Salisbury, England – Stonehenge (HDR)

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!!!

Salisbury, England – Stonehenge (HDR)

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!

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!

Salisbury, England – Stonehenge – HDR

Stonehendge HDR

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

During my stay in London, I had a Friday afternoon free and always wanted to visit Stonehenge.  I had my chance and booked a afternoon direct tour with Premium Tours.   The bus departed Trafalgar Square at 1:15 PM. There are also a few other pick ups along the way.  We hit the road to Salisbury around 1:45 PM.   We arrived 2 hours later at Stonehenge.  While driving up you get a view of the hill where the stones are located.  From the distance you can see people walking around the site.  It gets you excited.  The parking lot is across the street and you cross over under a walking tunnel.  Magically through the tunnel Stonehenge appears!

The driver joked on the way there…there are “the bunch of rocks”.  Kinda funny as it is true…they are just a bunch of rocks.  You travel far just to see them.  To me it was a “been there done that” kind of visit.  I knew it would not be anything special…so I wanted to see them anyway.  As long as you understand the scope of your visit it is ok.  When we arrived we had 1 hour and 10 minutes to see the rocks.  I figured it was enough…but time was tight for me.  You can only get so close to the rocks as they are surrounded by a small fence that only allows you to walk in designated areas.  Its was fine to me.  The closest you get is about 15-20 yards away from one section.

I walked around a had my tripod set up and got just about every angle of the rocks.  Halfway around…I lowered my tripod almost to the ground and liked that view for the persepctive.  That is this shot shown above.  I had to lay on the grass to get these shots.   I was also taking IR shots along the way also…not so great as you can see the cloud cover was heavy.  I may post one a day in the future.   But they need lots of post processing help – I will look at later.   I mainly took HDR shots.  I figured with the clouds and the texture of the rocks…that would be perfect for an HDR.  The shots came out pretty cool.  I liked this one as the clouds look like they are opening up above the site.

I just realized I should have posted this shot on June 21st…Summer Solstice…so I’m just a few days late!   Time went fast and I had to head back to the bus.   I did enjoy the visit…although it was Friday and the drive back took about 3 hours to London!  Whew!  I was glad I visited.   Now is Easter Island next?  LOL  I’ll post another close up shot in a few weeks and post some historical details on Stonehenge.  On the drive out…I didnt get to see any crop cirlces….although in the paper the day before a new one was found.  The truth is out there!