Detail from New Synagogue, Oranienburgerstrasse, Berlin, Germany

One of Berlin’s finest pieces of 19th century architecture. The Neue Synagoge was built between 1859 and 1866 as the main synagogue of the Berlin Jewish community. It is the eastern Moorish style and has a resemblance to the Alhambra of Granada. On 9 November 1938, colloquially euphemised as “Kristallnacht”, the Neue Synagoge was set ablaze by a Nazi mob. The present building frontage is a restoration of the original.

I pass the synagogue often, and this was a shot I’d been weighing up for sometime, waiting for the low sun to rise sufficiently above the city buildings to pick out the ornate golden inscription in Hebrew. When the weather and time was just right, I got the shot, the ‘warm’ light of the low sun complementing the building nicely.

The sun is very often our only light source, and few things are more important to taking good photographs than understanding the movement of the sun and the differing quality of light it produces. I can recommend Tristram Gooley’s excellent book, ‘The Natural Navigator‘, as well as this Sunposition Calculator, a fantastic tool for learning the sun’s arc through time and space.