St Pauls and a faulty tripod....

Hi and welcome back.  I hope Spring has indeed sprung wherever you are - I'm certainly appreciating the warmer days and later nights.

A couple of weekends back, I was fortunate enough to shoot inside one of London (and Europe's) most famous and iconic buildings - St Paul's Cathedral.

St Paul's Cathedral was built by Sir Christopher Wren in the late 17th Century (in the aftermath of The Great Fire of London).  To give some idea of its sheer scale, it was the tallest building in London from 1710 to 1967.

St Paul's is (along with Parliament/Big Ben) one of the key London sites for tourists and visitors- normally however, photography of any kind is not allowed inside the cathederal. 

This image is entirely down to the splendid people at London4All (one of Instagram's best photographic groups) for somehow arranging an after-hours visit where we could shoot away to our hearts content.  To be able to do so without hundreds of people milling around made it even more special.

To call the interior stunning actually does it no justice - several of us, rather than snapping away, took a few minutes to just soak in the magnificent surroundings.  Despite this, I know there are angles and details that I missed.

Having finally got inside St Pauls, I had the unwelcome surprise of realisng that my tripod was unusable - "frustration" is a mild understatement for how I felt!  This 5 second exposure shot was only possible becuase a fellow shooter lent me his tripod (thank you Greg!).

Having fianlly got the shot I wanted (looking towards the High Altar and featuring some of the beautiful ceiling detail), I opted for a slightly subdued edit, lowering the blacks and raising the clarity.  I hope you like the final image. 

A huge thank you to London4All for organising this visit - they're a fab bunch so give them an Instagram follow: @london4all

This image is in my London gallery and available as a print.

Please feel free to get in touch and thank you for reading.

Thanks, 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

 

Trafalgar Square in Silhouette

The latest addition to my London Gallery is up - Traflagar Square in Silhouette.

Taken on a gloriously sunny afternoon, the silhouettes of Nelson's Column and the George IV statue really jumped out at me.

Trafalgar Square in Silhouette

If you like it, please contact me as (like all my London and places images) it's available as a print.

I would love your feedback and thank you for reading.

Mo