New year, still in London (who would have thought!) Today I spent the morning visiting the London ice sculpting festival in the Canary Wharf. Wheather was absolutely freezing, but there was a bit of sun that made wonderful reflections on the ice sculptures.
London weather is getting quite miserable and totally not encouraging going out for photo taking. Fighting the natural urge to stay in with a cup of steaming coffee, today I ventured to the famous Stables Market in Candem Town, swarming with tourists in spite of the cold and rain.
Today’s photo is a set of vintage pocket watches hanging in one of the stalls in the market.
Another graffiti by James Cochran, aka Jimmy C in the good old ‘Ditch.
The whole East London is famous for its vibrant young artists and creative community. Around these areas one can find some truly breathtaking examples of street art, ranging from graffiti to random installations.
Today’s photo is a graffiti portraying Usain Bolt as seen by Jimmy C. Jimmy has some other really impressive works in the area, so if you like his work and have a chance you should totally visit this part of London!
A couple of weeks ago, wandering by the river on the hope of catching the moment when the Olympic Rings in the Tower Bridge got lit up, I found a wide open stairwell going down to the river bank that is usually closed.
I managed to get right by the waterfront and take a few panoramic shots before the treachery grounds betrayed me and a tripod slip ended up with my lens smashed into the mud.
So, in a sense one could say that this shot costed me my lens*!
Hope you enjoy the panoramic view, the photo was obtained by stitching 9 photos with Hugin and then some final retouches with Photoshop, mostly to deal with long-exposure noise and dodging a little bit the underexposed areas.
* The lens is currently being serviced and will be back in business shortly
It is no secret that I am a sucker for steel-and-glass modern architecture. The more shocking, the better. In the Southbank of London, the long awaited construction of the Shard is nearing completion, with most of the scaffolding already gone and just a few cranes getting in the way.
With its whopping 310 meters tall, the Shard will become once finished the tallest building in the European Union, and the 46th tallest in the world. Mind you, almost nothing compared to all those South-East Asian or Arab Emirates behemoths, but quite impressive given the surroundings.
Needless to say, the irreverent Brits could never let this pointy thing sticking out of the river side get off with a boring name like “32 London Bridge Tower”, so it got immediately re-christened as “the glass shard” or simply “the shard”. A more adequate name quite on par with the Gherkin (close shot here), and the Razor.
At the entrance of St Pancras, one of the most dauntingly beautiful train stations I’ve ever seen, these two statues commemorate a scene that has happened, with different leading characters, countless times all over the world and ages. Whether the kissers are about to depart away from each other, or they just reunited after a long time away, that is for you to decide…
The sculpture is “The meeting place”, created by Paul Day in 2007.
Last month I used one of my free days in London to pay a visit to the steampunk exhibit at the Kew Bridge Steam Museum. In one of the rooms there was this wonderfully weird piece of furniture.
The whole setting, with the extremely bright lights coming from the window and the deep dark shadows under the bed, plus the textured velvety covers, was crying for some hdr treatment.
Like it? Too cooked for your taste? Let me know in the comments!
Train stations are always fun to shoot, even if sometimes the security guys can get kind of annoying. This picture is from St Pancras train station, London’s international train station where one can take the Eurostar train for a quick link with Paris or Brussels.
The whole space is getting revamped now in preparation for the Olympics, but the few spots free of scaffoldings and works in progress are still nice to look at!
The picture is a three exposures (handheld) hdr. The sky behing the glass ceiling looks kind of boring but in this case this is not due to blown highlights, but simply to the usual London cloudy thing.
This is another action shot taken in Southbank, London, not far from the place where I took the freerunning pictures.
Besides the usual action-shot photography challenges (quick shutter, hard to focus) that we have already mentioned before, this particular photo was taken under very harsh light conditions. There was extremely strong sunlight hitting directly the subject. As the biker was coming from the shadow areas, I had to guess the exposure level before he jumped, which resulted in a bit overexposed picture. I normally don’t like being so agressive with the post-processing filters, but with this photo I had no other choice.
I happened to be in London when the social cry for a real democracy erupted in Spain. A couple of days after the seminal demonstration in Madrid, Spaniards in London started gathering in front of the Spanish embassy, shouting for a better system that allows a more direct citizen participation and ensures that corrupt oligarchs cannot use the social institutions for their own benefit.
What follows is a little video assembly of some of the pictures I took during the demonstration on Saturday. Because of lack of time (and my little expertise with video editing) I could not fine tune the synchronization between sound and image, but this one time I thought it would be better just to get something out there quickly.
You can view the video in HD by setting it to fullscreen mode, or download it from this link.
Picture was taken under good light conditions, allowing to use low ISO in order to minimize the noise. For this kind of photo, everything that appears in the frame is in the wall at the same distance of the camera, so the aperture value is mostly irrelevant as there is no room for playing with the depth of field, so I went for a wide 4.8 aperture to compensate for the low ISO and be able to get my shutter as quick as possible (1/250s) for extra sharpness.
Hope you like it!
Today’s picture comes once more from the dPS Photowalk in London last February. We had quite the rainy day, which was a bit of a bummer but offered some chances to take different kinds of pictures. Pics of winding streets offer good opportunities to use hdr techniques, enhancing the asphalt texture and the water reflections. The technique and settings I used to post-process this picture are very similar to the ones I used for this picture from Singapore. Maybe I should turn this into a theme series or something :-D
Back in London for a few days, and enjoying the almost summery weather around here! Today’s picture was taken during a very hot spring day. I was just wandering around the city center when suddenly, out of no way, it started pouring over. As everybody ran for cover I managed to snap a few pictures, in a few minutes, as sudden as it started, rain was over and sun was shining again.
There isn’t much fancy technique going on here, just a quick shutter (1/125 s) to freeze the falling raindrops in the air, Almost no post processing besides some cropping and a tiny bit of sharpening. Hope you like it!
The Gherkin is located between Liverpool Street and Bank tube stations, hence right in the middle of “The City”, the old financial district of London. All around this part of town one can see how really modern glass and steel skyscrapers are mixed with old buildings and churches. In certain locations, such a mix can even be observed from the river shore, which is something that would be unthinkable in other cities such as Paris.
This picture was taken during the dPS London Photowalk last February. Hope you like it!
This was another of the pics I took dunring the snow days before Christmas time in London. It was so cold outside that the city looked like a ghost town, even around usually crowded areas. The canals in the Docklands, by the Canary Wharf, were almost forzen and the snowed boats made a really nice visual impression.
Hope you like it!