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.

Clock Tower

A clock tower rises above the surrounding buildings. I had intended to get a more closeup view of this tower, but on getting closer to it, found that there appeared to be no way of accessing it. Presumably, you have to go through an adjoining building. Luckily, the narrow alleyway I was in allowed me to show the tower in its surroundings, which I think has given a much better image than the one I originally envisaged.

I used Nik’s Silver Efex Pro to convert this to black & white, with some increased structure, brightness and contrast on the clock tower and the illuminated building, as well as just increased structure on the clouds.

Looking up at a clock tower

by Tim Daniels -

Oxborough II

Another view of Oxborough Hall in Norfolk, UK. Although bright, sunny days are generally considered bad for photography, it certainly is possible to pull something interesting out of the bag. The advantage of shooting HDRs like this is that you can make the sun a strong feature in the shot, whilst keeping detail in the rest of the sky and any other objects of focus. If you were to use filters instead, this kind of shot would not be easily possible.

I hand-held the three exposures for this again and let Photomatix match them up. It did an excellent job. Even looking at 100% it is impossible to tell that this wasn’t shot using a tripod.

by Tim Daniels -

Oxborough Hall

The entrance to Oxburgh Hall in Norfolk, UK. This is a moated medieval manor of some size, all made of this same kind of brick. This shot was taken on the bridge over the moat, at the only position you can cross to access the internal courtyard. It was a busy place and took some waiting before I could take this without getting any people in, but I think it was worth the wait.

This was something of an experiment for me, as I shot three exposures for HDR hand held. Usually, I would use a tripod for this, but after seeing other peoples’ hand held work on Flickr, I thought it was worth a go myself. It turns out that the alignment algorithm in Photomatix 4 is much better than the one I remember in version 3. Although there was noticeable movement between each of my three exposures, Photomatix easily dealt with it. From the final result, you would assume this was taken with a tripod. Knowing that I now don’t have to take one every time I go out will save me several kilos of equipment and will hopefully mean I can get even better pictures.

by Tim Daniels -

Pumping Station

An old pumping station that is now converted into a house. This originally would have been used to pump water from the surrounding low lying land into the river.

To create this shot, I darkened the sky using an ND grad in Lightroom and coloured the sky a pinky red. The photo was then imported into Photoshop, where I used Silver Efex Pro to convert to black and white and to tone the shot. Colouring the sky pink in Lightroom allowed it to become more prominent after the black and white conversion. It can be difficult to make these kinds of changes to an image, as they appear to ruin it. Experience and an idea of how you want the final image to look helps you to do it though!

by Tim Daniels -

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