Tag Archives: clouds
This is the Latvian Academy of Sciences in Riga. It’s a lovely building, was the first place I headed to after I had checked into my hotel, and was the place I visited the most during my trip there.
That’s not because I’m a scientist. Far from it.
The sign that you can see at the foot of the right door states that you can access this building for Panoramic views of Riga from 8am through to 10pm; what’s more it costs 2.50 Lats to get in there – that’s about £3. Sure, St Peter’s Church is in the heart of the old town, and is a little higher, but it’s twice the price, hasn’t got such great opening hours, is much busier, and has more barriers in place. On the 17th floor of this building you could jump off if you so desired. Please don’t though, as that would result in barriers being put up, which nobody wants.
I visited three times as my initial visit was during a cloudless sky in the middle of the day, my second (where this shot was taken) was in passing simply because there was an hour or so on the Sunday where some great clouds came blustering by the city, and the third was later that day where I went to the top again just to see if there was going to be a nice sunset (there wasn’t).
Here’s the view from the top should you wish to see it from the comfort of your chair: Panoramic view of Riga
This is a statue of Godfrey of Bouillon. It is in Brussels. I’m sorry but I do not know the name of the horse.
I had walked past this statue on the Saturday which was pretty much blue sky and no clouds. Though I took a few shots, I had done so while standing in the shadow of the statue, framing it so that the head was in front of the sun. It’s the only way I could get a shot, and I had hoped for a golden looking halo effect – that really didn’t work out.
I was pleased to return the next day when there were awesome clouds in place.
Back to Brussels today, and this image of the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula.
It’s rare, but sometimes when I’m taking an image I will think of a potential title to use for the shot. St. Michael was playing on my mind, as we share a name (I too am a Saint…ahem), but when reading about the cathedral I was more inclined to use the fact St. Michael was a archangel and St. Gudula was a martyr. Thus ‘The archangel and the martyr’ was a title that sprang to mind.
Then I processed the shot. A little sharpening and contrast boosting, and then I opened it up in Perfect Effects and went straight for the Urban Sickness filter. I liked it, and so the title of ‘Urban Gothic’ quickly screamed out at me.
I did pass this Cathedral on the Saturday but didn’t take any images due to the number of people sat on the steps outside, and the bright blue sky that was behind it. I was much luckier on the Sunday with great cloud cover, and surprisingly few people in the way. In the end I opted for this angled version rather than a straight on from the front however, so it turns out the people didn’t really matter anyway.
Before my rececnt trip, the last time I was in Brussels was a few years ago and it is at the location you see in today’s image that I spent all of my time. I remember it was during a football event, so think it was probably in June of 2010. I think I was stood on an exhibit stand for most of the day, and that it was only a day trip.
It sure wasn’t enough to get a feel for the city, which is what my latest trip was great for. I was pleased to return to this spot though, so I could at least put this building in context with the surrounding area and establish how it fits into the landscape.
I sure was pleased not to have to go in there again though.
Enough of St Paul’s, we’re ending the week on another image from Canary Wharf from a couple of weeks ago.
A diving duck managed to ruin make a load of ripples in the middle of the image, not sure he did it in a manipulative manner at all, he was likely just a little camera shy and wanted to get out of the shot.
I’m in the countryside this weekend, but looking at the current weather I can’t see me heading out to take too many photos. I’m very much a fairweather photographer, and the weather here is anything but playing fair.
I hope you all have a lovely weekend.
Sorry to The Automatic, but it’s just a cloud.
I decided to take a glance at a random folder of my 2012 Lightroom catalogue last night so I could do a bit of processing, and a particular folder for one day jumped out of the random collection due to the fact it had over 1,000 images in it (though I bracket most things, so this equates to around 333 actual shots. Within that I found images from my Iceland trip, a good enough folder to land on, and this image jumped out at me.
Though I don’t remember the exact details of where this was taken, and I’m too lazy to find a map, I do have a previous image that you can see for scale. Chasing Ice shows a crop of some of the ice in the middle of this image, and a group of people working their way through the landscape. They sure have a long way to walk.
For processing I tonemapped 3 brackets using Photomatix, sharpened and added a contrast boost in CS6, and then used selective brushing of the Urban Sickness & Cybercool filters from OnOne’s Perfect Effects; this was finished off with a little brushing in of Low Key shadows from Color Efex Pro and finally a denoise via Topaz.
Standing atop one of the highest buildings in London and you still can’t get a full on view of the Shard – pft.
The London skyline has come on leaps and bounds over the past decade. It’s been interesting seeing it shift from one dynamic to another, from both the ground and the sky, and though I know there are people who dislike the number of structures being built I am in favour of them.
I was at Centrepoint on Friday night looking out over the beautiful city below and was fondly remembering the buildings I have been up over the past few years, pointing them out to a friend and indicating how the city connects. I looked in awe at the dozens of other buildings I didn’t go up but know people who have, a moment of both regret that I hadn’t, but hope that I still could for many of them.
It’s a wonderful city.
Guess where this image was taken?
Well, I’ll tell you then. This is from my trip to Cornwall late last year.
Alright, not really. It’s from Iceland. Um…Surprise!
This was a lovely little spot that we found; it was very isolated and was just a few minutes away from a similar spot that was just full of tourists so we were happy to find it and have it to ourselves. This seemed to be where all of the ducks* (not in this shot) went for a bit of relaxation as it was nice and quiet.
I hope everyone had a lovely weekend.
*If that’s what they were. Not too sure. I know they were duck like, in that I know they were birds and was pretty sure that they were definitely not penguins.
Here’s the Shard from a nearby rooftop on a particularly windy night.
The cloud cover was great, and they were moving at some speed in what I believe went up to 30mph winds. However, this did mean that it was a little too windy to get any decent shots from the rooftop (this was taken from a lower level where we were sheltered slightly), plus is was pretty darn cold.
3 months from now I’ll be stood up there taking photos…probably thinking ‘wow – I wish it wasn’t so grey and cloudy…and cold…and that some of this rain would go away’. You never know though, it may be a nice clear day.
Hope everyone had a nice weekend; mine was pretty lazy to be honest.
Some camera magazine has asked if I would be interested in putting a themed set of images together taken with the Sony NEX-7. Looking through my images taken with that camera I pulled out this one which was taken while waiting for a laser show to start from the Shard earlier this year.
I realise looking through my NEX-7 images that there really is no theme to them. Sure, I have general themes in my work; a little urbex, London, Iceland, black and white, etc. However this little camera is still pretty new to me and is not used as frequently as my Canons, even though I carry it around with me. The fact I do carry it around means the themes also haven’t quite got there yet; I have a few street shots taken on the spur of the moment, trips to various places where I had a holiday or a work trip, a few country scenes from day or weekend trips to places in the UK – but nothing that would constitute a theme. Well, not unless the theme was something like ‘images taken with the NEX-7′ or ‘images shot by Mike Murphy’.
Maybe I should start using the camera more.
This is Orbit.
It is wonderful.
It may not look wonderful, but then first impressions can be misleading and it’s what’s inside that counts. Or something. Not that he has much inside.
Anyway, this is a crazy rollercoaster-esque structure built within the Olympic park and offering a view over the surrounding area, including a little bit into the stadium itself. It’s meant to be a legacy build, which means now that the Olympics are over this should remain as a viewing platform/work of art for the foreseeable future. It’ll still cost £15 to get up it, I’m sure.
I’m sure most of my readers will be familiar with this artist’s works – even if you don’t know the name. In London he has created many public pieces over the years, including Sky Mirror (remember the shiny mirror near the Gherkin) and Marsyas which took over the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern a decade ago; outside of London you’ll probably recognise the Cloud Gate in Chicago, nicknamed ‘The Bean’ due to the shape.
For a more indepth look at this particular piece of work, check out the Orbit thought experiment.
The churches all look pretty similar in Iceland. I think they found a design that they liked and ran with it.
As we were driving along a very long stretch of road from Jökulsárlón to Höfn I saw a church in the distance, and then went through a mental checklist I had.
Is there a church? Yes
Is it at the foot of a mountain? Yes
Are there clouds or mist covering parts of the mountain? Yes..well..kinda. Mostly covering really.
Is it raining? No
Sweet, let’s go over there and check it out.
John did the driving in Iceland, as I don’t drive (or as I pointed out at one stage, I’ve told him I don’t drive and this could just be a clever ploy for me to avoid doing any of the driving on our photo trips), and wasn’t too sure if we were driving on to private property – his priority was getting to the nearest town to find a public convenience and not detour for a guy who had just been reciting a checklist aloud in the car.
It’s not private, I assured him without really caring if it was, and we drove up to the church.
John was relieved there (literally), he had been praying for a restroom and it turns out that little hut to the left of the church was a toilet…and by far the nicest one we found on the journey.
I would have liked a little more of a break in the dark clouds, but am happy with the scene and glad we took the detour.
I visited the 9/11 memorial on my last day in New York.
I had been in Washington D.C earlier that week and attended a party at the Newseum where I had seen an exhibit on this historic day, and the antenna from one of the towers that is on display there. Much of the video footage in the exhibit was new to me, but still just as shocking; it was a very sobering thing to see at the party.
The memorial itself was being treated by most people as a simple tourist attraction where they felt they could sit and have a picnic and let their kids run around and climb over everything. Security weren’t too impressed with this and were happy to remind people that they are visiting a memorial, and that it’s unlikely the parents would allow their kids the same freedom to run over burial mounds in a graveyard so to show the same courtesy here.
I liked the memorial, I thought it was well designed. I visit memorials at most destinations when on holiday and read the names of people who have been lost; this is the first one I think I’ve visited where it means something more than a day in the past to me though. I remember this one happening and unfolding on the television in front of me, as I’m sure all of you do.
The above shot is taken from within the memorial, looking up at the under construction One World Trade Center. Once complete it will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, the third tallest in the world. I love the USA for that.
As this post goes out I should be on a plane home from New York, so quite an apt image for today. I’m writing it in advance so it’s hard to say at this stage whether or not I had a blast, however I bet I did. Hopefully I’ll also have some awesome pictures to show from the trip as well.
I hope everyone had a great weekend…as soon as I’m home I need to start to unpack after the move, which already seems like so long ago!
So this is the last post before Christmas, which seems to have rolled around once more with the stealth of a ninja, and what better way to celebrate than by providing a shot for Santa to guide his way through the London skyline by way of a panoramic. Be sure to check out the larger view for all of the detailed goodness.
I love the skyline of this magnificent city, though must admit the Shard is an issue. Yes, it’s one of my favourite buildings at the moment and I try and shoot it whenever I get high up…but it does mean that I have to have a lot of sky in the shot above the other buildings, just to give the Shard room to breathe. Luckily this shot was taken as the sun was coming up and there were some nice clouds in the sky so it at least offered a bit of focal interest throughout the shot.
I hope you all have a lovely Christmas, whatever you may be up to. Happy holidays, and happy shooting.
It rained a lot during my short time in San Francisco earlier this year, which though is unfortunate in some respects did at least mean that there were some nice clouds to shoot under, rather than a boring blue sky.
This shot was from around 34 floors up and the rain had been on and off all day, a pattern that would be consistent with the rest of my visit.
I hope everyone had a nice weekend. Do those of you using CommentLuv notice a lot of spam coming from it recently? It’s a little weird in that the spammers seem to have put a little effort into the content of the comment as it refers to the post, but the link provided in Luv is very much spam. I can’t believe it’s done manually so am pretty amazed at how technology, both good and bad, is always progressing. I’m simply removing the Luv on those posts at this time as that’s the quickest thing for me to do.
Today we’re heading back to Cornwall and a spot near Lizard Point lighthouse where we took in a mediocre sunrise. I had climbed down a series of slippery rocks to try and get out to a flat formation that had some interesting rocks around it, and found myself here with the sun about to peek out from behind the rocks ahead of me.
In my mind I had the rough textures of the stone as my foreground, the clouds as a bit of added interest and the sun meeting the sky and rock in a beautiful starburst. That starburst didn’t work out too well for me in the final shot, which is unfortunate, but I still quite like it anyway.
Thanks also to everyone for the warm reception that yesterday’s image Caught in the Act received – I appreciate the tweets and love that you showed it – thanks.
Ladies and Gentlemen – this is my 200th photoblog post on this site. A huge thank you to everyone that has commented, shared and connected with me throughout this year, and who have motivated me to maintain a post and photo every weekday up until now – you guys and gals are awesome!
As this is my 200th post I feel it’s quite special, so I’m sharing an image that I find fitting for the occasion. Does it feature London? Yes. Does it feature the Shard? Yes. Is it taken from up high on an urbex trip? Yes. Does it feature a sunrise? Well, yes it does!
We had come up to this rooftop around 7 hours before this shot was taken; after spending a bit of time taking night shots of London we retreated a couple of floors into this abandoned shell to try and sleep for a few hours on the cold empty floor. I got little sleep to be honest, especially with the knowledge that my own bed which was warm and comfortable was just a 30 minute walk from this location. But we were there for the sunrise, and that meant a late entry and early rise.
The sky was wonderful this bank holiday morning…we were so lucky with it. As I was waiting for the brackets to finish I knew that this shot was going to be the one I would take away from the morning, and so quickly snapped a picture of it with my dodgy iPhone:
I was amazed how the sky was showing the blue hour, the golden sunlight and the red dawn all at the same time, all with the added interest of clouds. Not only this but the buildings all seemed to have their lights on which added to the interest of the scene.
Thanks to everyone who has supported me throughout the last 200 shots, and welcome to those who are visiting me just for today – you’re all welcome and appreciated. Plus it’s Friday…so raise your glasses to the next 200 shots, and to the weekend ahead.
As an aside, and as mentioned on Monday, I haven’t been out with the camera for a few weeks as work has been so busy, and so I’m heading out there on Sunday for a nice photowalk. I’m starting off the day with a little Urbex trip, followed by a photowalk by the Thames and then a ‘do your own thing’ in the evening (I’ll be climbing a building ;o). If you fancy heading out there with me and a few friends then the starting point will be 3pm in Spitalfields market beside the goat statue. I look forward to seeing you there.
View murphyzPhotowalk in a larger map
John O’Groats gets all of the glory, but it’s actually Duncansby Head which is marked as the most North-Eastern part of mainland Britain that’s accessible by road.
During my trip around Scotland we drove from the most North-Western point (Cape Wrath) to here along the Northern coast, taking in some lovely scenery along the way.
Not content with merely sanding on the edge of a cliff looking down we decided to make our way down the rocks by a well worn, and therefore obviously safe, piece of hill. Sure it was a landslide waiting to happen but we were like mountain goats and didn’t fall over at all. Much.
Once on the rocks below we worked our way pretty much from where this image was taken towards the two stacks (they may be called Cletts) in the distance, but did not go all the way over to them. You can’t really see it in this image but at one point the mountain forms an arch that you can walk through and it was to there that we ventured, and to which I did a little scoot up the rocks and found a cave full of pigeons.
To my immediate left here, and just offshore, were a group of seals – possible around 15 of them all spread out. They were comedy seals as the moment I set my tripod up and put the correct glass on they all ducked under the water as one. I got a few shots as they popped their heads up one by one, but none that were very good or special.
On Saturday I decided it was about time I went to see the London Street Photography Exhibit which has been on at the Museum of London for the past few months. I had attempted to see it when the exhibit had first opened, but being the opening day it was just too busy, and the queues too long, that I didn’t bother. This weekend just gone was the last weekend it was going to be open so it was very much a ‘now or never’ situation. It wasn’t amazing, but it was good to visit and I’m glad that I went to it.
After this I had a few hours to kill so walked around randomly; at one point I stopped on a park bench to have a cup of coffee and snapped this image from that location.
I was shooting hand held, having opted to walk around without my tripod or large camera bag. I have just bought a Black Rapid camera strap which I already love, and enjoyed walking around with this and not having to lug my heavy gear around, which the tripod is the main culprit.
I’ve walked past this building many a time during my jaunts around the Covent Garden area, but I’ve never taken the time to actually stop and shoot it.
After a trip to the BT Tower, and on the way down to St Paul’s, I finally stopped beside here to take a few snaps. I’ve always liked the circular form to this building and the symmetry it has to offer, so didn’t mind too much which angle I approached it from. I of course opted for the angle that would involve a raised platform to stand on, as this helped to clear the fence and also likely provide an angle that other people don’t shoot from as much.
When it came to the processing I opted quite quickly to do this in monotone; I felt colour in this particular shot detracted from the shot as it gave a little too much to look at. Reverting to this simple colour form allows the architecture to really shine through.
The weather was pretty changeable on this night, resulting in lots of white and grey clouds in the sky and some excellent cloud formations which add to the scene nicely.
Today I am pleased to be sharing some excellent news with you.
St Paul’s Cathedral, who regular readers will know is one of my favourite buildings in London to photograph, recently completed a 15 year, £40m restoration project which aligns with their 300th year anniversary. To celebrate this they held a photo contest for amateur and professional photographers to submit their shots of St Paul’s.
I’m pleased to be able to let you know that one of my shots, Sunny St Paul’s, was included in the top 10 images and will be on digital display in the crypt of the Cathedral during the Oculus: an eye into St Paul’s experience.
But there’s even better news!
Another of my images, St Paul’s – World AIDS Day, was chosen as the overall contest winner!
I’m obviously pleased as punch by this good fortune and my first contest win (out of 3 entered, I think). You can view the competition page and the rest of the winners on the St Paul’s Cathedral website.
Here is my winning image, and the other which is in the top 10 finishers:
St Paul’s – World AIDS Day (winning image) – view original blog post
Sunny St Paul’s – view original blog post
And now back to today’s post. After shooting at the BT Tower on Monday I headed out to do a little bit of early evening and night photography with John (Happy Birthday John!). The light was pretty good by the time we had dinner and walked over the Millennium Bridge to the south side, and I had wanted a new St Paul’s image to go up on the blog along with today’s news – the shots I took from the helicopter on Sunday and the BT Tower on Monday didn’t really have any good, usable ones of the cathedral.
John suggest that I stand on one of the side support structures to try and get a unique shot, which I did indeed try. I then got higher and higher trying to find a better angle until I realised the only way I was going to be happy with the lines in the shot was to actually sit on the four metal rods that are the side support for the bridge (probably not the term the architect would have used on the original plans) and work my camera in between them.
The shots I took came out quite well, and I was pretty happy processing this one in colour, especially as it’s an angle I don’t think I’ve ever seen previously, and when you’re at a location that is so heavily photographer a unique shot is often hard to come by. Recently Vulture Labs has been producing some excellent work, in particular the B&W Toned series of shots, and that inspired me to go for this one in B&W, and I’m glad I did – this is certainly my favourite shot that I’ve taken from this location to date.
Photography, HDR and Urbex all go hand in hand for me, and they are all very closely linked with my mind and my actual skill level.
I only started caring about photography when I learnt about HDR, and through HDR I learnt about Urbex after checking out pictures online. My first HDR image was taken on September 11th 2010, so nearly 9 months ago now. My first Urbex trip was on November 6th 2010.
On Monday 8th November I was reflecting on the trip I had taken over the weekend. It was up to a rooftop in London, my first foray into Urbex, and it lasted about an hour as I had someone in a car waiting for me. I checked out other rooftops to do in London and found another one which I then did the next weekend. Hooked, I was looking again the following week and found an amazing one which seemed to be popular at that time. My trip for the coming weekend was going to be to that location, and it was going to be awesome!
Unfortunately I didn’t know that you need to act fast in this game. If you see somewhere that’s open and doable – get out there and do it. Don’t sit back and wait to go, as I found out when on the Wednesday of that week the place was locked up meaning I couldn’t go there.
From then on I’ve hated seeing the images taken from that location as I saw them as a missed opportunity, and I was a little jealous that others had been up there and I had missed my chance.
I checked the place out a few times, keeping an eye out to see if it was open or not, but it never was.
Until recently that is.
The day before I went to San Francisco I was heading out for the evening with a few fellow urbexers. We were going to check out a place currently being built which I have been up a few times and quite like, especially now that rooftop access is available without netting and such in the way, offering clear views. Unfortunately a truck that was parked opposite the entry point showed no signs of moving, so we opted to check out this place once more – spurred on by the fact we had seen images of it surfacing again that week.
To our surprise and delight, we got in. I was finally able to go up to a place that I had been so disappointed by many months before, and I must say it’s probably the best view of London that I’ve ever had.
The shot above is me standing in front of the red safety light which, if I’m not mistaken is used as an indicator to planes that there is a building there. It’s the lowest exposure of 3 brackets, but processing this shot in HDR did nothing for it, and so I opted to just use the one exposure here. It’s pretty much straight out of camera apart from the fact I added a slight bit of brightness to it.
Obviously you can’t appreciate how high I am looking at this image, but I’m around 32 storeys high, with my head in the clouds. More to follow from this location.
We are unwashed, have had little sleep, and we’re a motley crew to look at.
You wouldn’t want to walk into us in the middle of an abandoned building, but that’s possible as we’re two days into an urbex trip. Our idea of fun is breaking into old asylums, factories and the burnt out remains of a murder scene.
Yet driving from one of these derelict sites to another in the North of Wales we can’t help but be attracted to the beautiful scenery that surrounds us. I was in the lead car and we all saw the amazing site to our right and agreed without the need for words that we should pull over and take a few photos. As we parked up the second car in our mini convey pulled in behind us – the three guys in there had the exact same thoughts as we did, and were grateful we didn’t just drive on.
I’m not usually one for taking landscapes, and to be honest this location is held more in my memory than on my storage drive, but I thought I would process this one anyway.
In this particular shot I wanted to get the post in, so you actually miss out on some of the scenery which is hidden here by the turf in the foreground. I’m going to say that the rookie mistake of having the horizon line in the middle of the image was actually done on purpose…but I would be lying. At least I managed to get the horizon to be pretty much straight though.
Regardless of what your preferred subject matter is for taking photos, it’s good to know that you don’t always need a wall covered in peeling paint to see the beauty around you.