I will admit to being a big fan of the show Ancient Aliens. How these ancient cultures built these amazing structures years ago…make me wonder. Stonehenge was on my bucket list and I had to visit it. After seeing it…nothing special. I imagine years ago it was cool to visit when you could walk amongst the rocks. Now they have it roped off and you walk around in a circle to view the structure. Not much excitement. Maybe the Flintstones built it?
This B&W is thanks to my new fav B&W conversion tool…Perfect B&W by onOne Software. NIK has faded away! Download a trail if you want to try it…it is awesome!!!
We are in the middle of the Olympics from London and I wanted to get up one London HDR before the games are over. Not sure if you are a fan of the Olympics….but I love them! Go USA!! I DVR all day and catch up at nite on the games. I have watched some fun competitions – trampoline, judo, fencing, equestrian, handball, field hockey, water polo, archery, and table tennis. Stuff I never get to see! London is a great city!! Just expensive for us from the US. I checked today $1 = 0.63 British pounds. Not so great!!
I give kudos to all these athletes….they are amazing! Water Polo impresses me the most…how do they stay afloat so long? Its like football in the water…a bit brutal!! Enjoy the last few days of London 2012!
From the mystical Salisbury, England you can find Stonehenge. I took a bus tour this day from downtown London and it was pretty fun. Unfortunately, you only get (if I recall correctly) about 30-45 minutes at Stonehenge and the bus ride was a few hours long (one way). My time was spent circling the monument looking for the cool pics…while dodging tourists. Is Stonehenge worth the trip? Yes, to mark it off the list. But just like the bus driver stated as we approached and you could see Stonehenge on the horizon…”There you can see the bunch of rocks”. LOL I guess if you drive there every day…that is what you see. Cheers!
London is amazing and taking photos there is challenging and fun! A tripod while shooting near the river Thames is difficult as the Police will shut you down. So set up, grabs your brackets quickly and move along…maybe you can catch the shot you are looking for! After being hassled on either side of the bridge, I started my walk back to get a close up of Big Ben. This shot is from walking over the Westminster Bridge. I loved the street lights stopped set my gear tip and grabbed the shot! Cheers!
Processing HDR Tip: Software these days is awesome! I have noted a big jump in sharpness of my HDR pics. Let me tell you my secrets!
1) I switched from using Photomatix to HDR Efex Pro. I feel as though HDR Efex Pro is sharper when producing tone mapped photos right out of the gate!
2) I add NIK’s Tonal Contrast filter to my HDR’s. Mask any areas that added additional noise due to the process (especially skies).
3) onOne Software’s Photo Tool 2.6: I use “Portrait Sharpen” filter on every picture! onOne rocks!! I can’t live without onOne. It is my favorite!
That is all! These three steps help sharpen my shots!! Of course start out with a sharp pic from the get go with a tripod!
Talke Photography Settings:
Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
Setting: Aperture Mode
Focal Length: 22.0 mm
Exposure: HDR 5 Exposures (+2 to -2)
Post Process: Adobe CS5, HDR Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, OnOne Software Photo Tools 2.6
London rules! Who can resist a photo of Big Ben? Across the street from Big Ben you can fight the people traffic and look up and get this Underground sign/Big Ben combo shot. A little selective color and it becomes fun and different? Cheers! Have a great weekend!
In honor of the Royal Wedding today…Buckingham Palace in HDR! I am not there…but just watched the tail end. It will be one of the most watched events in history! If you are there…kudos!! The pubs must be filled by now!!! Cheers to William and Kate! Have a Royal Time!!
Jolly ole England is one amazing city! When you visit…so many sights to see! A wealth of HDR possibilities!! On of the most famous is the Tower Bridge. Many people (even me) before my first visit always called this London Bridge. That is incorrect…it is the Tower Bridge. No matter what you call it…it is one cool bridge! Looking at it you can just feel the history! That is what travel is all about. So with that historical fell…I added a a few textures to make it have that olden look.
Some info from the web: Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, England, over the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, which gives it its name. It has become an iconic symbol of London. Construction started in 1886 and took eight years with five major contractors – Sir John Jackson (foundations), Baron Armstrong (hydraulics), William Webster, Sir H.H. Bartlett, and Sir William Arrol & Co. – and employed 432 construction workers. E W Crutwell was the resident engineer for the construction.Two massive piers, containing over 70,000 tons of concrete, were sunk into the riverbed to support the construction. Over 11,000 tons of steel provided the framework for the towers and walkways. This was then clad in Cornish granite andPortland stone, both to protect the underlying steelwork and to give the bridge a pleasing appearance. The bridge was officially opened on 30 June 1894 by The Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII), and his wife, The Princess of Wales (Alexandra of Denmark)
Talke Photography Settings:
Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
Setting: Aperture Mode
Focal Length: 22.0 mm
Exposure: HDR 5 Exposures (+2 to -2)
Post Process: Adobe CS5, Color Efex Pro HDR Efex Pro, Photo Tools 2.6, Textures
For some reason…I look at this photo and think of the Clash singing “London Calling”. Great song! Gotta love the bobby on patrol!!! (the policeman with the special hat) In London its tough to beat fish and chips, the enormous spacious taxis, double decker buses, proper English, English futbol, tea, Buckingham Palace Guards on rounds, pubs and bobbies!! All just too fantastic!!!
I rarely shoot people on purpose in my landscape shots, but this dude was just too great to pass up!! His hands in his vest while styling and profiling!! A nice accent to Big Ben above. London is one beautiful city. I typically only get a nite or two a year to visit….but enjoy it tremendously each time! I’d love to vacation here for a fortnight and enjoy all the sights fully!
Some info from the web on bobbies: Custodian helmet or centurion helmet is the correct name for the style of helmet worn by many policemen in England and Wales for symbolic, rather than protective, purposes. It is the traditional headgear of the “bobby on the beat”, worn by male constables and sergeants on foot patrol in England and Wales (a peaked cap is worn by officers on mobile patrol in cars). Although some Scottish police forces wore helmets in the past, no Scottish force has used the helmet for many years. The police in Northern Ireland have never worn it, although the Royal Irish Constabulary once used a style of helmet akin to British Army helmets of the 19th century. The custodian helmet is also worn by the British Transport Police and Ministry of Defense Police (in England and Wales only), the States of Jersey Police, the States of Guernsey Police Service, the Isle of Man Constabulary, the Royal Gibraltar Police, and theBermuda Police. Special Constables formerly did not wear helmets, but most forces in England and Wales now issue them to male specials. The wearing of this style of helmet led Criminal Investigation Department personnel to using the term “Woodentops” to describe their uniformed colleagues.
I am lucky enough to travel to England once a year and really enjoy London! London is a fantastic place to visit for vacation! So much to do and see and the city is amazing to explore! As Paris is my favorite city in the world…London is my second favorite! After my days work I enjoy walking around the city. I usually stay at Trafalgar Square and just behind my hotel about 1 mile away is Buckingham Palace. On the grounds are these wonderful gardens you can stroll around and enjoy the views.
Here is ome info from the web: The Garden at Buckingham Palace is situated at the rear of Buckingham Palace. It covers much of the area of the former “Goring Great Garden”, named after Lord Goring, occupant of one of the earliest grand houses on the site. It was laid out by Henry Wise and subsequently redesigned by William Townsend Aiton for George IV.
The Garden occupies a 42 -acre (17 -hectare) sitein the City of Westminster, London and has two-and-a-half miles of gravel paths. Its area is bounded by Constitution Hill to the north, Hyde Park Corner to the west, Grosvenor Place to the south-west and the Royal Mews, Queen’s Gallery, and Buckingham Palace to the south and east. The planting is varied and exotic, with a mulberry tree dating back to the time of James I of England. Notable features include a large 19th-century lake which is graced by a flock of flamingoes, and the Waterloo Vase. In the Garden there is a summerhouse, a helicopter pad, and a tennis court.
There are so many sights to see in London…I truly love this city! I could easily spend 2 weeks (a fortnight) here! This is as close as you can get to the Palace…it is surrounded by this fence. As you lean up against the fence to watch the famous “Palace Guards” do their routine…you see this fence and its beauty! I thought..why not take a close up of the top…add a little bokeh and here it is! A Royal Top of the Fence! Not your typical London shot?
Here is some info from the web: Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality. It has been a rallying point for the British people at times of national rejoicing and crisis.
Originally known as Buckingham House, the building which forms the core of today’s palace was a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 on a site which had been in private ownership for at least 150 years. It was subsequently acquired by George III in 1761 as a private residence for Queen Charlotte, and known as “The Queen’s House”. During the 19th century it was enlarged, principally by architects John Nash and Edward Blore, forming three wings around a central courtyard. Buckingham Palace finally became the official royal palace of the British monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837. The last major structural additions were made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the East front which contains the well-known balcony on which the Royal Family traditionally congregate to greet crowds outside. However, the palace chapel was destroyed by a German bomb in World War II; the Queen’s Gallery was built on the site and opened to the public in 1962 to exhibit works of art from the Royal Collection. Cheers!!