Shooting Into the Sun

Hi all, another image to focus in on today.  Before I start that, a quick one word review of my Nikon D750 now that I've been using it solidly for just over two months: "INCREDIBLE!"

Yes, my love affair with this superb camera continues - I'm finishing up my more detailed review to post here and should have that up soon.

So here's today's image for dissection, taken in the late afternoon from London's Tower Bridge, looking west directly towards the setting sun

 

 

I was actually on Tower Bridge photographing fund-raising runners for the excellent Orchid Cancer Charity (please check them out and help in anyway that you can - it's a wonderful cause). 

Once the last of the runners had passed me, it suddenly hit me just how vivid this particular sunset was.  Sunsets and sunrises always require luck - the clouds, the clarity of the atmosphere and timing can all make or break an image at these times.

One aspect of photography that comes with experience and practice is picturing the final image in your head well before you click the button.

In this instance, I wanted a dramatic setting sun, silhouetting both the London skyline and the boat as it lit up the sky and river.  The wake of the boat was also an attraction as it sailed towards the sunset.

But I was in the wrong spot to get the boat more central and directly in line with the sun - cue a quick jog along the bridge until everything lined up just as I wanted it.

Here are the settings I used (after a couple of trial shots):

Spot Metering (exposing for the sky); IS 80; Aperture: f7.1; Shutter Speed: 1/250 of a second

This is why the sun is clear, the skyline is silhouetted and why the clouds are so deep in colour. 

Whilst editing, I darkened the entire image which makes the silhouettes deeper and also allows the colours to become more saturated.  Of course, two different people will edit the same photo in two often very different ways.

I'm pretty happy with the final image and would love to hear your thoughts on it.

A big thank you to visit London who kindly retweeted this out to their followers:

As with all my London and Travel images, this is available as a print and canvass.  Please Contact me for more details.

Have a great weekend,

Mo

 

Composition, Luck and a test drive of my new camera

Most photographers probably have some favourite places where they like to try and capture a perfect shot or improve on previous attempts and Baker Street tube station in London is one of mine.

Dating to 1863, Baker Street is London's oldest Tube/Underground station and some of its platforms are just architecturally stunning - they almost seem to transport you back to the time of Sherlock Holmes, Baker Street's most famous fictional resident.

I've tried several times to get the perfectly composed shot here and it's never quite happened. And then onmy last visit, I got lucky.

The thing to bear in mind is that the image you see above is almost exactly what I had pictured in my mind's eye - a lone figure standing absolutely centrally under the middle of the three soaring arches.

The shot has to be taken from the opposite platform and while you can always get a friend to pose in the perfect spot, you can't control other passengers getting into your shot.

This time, I got lucky - this gentleman is obliviously waiting for his train.  In the exact perfect spot.  WIth no-one else around!

I snapped a few shots as quickly and carefully as possible and less than 90 seconds later, there were a few dozen people milling around the platform!

For me, this shot is all about a human presence in amongst the beautiful architecture - composing the architecture part is easy but the composition of the human element isn't - if the guy had been standing even 18 inches to either side, this would have been (at best) an interesting but unbalanced composition.  Equally, he could have been in the perfect spot and (as often happens) someone else could have come and stood a few feet away.

I'm really pleased with the end product, not least because it was part of testing of my new camera.  I'll blog at more length about the Nikon D750 soon but after owning it for three weeks, I'm hugely impressed with the D750 so far.

It's relatively small & light for such a powerful full-frame camera and most importantly for me, it's just astonishing in low-light conditions.

This image was shot with a Nikon D750 body, Nikon 50mm f1.8G lens, shutter speed 1/100 second, aperture f3.5 and at ISO 3200. 

I hope you like the image as much as I do (or even half as much, because I REALLY like it!).  If so, please check out my London and People galleries.

As always, please let know what you think.

Thanks, Mo

 

Costumes, Capes and Cowls - LSCC 2016

It's turning out to be a very busy time right now, especially these last few weeks but there's no doubt what, so far, is my most enjoyable assignment of 2016.

I was fortunate to be an official photographer at the London Super Comic Con 2016 and what a fabulous convention it turned out to be - really well organised, huge attendance and as always, the most colourful, high quality, creative costumes imaginable.

Even more than previous years, LSCC 2016 left me blown away at the sheer creativity, effort, dedication & time that goes into many of the costumes.  I'd go so far as to say that some of them were movie quality - check out the Predators, Batman/Batgirl, Iron Man & Spider-Man costumes in the gallery below.

Also present were big-name artists & writers from the comic book world, including senior Marvel Comics exec CB Cebulski (the guy with glasses in the gallery below) with whom I had a fun, informative and all-too-brief chat.  Thanks CB - you were every bit the gent.

I hope you enjoy the gallery.  If you're one of the cosplayers, please contact me and I'll happily send you a copy of your image.

Thanks, Mo

Powder & Wigs

Regular readers will know how I try and carry a DSLR whenever possible- mainly because you never know what opportunities you may stumble across.

Here's a perfect example - walking out of Piccadilly Circus underground station when a horse and carriage pulled up in front of me.  Even better, it was full of models in period costume!  

Rather than the splendid horse and carriage, the opportunity to grab an unusual portrait really appealed to me.

I was carrying my lightest combination (Nikon D7000 and Nikkon 35mm f1.8 lens) the greatest advantage of which is it's flexibility- it allows me to shoot cityscapes, architecture, street shots and as here, portraits.

This camera/lens combination really is great for natural light work and I would recommend it highly as a flexible setup.

Given the white tones of the models' outfits, I knew this could make a striking black and white image.

For more of my portrait work, please see my People gallery.  I'm available for individual, corporate and family portraits so please Contact me for more details.

Have a great weekend, Mo

 

 

 

Little Venice

One of my photographic aims in 2016 is to get off the beaten track more and explore London's many interesting and out-of-the-way areas.  It's always great to find an unexpected and gorgeous view and of course, it's always fun to explore - even in places you think you know well.

So, I started with a real hidden delight near the city centre - Little Venice.

Sandwiched between Paddington Station and Edgware Road, the canal is lined with houseboats and lovely little floating coffee shops and restaurants and I'd definitely recommend going there for a pleasant walk.

I was lucky with the weather during my brief visit and also the water was relatively calm.  More to the point, having only visited briefly once many years ago, Little Venice was even prettier than I remembered it to be.

Taking this image was more about the framing and composition.  Technically, it was relatively straightforward as it was a lovely, bright morning so there was no need for any camera trickery.

i always want a new aim for my photography and I'm really looking forward to exploring more out-of-the-way places in London, especially with Spring not far away.

Thanks for reading!

Mo

 

Bowie

Just a quick post, mainly to share this photo and to express my sadness at David Bowie's death.

I was always aware of Bowie's music, of course but it was in the sixth-form at school that I really started to explore and appreciate his albums. 

I paid a visit to the Bowie mural in Brixton, South London and even a few days after his passing, there were so many people paying their respects.  What struck me was the sheer variety of people there - punks, office workers, young and old, black and white; all going to show just what a powerful presence Bowie was, and how diverse his audience was.

As always, I had my camera and wanted a unique image. It was then that I noticed the lady wearing the highly reflective shades - and THAT was the image I wanted.  It's now in my People gallery.

And if she's reading this, a big thank you to Elena Cresto for lending me the Bowie albums all those years ago at school!  He's been one of my favourite artists to this day.

Thanks for reading, Mo