London, England – Street Light (HDR) + HDR Tip!

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
ISO: 200
Exposure: HDR 5 Exposures (+2 to -2)
Aperture: f/3.8
Gear: Tripod
Post Process: Adobe CS5, HDR Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, OnOne Software Photo Tools 2.6

London Calling in HDR

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!

London, England – Big Ben (Infrared)

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.

Cheerio for now!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D70S (Converted to Infrared)
  • Infrared Conversion:  D70S modified by LifePixel
  • Lens: Nikon 18-70 f/3.5-4.5
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 18.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:   1/60
  • Aperture:  f/22
  • Gear:  Hand held
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza

London, England – Parliament Building (HDR)

Parliament Building HDR-BW

NIKON D300, Nikon 12-24, HDR in Photomatix, Silver Efex Pro

I was going through some older HDR’s yesterday and post processed this one.   It looked cool, but needed something to make it stand out.  I truly love Silver Efex Pro – black & white converter and gave it a try.  Nice, but needed a little more of a kick.  This was a sunset shot and the clock was lit up…I just highlighted the clock, inverted the area and used Silver Efex pro to convert everywhere except the clock face black and white.   A little contrast kick to give it that dark feel…and here it is!  An instant favorite of mine!

I’m sure there are millions of photos of the Parliament Building and Big Ben…why not try something different?   Hope this one works?  Enjoy the spooky night shot…Halloween is coming soon!