I went out and about in London last week with my good friend Paul Griffiths, host of the Photography Live and Uncut Podcast & YouTube channel. I find it much harder to produce my best Street Photographs when I'm with someone else, mostly because I'm distracted by the chat, but on occasion it's good to get out there with someone else and discuss photography as well. On this day I captured photographs a little different to my usual street style
On this particular day I was quite pleased with some of the street photographs I had made, but I was more pleased with the postcard style photographs of London I had managed to capture towards the end of the walk. We were very fortunate to have a beautiful sunset combined with typically dramatic British clouds, giving for a sky that was asking to be photographed. So, whilst I've photographed Big Ben so much to the point I often don't even look at it when I'm walking by it, this day I simply had to get a shot!
The post processing here is a simple shadow lift in Lightroom and a little bit of sharpening. I used the brush and applied some added clarity to the clouds as well.
We made our photographs of Big Ben with the dramatic cloud back drops and moved on to the south side of the river. The sky was still glowing at this point and so more photographs were in order. The vibrant gold had somewhat faded by by this point, but the clouds had shifted. I opted for an in-camera HDR here because I was shooting in the direction of the sun but wanted to maintain some detail in the Jubilee Bridge. I set my Olympus OM-D E-M1 to bracket for 3 stops and exposed half a stop over, meaning I captured all the details in the shadows. I didn't have my tripod or even my Joby Gorillapod with me, so I simply rested the camera on the wall.
Post Processing here included taking the image in to SilverEfex Pro2 and applying the Full Dynamic Range Smooth filter to really enhance those clouds. Then, back in Lightroom I bought the shadows up and the highlights down.
After a few minutes we ambled towards South Bank, which from where we were walking would take us under the London Eye. Another tourist attraction that I often don't look twice at because I find it awkward to photograph. Again, having it seen it so many times now (especially as I get in to London at Waterloo Station) I tend to walk on by without shooting it. But, another positive of walking around London with someone else is that you'll often find yourself stopping to wait for them and sometimes shooting things you perhaps wouldn't usually photograph. This is an example of just that:
The next day I was back in London for work and spent the day at the office, not really getting out. In England at this time of year (December) it's dark by 3:30pm and so by the time I had left the office it was pitch black. But I like this! If you're a subscriber to my blog or read the monthly Olympus Magazine you may recall I was featured back in June - even though the work shown in the magazine was photographed during the darker winter months.
From my office in the rather palatial St James' area of London I prefer to walk the route back to London Waterloo, rather than jumping on the tube. The difference in time is negligible, but the photographic opportunities are much better. My route often takes me back through Covent Garden.
One of the great things about London though is that it's never really that dark. The quality of the light isn't fantastic, but if you look for the illuminations and sources of light you can usually get a shot worth sharing. And with the incredible dynamic range that the E-M1 offers us, we can be sure that we're going to get some details in the shadows:
I took a little detour through the market in Covent Garden, which is always illuminated, no matter the time of year, but at Christmas it's really quite special:
This last one is for the Star Wars fans among us :) Like many people out there, I'm counting down to the 17th December as much as I am Christmas. I've booked my tickets to see The Force Awakens at the London Science Museum where I'll be watching the movie in 70mm format! Exciting times!
You can download all of the Hi-Res files in a Zip file right here (13.4Mb), or you can view each photograph in full size by clicking each photograph below. (Just click the download link beneath each picture to download them individually). Alternatively, you can click to enlarge, right click on the image and then choose 'Save As' if you're using a Windows computer
All of these photographs are 2560 pixels on the longest edge (suitable for most Macs and widescreen laptops and monitors).
Thanks for stopping by.