Tudor House

One of my favourite things when walking about the various tiny villages of England is spotting the houses that date from many centuries in the past. This particular house is one of these, dating from I guess around the 16th century. It looks as though the ground floor has been rebuilt fairly recently, and I’m sure plenty of the rest of it is also the result of more modern rebuilding. Nonetheless, these kinds of structures still remain as impressive in my eyes.

 

The one part of these old buildings that I always look to first is the roof.  The rises and bumps over the roofline speak of the many years that the house has stood for, rather than the perfectly straight and smooth roofs of modern houses. Unfortunately, this house has clearly been re-roofed rather recently, but it has been done sympathetically, so that I don’t really mind.

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

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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 - lapseoftheshutter.com

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 - lapseoftheshutter.com

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 - lapseoftheshutter.com

Two Graves

Two gravestones bathed in evening light. The red of the grass comes from the Indian Summer filter of Color Efex Pro. On its own, this didn’t have quite the desired effect, so I created an additional contrasty layer to help with the shadows, as well as one for the vignette. I thought the red worked well with this scene because it is such an unnatural colour for the grass to be. It really helps the gravestones to stand out, and also makes what could otherwise be a bit of a bland image into something a bit more special.

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

Manor II

Another of the rather old, magnificient houses aroud where I live. In this case, it was clear from the facade that the house was fairly old, so I felt it needed processing to emphasise this. Quite simply, I just added one texture layer, then performed some curves/levels adjustments to the house and foreground, as well as adding the birds into the scene. As it wasn’t a particularly impressive day in terms of light, the ‘strength’ of this processing hasn’t negatively affected the image in the same way it might had I shot this at a more traditional time for photography – early morning or late evening.

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

Futuristic Church

A church with a bit of a sci-fi sky. It took a while to actually get the sky on this one right. It is actually a combination of two separate sky layers that then have had textures applied over the top. I wanted something quite futuristic to contrast with the many hundreds of years old building towering into the sky and I think the result works quite well.

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

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 - lapseoftheshutter.com

Church Door II

A textured look at the same church door that is in an earlier photo. This had a very dull, blue sky, so clearly needed something to make it a bit more special. I contemplated adding some birdlife to the sky, but actually I don’t think this picture needs it. As always, the textures don’t add detail on their own, but can bring out the ‘hidden’ detail of an image. Using textures is not really too dissimilar to using levels and curves, but does mean you can get more out of the photo with less work!

by Tim Daniels - lapseoftheshutter.com

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