This is a bit of an experiment with using various textures and colours. I originally took this shot not because it seemed anything particularly special, but because it would provide a good starting point to try out some ideas on. And it has been quite useful in that respect.
With a few hours to spare in London recently, I spent the better part of an afternoon walking around the central part of the city, getting a lot of photos of otherwise very well photographed sites. Having never really taken any pictures in London before, I thought it probably best to get these better known locations out of the way first.
This is a fairly common shot of St. Paul’s cathedral from the Millenium Bridge (built 11 years ago obviously). I arrived here at the perfect time to take photos in a city, just as the lights get switched on, but when there is still light in the sky. Unfortunately, the light is all gone within half-an-hour, so there’s plenty of locations I’ll need to revisit, but this one at least is pretty much done.
This is the ‘I Love Durham’ snow-dome of the Durham Lumiere festival. The statue is there year-round, mostly, although the dome over the top isn’t. Although this is a long exposure, if you look at the lights, you will see some balls highlighted that were flying around the inside of the dome.
Obviously, there was also a crush of people around here, which left me enough time to get the tripod up above everyone’s heads and shoot this. As the camera was also above my head, I had to guess at the composition, and had to take plenty of shots thanks to the legs of the tripod constantly being kicked.
A couple of forks of lightning that I managed to capture when a recent storm passed by. This was overhead when I got outside, but was accompanied by very heavy rain that meant I had to shelter instead of take photos. Once the rain had passed though, I could point the camera in the general direction of the lightning and hope for the best.
Technically, this was fairly simple to shoot. I set the shutter speed for 30 seconds and kept pressing the shutter, so the camera was continuously exposing the sky. As the lightning seemed to come every 2 minutes or so, this meant 3 out of 4 shots I deleted, leaving me with the ones like this. I was also using a 100 mm lens, which is probably not the best for something like this, but it did at least work this time.
This was taken at Durham Lumiere in November 2011. It is one of the forty-ish light shows they had on, although I think I only managed to see four. This is a light/water exhibit titled ‘Splash’ by Peter Lewis, and is an illuminated waterfall coming off Kingsgate footbridge. The water was actually more of a spray coming from several jets placed along the length of the bridge, and the light changed colour every 30 seconds of so. I think the juxtaposition here between the solid concrete architecture and the soft, flowing water makes quite a strong image, and so I obviously tried quite a number of different compositions.
Technically, this is quite a difficult scene to capture on camera because of the extreme dark shadows and the very bright light. Fortunately, modern camera metering is pretty good, and with a bit of trial and error and help from Lightroom, I got all the detail I wanted.
This is actually the lights from two cars, one after the other. I found that one car wasn’t actually enough to provide enough light to balance the streetlight. Fortunately, two cars turned up, right on cue. This shot is actually taken just down the road from a similar long exposure of a train that I put up last week. As the road turns a corner where the streetlight is, there is a roadbridge that crosses the railway. That shot was taken from the section of footpath just out of view about a month after this one.
Another roof, but taken in the daytime next to the sea. I like trying to spot these abstract compositions when out and about as it can provide something a bit different and a bit unexpected. This shot was converted to black and white and split-toned to help bring some contrast to the photo, but also to smooth the transition between the sea and the building.
The corrugated roof of a warehouse, taken at night. For this, I had to put the ISO up to 3200, which is pretty obvious when you look at the sky. I think the noise adds something to the photo though. It makes it feel less flat and a bit of noise always seems to work with black and white. Although the roof of the warehouse is a direct black and white conversion, the sky is slightly toned so that it stands out. Fortunately, I didn’t have to add a vignette, as shooting with the lens wide open provided one for me!
This small tree was found in the heart of a forested area. There was a lot of mist around on this day, obstructing any kind of landscape views there might be, so I concentrated mainly on close-ups like this. These autumn leaves seemed to create a canopy, like a sheet over the forest floor. The greens, oranges and browns drew my eye to this scene. Had it been the middle of summer, I probably would have walked straight past.
The red, autumnal leaves of a tree overhead. Maple trees like this always give good displays at around this time of year. The deep reds and oranges are actually present in the leaves year round, but only become visible once the green of the chlorophyll is removed by the tree.