(Sterrewacht Leiden in Dutch) is an astronomical observatory in the city of Leiden, the Netherlands. It is the oldest operating University observatory in the world.

The original observatory used observing platforms on the roof of the main university building at the Rapenburg. In 1860 this large, modern observatory was erected at the Witte Singel. This building was the home of the astronomy department until it moved to the science campus north-west of the city centre in 1974. Although professional astronomical observations are no longer carried out from Leiden itself, the Astronomy department of the University of Leiden still calls itself Leiden Observatory.

To me these characteristic buildings are a landmark on the Witte Singel. I just love the sight of those domes sticking out of the trees and the reflection of the buildings in the water. The early morning light was especially beautiful, just lighting up the walls and domes of the observatory. And the color contrast between the warm yellowish color of the buildings and the cold blue sky really make the buildings pop! I added a polarizer filter to make this effect even stronger but turned the polarizing effect a little back as it was affecting the reflections to much… a little compromise… A 0.6 grad ND filter just balanced out the sky nicely with the foreground. After a couple of shots and compositions I realized that I was shooting with my aperture wide open, not the best settings for a shot like this but of all the shots taken that day this one just had the best composition in my opinion. So here it is!

Leiden Observatory: ISO 200, 12 mm, -0.67 EV, f4.5, 1/50, circular polarizer, hitech 0.6  soft grad ND, tripod, remote release.


The following image was taken at night when I passed the Observatory on one of my photographic journeys and just had to get out and take a shot.

Watching the Stars by Martijn van der Nat
Taken in Leiden the Netherlands.
This weekend the Old Observatory was open for the public and I thought I’d share an image I captured in 2014 of this awesome historic university building.
(c)2014-today martijnvandernat.nl

Watching the Stars: ISO 200, 10 mm, f 4, 30 seconds, tripod, remote release.


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