Tag Archives: london
The Natural History Museum is a stunning building, with some great architecture which is very Harry Potter-esque. Unfortunately it’s a busy as Hogwarts is, making it hard to take a photo without people in it.
That’s why it’s best to get in there and take photos after hours, when the museum is closed to tourists, the staff have all but left, and the big dinosaur from the main entrance sneaks off for a game of poker.
If anyone has out of hours access to the museum and can verify that the above happens or, better still, get me into the building, then please do get in touch.
For now I will make do with having to use my ingenuity and brain smarts to get around the people. Or Photoshop…whichever.
This image is from two exposures and was handheld. I had to do a little bit of cloning here and there [insert your own cloning/dinosaur/Jurassic Park joke here] to get rid of a couple of people who were standing around, but not too much at the end of the day. I love images that are symmetrical because you can take an extract from the opposite side of the image and horizontally flip it over to use on the other side. That’s when you really find out that your image isn’t as symmetrical as you might like to think.
It works in this situation though.
This was the last image I took while out with with Jim Nix last Monday night….though boy that feels like a long time ago.
After meeting at the Eye and moving on to the usual spot opposite the Houses of Parliament for sunset I opted to cross over the bridge for a little light trail action as the hour turned blue.
Normally the light trail shots are done from the opposite side of the road, but as I hadn’t really ‘done’ this scene since getting the 14mm I decided to stay on the left side of the bridge and see what I could get into the ultrawide frame…it seemed natural that the bridge should be used to create a leading line straight through the image.
It took a couple of attempts to get a bus coming by at the correct speed to offer up the most interesting light trail (I’m still waiting for that day when a couple of fire engines come whizzing by), but I’m happy with the results.
After packing up and heading crossing the road to search for food, Jim spotted Deb Sandidge also taking shots on the bridge (and probably cursing those two guys opposite who are standing around in the shot) – so if we end up in your final images Deb, I’m sorry.
I delayed in posting this last week as every time I look at it I’m convinced that the bridge is not central…but then when I check it out in Lightroom, it is. I’m either comparing two different edits, or the lack of features over the water in comparison to those on the bridge, as well as depth difference between river and pavement, are playing tricks with my mind.
I hadn’t really paid attention to Jubilee Gardens since they opened at the end of October last year. In my mind, I am still used to the grassy field that was there beforehand, with hard patches of soil poking through and a few hobos sat around drinking cider from a brown paper bag. As such, I have walked past this place many times since but never really stopped to actually look at it, and determine if I like it or not.
It’s certainly an improvement on what went before it.
I headed to the Southbank for sunset last night and grabbed a few long exposures here while waiting for Jim Nix to rock up. We didn’t get a great sunset in the end, but the golden light that was coming out just before the sun went down was really quite nice, and the clouds were moving at a steady pace, so it was nice to stick on the black glass and get this shot. It’s probably the first London shot I’ve taken this year that makes me think of warmth and summer.
It was surprisingly quiet down here also, so it was nice to get the image with only a couple of people in it – and these were simply ghosts by the time they had walked through the exposure.
We’re back to the Elephant & Castle in South London for this image, which is where we’re both starting and ending this week’s posts.
The Strata Tower is visible from many places within London, and is most easily recognised by the three large fans that can be found on the top of the building, built to harness the wind and provide energy savings for the building itself.
It was a stupidly windy day when I was here, but my 3 Legged Thing tripod seemed to stand up to that admirably, even while doing a long exposure with a B&W filter.
No matter how strong the wind blew, however, those fans on the top did not move at all which leads me to question the overall usefulness of them.
Processing was a straightforward affair; I sharpened a little in CS6 and then ran it through one of the filters in B&W Effects 2 by Topaz Labs – simple.
I hope everyone has had a good week.
This is an automated post, as I am currently in Beijing; therefore my responses will be slow – if at all.
Every time I write the wond ‘cannon’ nowadays I seem to mistype it as Canon.
These cannons are to be found in front of the Imperial War Museum, which is the building you can see in the background. It’s one of those locations that can leave you slightly frustrated as a photographer; not because it’s a busy place and people are always walking into your shot, but because the cannons and the path that leads up to the building aren’t quite symmetrical.
I often find this a cause of angst when taking images, especially so when it comes to architecture. I wonder how such things are built without this additional bit of due care and attention.
This is an automated post, as I am currently in Beijing; therefore my responses will be slow – if at all.
I first noticed this text written in this wall a few years ago while I was on a boat on the Thames river. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it before, having been in the area hundreds of times over the past decade – but I guess that’s one of the great things about London and the fact you can always notice new things.
I was on a photocrawl a couple of weeks ago when I finally got around to taking a few photos of it. It was a wet and snowy day, and I had been walking around for a little while before finally getting to this spot – and it’s here where I decided to finally get the camera out of the bag and start shooting, which I’m glad I did as I had a pretty creative shooting session after taking this image, and it would have been easy on such a day to simply not take my camera out of the bag at all.
This is an automated post, as I am currently in Beijing; therefore my responses will be slow – if at all.
This is a glimpse at a very small section of the Heygate Estate in South London. It’s a large, empty estate that is due to be demolished at some time or other, and simply sits there unused – mostly looking drab if it wasn’t fot the graffiti that offers a colour burst around every corner.
Though I’ve known about it for some time I had never ventured there, but took the opportunity to do so on a photocrawl last week where the starting point was the Elephant & Castle, and the main item I wanted to photograph was the Strata Tower (coming up later this week).
Next time Jim is in town I think we should certainly head here for a quick walk around.
Long time readers of my photoblog may remember that I did a set of images from around the Olympic Park in London while we were hosting that magnificent event. Those who take far too big an interest will also remember my image of Orbit. If you do remember these things then, please, stop paying so much interest in me. It’s a little creepy to be honest…what’s next, telling me that you know what time I shower in the morning?
Just kidding, of course.
I don’t shower.
Anyhoo – this is my exiting Orbit via the staircase after enjoying the sights of London from the viewing area which is at the top of it. It’s the place I was while taking yesterday’s image of the skyline and rain over London.
I’m off to Beijing tomorrow for a week of work followed by a few days leisure. I’ll be scheduling Monday – Friday posts to go up on this site so you stalkers don’t miss my daily updates.
Yes, the large mass of swirling black clouds in this image indicate that it was another rainy day in London. It was a cold one too, but we’ve had a lot of that lately.
I bet it’s the wrong kind of rain though. No doubt as soon as the sun pops his head out in the near future we’ll be thrust back into a hosepipe ban of some sort.
Okay, I guess it’s time to play a game of ‘name that building’. One point for naming any of the buildings in this image, and two points if you can tell me where I was when I took it – not that I was drunk and don’t know where I was, of course. If you need help you can look at the image tags (depending on where you are reading this).
I decided to break out the black glass over the weekend and do a couple of long exposures…the grey clouds over London have to be good for something, right?
I use the B&W 10 Stop, and it’s a great piece of kit, but I hate the fact you have to remove it and reattach it everytime you need to recompose; it can be tricky to thread when the camera is in some particular angles. Someone on one of my photocrawls this weekend suggested that manufacturers should use a magnetic version where the glass can just snap into place. It’s an awesome idea, though I wonder if that would lead to instances of the glass popping off by accident. I drop it enough times simply trying to thread it, I imagine I’ll drop it twice as many times if magnetic. It would be a time saver though.
Not sure where this image was taken…I saw it somewhere in London.
I’m finishing off the week where we finished off last weekend’s image taking on the photocrawl, and that is Leadenhall Market.
We had intended to finish up by taking images of the LLoyd’s building, but they didn’t have their lights on like they normally do so the desire to take a photo there quickly disappeared.
Today is the start of Easter Weekend in the UK, which means we get today and Monday off work. I plan on using the extra personal time we have to do may wonderful things, such as a photowalk, a little website work and, most importantly, napping.
I wonder exactly what is hidden in Thames?
For the most part when you simply see a flow of water. Take your time to examine that closely and you’ll realise just how brown that water is. Sometimes you may also see items floating down it, a shoe, an umbrella, a beer keg.
Peel back that layer of water, however, and I wonder just what you would find? It’s not uncommon to see something such as a shopping trolley, and at times there are old bits of music equipment, and in this case a nice old iron gate; I can’t imagine what else lies beneath the murky water.
Of course it’s only exposed for a short amount of time due to the tides. Before long this iron gate would return to it’s watery grave away from human eye.
I really liked this scene when I saw it; the gate was a natural focal point and it’s always nice to get the Tate modern and Shard in the image, but I also quite liked the sign about cleaning the river you can see in the middle of the Thames.
This shot has only recently become available to me, and that’s because I now have the 14mm glass which sits on my camera 90% of the time.
I was in the middle of a photocrawl and had just had a few pints in a pub that you can just see in this shot; it’s the little black sign in the distance behind the telephone box. Before continuing on to Waterloo Bridge I backtracked a little to grab this image.
It was pretty quiet with little pedestrian traffic so I was able to take an uninterrupted shot with ease. The fact it had been snowing on and off helped this image a lot, I think, as the shot wouldn’t be quite as nice if the ground wasn’t wet.
On Saturday I met up with Jarrad for a photocrawl. The weather was certainly not the best, and though most people were unable to make it we decided to still head out and have a few drinks and see what we could find to take a photo of.
At one stage it was low tide on the Thames, so we spent some time walking along the beaches until we came upon a storm drain. It didn’t go on too far, and was pretty grimy from spending much of it’s time underwater, but we took the opportunity to take a few shots using my torch as a light source.
After playing around for a bit we headed back out to daylight, and I’m glad I did as the tide was starting to come in. Another 20 minutes or so and we would have been wading our way out of the entrance which would have done nothing for our appearance, let alone our camera gear.
Even with the snow around on Saturday, there were quite a few people who had gathered on the south side of Westminster Bridge with cameras waiting for the lights to be switched off at the Houses of Parliament in support of Earth Hour. Surprisingly everyone seemed to be on the stairs from the bridge and not at my favourite spot which is by the steps leading down to the river itself, so I was able to take up my usual position when shooting here.
I had just got myself into position and composed the shot when the lights went out, which meant I had to try and focus in the dark – not the easiest thing to do when I normally use the clockface as my focus point. I was also shooting with the 14mm so this image was superwide when taken, I think the resulting crop is around 1/3 of the size of the original. It’s a single exposure that had a little sharpening and was then run through OnOne’s Perfect Effects.
I had a couple of different images from this spot but it was so dark I opted to use the one with the boat trails in it just to add a little bit of extra interest to the image.
Super quick post today, as very busy with work.
Here’s a close up shot of a fountain that is in Kew Gardens, London. It’s one of those nice artistic fountains that probably has a lot of significance in design, none of which I remember or have the time to research just now.
It’s a pretty cool looking thing though, and it must have been switched off for the winter period I think.
Have a good day all.
I hope everyone had a nice weekend. I was meant to be organizing a photowalk but that was swiftly called off due to the weather, which was a little bit grim and not something that this fairweather photographer wants to be out in. Instead I pretty much just watched TV all weekend, playing a little bit of Tomb Raider and processed a couple of images.
I contemplated heading to the tube to take a few snaps down there, but laziness won over and I opted instead to simply process an image from down there – et voila.
This was taken at Liverpool St Station. I had wandered down to the Westbound Central Line to go home and there were a couple of minutes to wait for a train. Most of the access to the platform seemed to be blocked off, but the large door just behind me was ajar so I poked my head in to see if there were any decent images, and that’s when I was faced with this set of unused escalators with this nice ribbon type thing over them.
For processing, I tonemapped 3 exposures and then mostly used a selection of OnOne filters which were manually brushed in, followed by a little Tonal Contrast and Low Key additions from the Nik Color Efex plugin.
It’s been a couple of months since I last posted a shot taken on the London Underground, so I’m remedying that with today’s image, as you can see.
Upon first impressions, the tube can pretty much look the same throughout when you’re down there. A bit of a winding tunnel, an escalator, a platform, repeat. However if you spend enough time down there you begin to see it differently and much of it becomes unique. A station you are in is easily identifiable, the paths from platform to platform are less of a mystery, and the overwhelming number of CCTV cameras down there becomes very apparent.
Processing these images is much the same. Upon first glimpse you’re faced with many images that all look fundamentally the same; but once you get going and start the processing task you find that you have many different routes you can go down, and each one becomes unique in some way.
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.
Okay, so for an evening that was very uninspiring I did manage to come away with a couple of images to use in the end; here’s the final one that I will be posting from Sunday night – and it’s the first trip that I’ve made to this spot sporting my 14mm glass which has enabled me to get in pretty much all of this lovely cathedral.
The door you see in the central part of the image is the one that was featured in yesterday’s photoblog so I guess this one provides a little bit of context.
It was still quite early at night when I took this so I was quite surprised to find that there were so few people around; normally I seem to be waiting for some time to get a clear shot.
I went out to take a few photographs on Sunday and was completely uninspired. Sunset was replaced by the need to grab a burrito; with the hour either side taken up in the pub having a pint or two. Attempts to go climbing a lovely building were thwarted, and before the night had set in for too long I had the desire to go home.
Sometimes you just don’t feel it, I guess. You can go out with the best intentions of taking a load of images, but nothing inspires you and you don’t even bother getting the camera out of the bag.
That often seems wasteful though, and so we headed off to St Paul’s Cathedral, still my favourite building in London, to try and get inspired – and as it was dark I decided a light trails may be the way to go.
I took a couple of images of St Paul’s itself – I think 4 in total – and then headed to the road to set up and wait for a bus or two, which in that area didn’t take long to arrive.
Today’s image is two exposures with one bus on either side of the road which I’ve masked through to. I added a little sharpening in CS6 before taking it into Perfect Effects by OnOneSoftware where I added, in varying opacities and locations, the Cybercool, Urban Sickness and Autumn filters before masking back in a little more of the red colours from the buses.
From a session that left me completely uninspired I’m happy to have left with one image I like.
The problem with photographing a sunset is that I seem to spend a lot of time waiting for the light to change, and little time composing variant shots. This means I end up with the camera mounted on a tripod and then leaving it there to take occasional brackets of the variance in light. I then take an image that I’m reasonably happy with, on this occasion one of the blueness of the magic hour rather than the sunset itself, to process – and then I need to abandon the other 20 images I took because they are exactly the same scene.
Of course it’s perfectly possible to run from place to place, compose, shoot move on, but it rarely happens. It’s not as if I spend hours setting up the composition either, so there’s no reason why that shouldn’t happen – except for my own laziness.
Are you one of those rush around and take as many different angles as possible kind of people, or are you a little like me and just stand there pushing the button every few minutes once you’ve set yourself up?
On Saturday night I headed over to Canary Wharf with Conor and Jay to try and grab a sunset…though that was a bit of a non-event on this occasion. We then repaired to a bar for a little relaxation before Jay and I continued to a lovely building currently being built. If I had forgotten how unfit I was during my recent bout of illness this was quickly brought back to mind as I ascended 28 flights of stairs…slowly.
The views were pretty good, and it was certainly nice to see this area from such a vantage point, but the better views were to be had at the top of one of the cranes, which is where this image was taken.
It was a long and late night as I arrived home at around 4am, but a fun one.
Hope you all had a nice weekend.
As the intelligent viewers who are reading this post will probably have guessed, this building is a town hall and it is in Waltham Forest.
I drove past it on the way in to London a couple of weeks ago and decided I would head back there to try and grab a few shots while the clouds were there doing their best to look dramatic.
I can’t say I’ll ever feel the need to head back to that part of London though.
It’s a late post from me today, and to be honest I’m still laying in bed. Part laziness, part illness. 100% rock and roll.
Have a good weekend all.
Here’s another image from up at the Shard.
Watching the trains wind their way around the curved railway tracks was certainly one of the highlights from being up here. I’m not sure I would ever be the kind of person who would build a model railway, but I can certainly see the appeal of standing over a creation of interweaving paths as these metallic horses glide from place to place.
Ah, who am I kidding? I’m exactly the kind of person that would build a model railway. Only I’m also the type of obsessive that would let the rails run loose all over the house in a style most befitting a Rube Goldberg contraption.
Oh yes, just realised it’s Valentine’s day also. This one goes out to all the women reading this who love trains. As Ralph Wiggum once eloquently put…I Choo Choo Choose you!