Royal Albert Hall, quite a sight,
bathed in the winter golden glow,
of London lit up at night.
This post is going to be a bit of a departure from my usual style. I was off on a walk yesterday and I am inviting you along on a bit of a recap of the day. I was in London for the day. Friends were passing through London and this was the day that our schedules intersected. They would be available in the afternoon, but I decided to make a full day of it. I am the kind of person that makes lists. For everything. One of my lists is “Things to do in England”. When something catches my eye, it goes on the list. Since I had a morning in London, I decided to do two things that were on the London section of the list. I’m also a bit of a history
nerd buff, so on the list were a rare King Edward VIII postbox and St. Etheldreda’s Church. I took the train to King’s Cross and then headed here:
The iconic London Underground. I happened to be standing with my back to this wall and then thought, that would be a fun photo. It was shot on my iPhone. The underground deposited me near to this:
It’s a King Edward VIII postbox I tell you rather excitedly! and if you are anything like the rest of my family you chuckle, nod politely, and wait for me to take the photo. This one was taken with my point and shoot. Postboxes with a King Edward VIII cypher are rare because he was King for less than a year and then a lot of his postboxes were either modified or replaced. It took me a fair amount of digging to locate this one that I could visit, ultimately I tracked it down on Instagram, so it seemed only right to post this version, shot with my iPhone and edited in Hipstamatic, there:
From there I went to find St. Etheldreda’s Church. It is one of the oldest Catholic Churches in England and the structure itself is one of two in London that dates from the reign of King Edward I. It has a rather interesting history but it was built sometime between 1250-1290 and it was set to its current form and function in 1878. I was told of existence about a year ago and assured that it was well worth my time to track down if I had the opportunity. Wow, was it ever:
This first shot, taken shortly after a Mass, shows the beautiful interior as well as the haze from incense used in the Mass.
Then there was the stained glass:
Both of these shots were taken with my point and shoot. Set back from the main road and tucked in between more modern buildings this church was a beautiful highlight of my day.
If you are wondering why I didn’t take one of my larger cameras on this outing there were two reasons. First, I was concerned about the potential crowds, headed into London for St. Patrick’s Day. The second was the weather. That turned out to be the bigger of the two issues, as I was hailed on a few times over the course of the day.
Thanks for coming along as I am busy ticking things off my list. Do you make lists like this? What do you think of the photos, do you have a favorite? Your thoughts are welcome below.
As this walk was all over London, so this post is all over my different blogging places. Added to:
Len-Artists Photo Challenge: History.
A Photo A Week Challenge: Cityscape/Townscape.
Jo’s Monday Walk.
Static, I think that is one word that comes to mind when describing a war monument. The Battle of Britain Monument is unusual in that it is dynamic. Not only do the elements of the monument protrude in interesting ways, they do so at eye level. It is a very interesting work to walk around. It was my first visit, so I took a lot of shots as I walked around getting my first impressions. When I got home, I created this photo:
The photos I took, I took on my iPhone. Mostly, I was capturing details of the monument and not the monument in its entirety. I find my iPhone is a good tool for this kind of photography. I will show you the original shot at the bottom of this post, but as you can see there is a lot going on here, so one of my first thoughts was, what would I like to highlight in my final photo? The answer was the bright sky you can see in the binoculars of the soldier in the foreground. I used Lightroom to create my version. I first cropped the photo then sharpened it a bit. I then used a radial filter just over the binoculars, the effect evenly muted the rest of the photo, but kept the vibrance of the sky. I then lightened the corners of the photo which I think helps encourage your eye to stay more in the center of the photo. For comparison, here is the original photo:
What do you think of my edits? Is there another approach you would have taken in editing this? Your comments are welcome below.
Sometimes a photo challenge theme fits nicely into work that I have in progress. This past weekend I was in London, in part to see Tower Bridge:
Recently I purchased a new lens, it’s a wide angle lens, 11-22mm, to complement my 50mm and 70-200mm lens. I am thinking of using this lens mostly for landscapes. I will also be pressing it into service in city settings. In particular shots taken in the interior of buildings where my 50mm struggles to get the whole of what I am trying to capture. A wide angle lens can also be used to create a beautifully different perspective of a scene:
These photos are two of one hundred and fifteen that I took of the bridge. Getting the pictures home, I put them in Lightroom, which is always my first step. I have taken a look through all the images and these two above are among the images that I may edit later; as seen above they are not edited at all. I will keep them in this state for awhile. I find it helpful to have some time between my shoot and when I edit. I find it hard to be objective about them when they are newly shot. Although eventually most of the photos will be deleted, nothing has been deleted yet. Photos I take with my larger camera are on the slow track in terms of my editing process.
The fast track consists of photos that I take on my phone. They are often taken and then processed or discarded within twenty four hours. This one was a keeper:
A successful photo on my phone is often an overview photo like this one. More detailed photos I usually shoot with my larger camera. I find it helpful to have both cameras with me, I find it creates a more complete narrative.
Do you shoot a single scene with more than one camera? Do you have a different approach to editing photos that are created out of your different cameras? And yes, those first two photos really are unedited, it really was that bright and sunny in London last Sunday! Feel free to leave a comment below.
If you are ever at Hampton Court Palace don’t forget to look up. The Astronomical Clock, an imposing, functional work of art, was installed in 1540. Other than the time it also indicates high tide at London Bridge. That’s important if you are traveling by barge, as many members of the court at the time would have been doing. We used the car park; just one way in which times have changed since the clock’s installation.
While touring the palace I was using my Canon 50D with a 50mm lens. The challenges that day were the rain and the fact that I was taking photos indoors and out. One thing that my camera does well is allow for a high ISO and a resulting photo that is not too grainy; in this case I set my ISO high so that I could change my shutter speed and aperture frequently. I brought home a lot of images, but I really found the clock facinating. You can see in my final image I have combined black and white and color. Here is where I started:
One of the first things I did was to crop the image using the straighten feature in Photoshop. From the angle which the photo was taken, I think it is natural for it not to be 100% straight, but I wanted it straighter than the way it had been shot. I also sharpened the image. I mention these two steps because they are often my last two steps, but this time were my first. I then created a second layer, making it black and white. The black and white copy on top, the color underneath. I allowed Photoshop to make the black and white by clicking Image-Adjustments-Black&White. This will make default adjustments but also pops up a dialogue box that will allow, via sliders, the user to adjust the various values of the image. I like to start with the default, but it rarely matches exactly what I want to see. In this case, it was the sky, there was no detail in the default, but the sliders helped me fix that. Then I added a layer mask on the black and white copy. In the layers panel there is an icon with a rectangle with a circle in it, that will created the mask. I then used the paintbrush tool and painted over the face of the clock which revealed the color layer beneath.
I really like the result, but what do you think? The black and white brick really makes the color of the clock face stand out in a way that I like. Do you mix black and white and color in your editing process? Do you like the results you get? I find that it is a bit of a mixed bag, sometimes it works really well other times it is a complete miss. I also have found that I have to go ahead and try it, I can’t always tell just by looking at the original image if it is going to work. Do you have an editing technique that is like that for you? sometimes it works and other times it is a mess? Feel free to leave a comment below.