London, England – Buckingham Palace (HDR)

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!!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
  • Setting: Aperture Mode
  • Focal Length: 27.0 mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/4.0
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, Color Efex Pro, HDR Efex Pro,  Photo Tools 2.6
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London, England – Tower Bridge (HDR)

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
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 Exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/4.5
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, Color Efex Pro HDR Efex Pro,  Photo Tools 2.6, Textures

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 – Buckingham Palace Garden (Infrared)

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) site in 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.

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: 40.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:   1/60 second
  • Aperture:  f/22
  • Gear:  Hand Held
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Silver Efex Pro

London, England – Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace Fence

NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR

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!!

London, England – Royal Seating (HDR)

Seats HDR

NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR, HDR in Photomatix

In London at certain times (check the schedule before your visit) you can catch the “Changing of the Guard”.  I was in London in the summer and they were preparing for this change the next day.  I had to leave that next day, so I could not witness it, but I imagine it is full of pomp and circumstance!  I walked down the parade route from Buckingham’s Palace to Trafalgar’s Square…it was lined with British flags and barriers for the crowds.   Near Trafalgar is a seating area for the honored guests and these are the seats in which they sit and enjoy the festivities.

I set up my tripod and took 5 exposures with my cable release.  All seats were red, I sometimes enjoy selective coloring and thought stadium style seating is perfect for this!   I highlighted a seat and post processed in Silver Efex Pro for the black and white conversion.   Not sure how much these seats cost…but I’m sure a pretty pound!

Here is some info from the web:   The Changing of the Guard takes place in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace at around 11am. The St. James’ Palace detachment of the Queen’s Guard, led usually by the Corps of Drums, and bearing the Colour (if the Queen is in residence, then this will be the Queen’s Colour; if she is not, then it is the Regimental Colour), marches along the Mall to Buckingham Palace, where the Buckingham Palace detachment has formed up to await their arrival. These two detachments are the Old Guard. Meanwhile the New Guard is forming up and are awaiting inspection by the Adjutant on the parade square at Wellington Barracks. The Band, having been inspected by the Adjutant, forms a circle to play music whilst the New Guard is inspected. The Guard provides a full Military Band consisting of no fewer than 35 musicians (usually, though not always, from one of the Guards regiments) accompanied by their Director of Music. When the New Guard is formed up, led by the Band, it marches across into the forecourt of Buckingham Palace. Once there, the New Guard advances towards the Old Guard in slow time and halts. The Old Guard presents arms, followed by the New Guard presenting arms. The Captains of the Guards march towards each other for the handing over of the Palace keys. The new reliefs are marched to the guardrooms of Buckingham Palace and St James’ Palace where new sentries are posted.

During any given month, as many as five different units can be assigned to the Queen’s Guard. The guard is changed daily at both Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle from April to July. From August to March, the guard is changed at both sites on alternate days. Further information on up to date schedules and much more on the ceremony is available from www.changing-the-guard.com

Have a royal day!

Salisbury, England – Stonehenge (HDR)

Stonehenge Close Up HDR

NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR, HDR in Photomatix

Back in the summer I took a but tour to Stonehenge….check my previous post for the fun details.  I am glad that I had a chance to see this magical place.   There are ropes all around the stone circle…for this shot I was about one foot off the ground crouched with my tripod and cable release….5 exposures and post processed in Photomatix.  I wanted to get a closeup of the rocks as they have some nice texture.  I figured HDR would be the way to go!  Thanks to the clouds as well!!

Here is some addtl info from the web:   Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in the English county of Wiltshire, about 3.2 kilometres (2.0 mi) west of Amesburyand 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) north of Salisbury. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is composed of earth works surrounding a circular setting of large standing stones and sits at the centre of the densest complex of Neolithic and Bronze Agemonuments in England, including several hundred burial mounds. Archaeologists had believed that the iconic stone monument was erected around 2500 BC, as described in the chronology below. However one recent theory has suggested that the first stones were not erected until 2400-2200 BC, whilst another suggests that bluestones may have been erected at the site as early as 3000 BC. The surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC.

They are some old rocks indeed!  If you ever have the chance to see them, I’d say go for it!  It’s nice to check mark this off the list of famous sight to see in the world.   Rock on Stonehenge!