Thursday, 30 August 2012

No Tripod

I have recently mentioned the importance of lighting and in particular the golden hour to be found at dawn and dusk. Artificial light is there for a good reason. It highlights what the planners want highlighting so the photo of the Palace of Westminster is ready for taking. I did not carry a tripod with me but this photo was taken by placing the camera on a flat surface and using the timer so there is no possible camera shake from me.

There is a viewing point on the bank of the Thames with a telescope (and a flat surface) so whenever you see any telescopes like this then look for your camera. You are being told to take a photo from this point and no tripod is needed. The other thing to note here is that you do have lights on the building. It isn't completely dark and that means you can still see the clouds and so add interest.

On the right, it is difficult to take a photo of Nelson because the bigger the subject, the further you have to be away. It obviously helps if you can get the whole subject in the frame but it also helps to avoid distortion due to converging verticals. For more  information on this you can take a look at

Happy snapping

Modern Monet

If your eye was not moved towards the reflections in the Thames then you have no option with this cropping. This small section of the photo still shows the Elizabeth and the Victoria Towers even if they are reflections, even if the quality is not high because of the severe crop and even if I have increase brightness and contrast.

It may look like modern art on the right but it helps to know what you are looking at and it also helps to know this when you see any piece of modern art. I am reminded of Monet and his water lilies. He did paint Charing Cross Bridge as well. Now that would have been an exercise to look at his composition and create it digitally.

Happy snapping

Portrait and Landscape

I don't need to tell you what you are looking at here, or maybe I do ( I told you I was full of useless information following a red bus tour). Big Ben is the bell so you can't see Big Ben. What you do see is the Elizabeth Tower. The other tower is called the Victoria Tower. You can also see the time and you know it is morning because there are only one or two photographers and one or two vehicles to be seen.

The obvious difference between these photos is the orientation with portrait on the left and landscape on the right. There is also an obvious change of emphasis within the photo. On the left your eye is drawn to the reflections in the river and if that is your intention then that is how to frame your photo.

Happy snapping

The Importance of Lighting

Lighting is so important and I have written
about the golden or magic hour previously. They are the first and last hours of the day when the sunlight is warmer. Well the photo on the right is just at the start of the morning hour and that explains why you don't see anyone on the London Eye.

I went round the red bus tours so I am now full of useless information. There are 32 capsules on the Eye, each capsule holds up to 25 people, it takes around 30 minutes to get round and each of those capsules represents a London borough.

The photo on the left includes County Hall and this wasn't taken early in the morning but it still shows the importance of lighting. The subjects are well lit but the sky has character because of the shades of cloud. This would have been lost with a completely blue sky and a third of the photo would have been a lot less interesting.

Happy snapping

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Look out for flat surfaces

 I spent the last couple of days in London and used the red bus tour as my means of transport.
One of the first photos I took is on the left. I had no tripod and it was taken from the top deck of a bus. It is not an ideal way to take a photo because of the movement involved but that doesn't mean that you can't end up with a good photo.

The night photo of St Paul's was taken by resting the camera on the wall and using the timer, so no need for a tripod here. I decided to leave my tripod at home as I know there are lots of flat surfaces around. There is a lot greater flexibility with a tripod but flexibility isn't everything.

Happy snapping