rd, 24th and 25th of September. The event will be held at multiple locations, Moscow State University being on of them. I hope to take some nice shots of it! 🙂

High quality images will be avaliable soon on my Flickr account.

 

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