Blue Hour at Allianz Arena, Munich

MARCH 2007 – The Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, glows in warm white against a deep blue sky while the traffic from the nearby highway A9 rushes by. Photo © by Mark Zanzig/

The story behind the image

The Allianz Arena – home stadium for the soccer club FC Bayern München! It greets everyone approaching the city of Munich on the always busy highway A9. And some of those who fly in to the MUC airport may see it from their landing approach. It is impressive without doubt and gets awesome after sunset when its lights will be switched on. The color used to change every 30 minutes between white, red, and blue. White is its neutral color, red stands for co-owner Bayern München, and blue stands for 1860 München who once was a co-owner. Both clubs are located in Munich, but 1860 München has left the first league in Germany and had to sell off their share of the stadium. On days where one club invited the other (so-called “local derbies”), the stadium showed the color of the host, glowing from the inside through its transparent walls. In the early times of the stadium it could glow just in red, blue, and white, but today the managers can assign any color to the transparent elements.

Because the stadium is so impressive I had planned to take a long exposure on a nice and calm spring evening with just very few clouds. I wanted the sky to be just barely visible and have the lights of the cars adding drama. So I went to the bridge crossing the A9 in the late afternoon, set up the tripod and camera, did a couple of test shots and waited for the perfect moment. On this day, that moment came at 6:38 pm with this shot – an exposure time of 10 seconds at f/22 and ASA 50. (Here is a shot I did one month later from the same location.)

The high resolution image

Capture Date & Time13-MAR-2007, 18:36
LocationMunich, Germany
CameraCanon EOS-1Ds Mark II
LensCanon EF 24-70 mm f/2.8L USM
Exposure10 sec at f/22
Digital Image Source FormatCanon Camera RAW (CR2)
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions4764 x 3176 Pixels
Copyright© by Mark Zanzig/

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