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Hometown b&w
I quite often convert shots to b&w when I'm close to finishing the colour version just to see what they look like. Most of the  time it doesn't seem to work but every now and again less seems to be more. Strip out the colour and play around with the yellow and red filters in photoshop and some scenes come to life. It's a matter of opinion I know but I think I almost prefer this to the colour version. It gives it an old world feel. If it wasn't for the eye in the background, (and the blumin McDonald's cup), you could almost believe you were in Jack the Ripper's Victorian London.

Tripod mounted, 6 exposure hdr -2 to +3, with a further 3 brackets created off the-2 exposure to try and rescue the overblown lamps. Pp with acr, photomatix, photoshop, & topaz clarity. Image selectively sharpened and a vignette applied . Fuji X-E2 with 18-55 f2.8-4 at  18mm, f11, ISO 800 exposure 0.6 - 20 sec's.

#london   #thames   #river   #riverthames   #southbank   #westminster   #westminsterbridge   #londoneye   #lighting   #lights   #hdr   #hdrphotography   #hdrphoto   #hqspnight   #architecture   #architecturephotography   #longexposure   #promenade   #longexposurephotography   #night   #nightphotography   #nightlife   #travel   #travelphotography   #BTPCityscapePro+BTP Cityscape Pro  . founded by +Rinus Bakker  , owned by +Nancy Dempsey  , curated by +Dan Shehan (D3CityPics)    #blackandwhite   #blackandwhitephotography   #monochrome     #hometownblackandwhite  
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Hometown,
First and foremost I'd like to wish anyone taking the time to read this post a Happy New Year! Let's hope 2016 is another great year.

London is my home town. I was born in Bexley one of its suburbs many moons ago. Even though I now live in the surrounding countryside I never lose the thrill of  visit the capital. I took this shot on Westminster Bridge on a photo walk back in July 2015. The lighting columns are very ornate as you'd expect next to the Houses of Parliament and give off a gorgeous light when lit. In the background sits the London Eye. Strange to think it started its life as a temporary structure.  Now it's rightfully taken its place as one of London's many iconic landmarks. The views from it are spectacular especially at dusk.

Did anyone spot the cup on the lighting column. No, neither did I until I started processing this photo. Blumin McDonalds rubbish gets everywhere. I'd love to return it to its owner, preferably through their letterbox.

Tripod mounted, 6 exposure hdr -2 to +3, with a further 3 brackets created off the-2 exposure to try and rescue the overblown lamps. Pp with acr, photomatix, photoshop, & topaz clarity. Image selectively sharpened . Fuji X-E2 with 18-55 f2.8-4 at  18mm, f9, ISO 800 exposure 0.3 - 10 sec's.

#london   #thames   #river   #riverthames   #southbank   #westminster   #westminsterbridge   #londoneye   #lighting   #lights   #hdr   #hdrphotography   #hdrphoto   #hqspnight   #architecture   #architecturephotography   #longexposure   #promenade   #longexposurephotography   #night   #nightphotography   #nightlife   #travel   #travelphotography  #BTPCityscapePro+BTP Cityscape Pro . founded by +Rinus Bakker , owned by +Nancy Dempsey , curated by +Dan Shehan (D3CityPics)
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Underneath The Arches
Blackfriars Railway Bridge crosses the River Thames in London, between Blackfriars Road/pedestrian Bridge and the Millennium Bridge.

There have been two structures with the name. The first bridge was opened in 1864 and was designed by Joseph Cubitt for the London, Chatham and Dover Railway. Massive abutments at each end carried the railway's insignia, preserved and restored on the south side. Following the formation of the Southern Railway in 1924, inter-city and continental services were concentrated on Waterloo, and St Paul's Station became a local and suburban stop. For this reason, the use of the original bridge gradually declined. It eventually became too weak to support modern trains, and was therefore removed in 1985 – all that remains is a series of columns crossing the Thames and the southern abutment, which is a Grade II listed structure. 

The second bridge, built slightly further downstream (to the east), was originally called St Paul's Railway Bridge and opened in 1886. It was designed by John Wolfe-Barry and Henry Marc Brunel and is made of wrought iron. It was built by Lucas & Aird. When St Paul's railway station changed its name to Blackfriars in 1937 the bridge changed its name as well.

At the southern end of the bridge was Blackfriars Bridge railway station which opened in 1864 before closing to passengers in 1885 following the opening of what is today the main Blackfriars station. Blackfriars Bridge railway station continued as a goods stop until 1964 when it was completely demolished, and much of it redeveloped into offices.

As part of the Thameslink Programme, the platforms at Blackfriars station have been extended across the Thames and partially supported by the 1864 bridge piers. The project was designed by WILL  ALSOP and built by Balfour Beatty. The work also included the installation of a roof covered with photovoltiac solar panels. It is the largest of only three solar bridges in the world (the others being Kennedy Bridge in Bonn, Germany, and Kurilpa Bridge in Australia). Other green improvements include sun pipes and systems to collect rain water.

Tripod mounted, 6 exposure -2 to +3, hdr. Pp with acr, photomatix, photoshop, & topaz clarity. Image selectively sharpened . Fuji X-E2 with 18-55 f2.8-4 at  18mm, f11, ISO 800 exposure 0.6 - 20 sec's.

#London   #Southbank   #River   #RiverThames   #Thames   #hdr   #hqspnight   #blackfriars   #promenade   #architecture   #Cityscape   #Longexposure   #hdrphotography  #BTPCityscapePro+BTP Cityscape Pro . founded by +Rinus Bakker , owned by +Nancy Dempsey , curated by +Dan Shehan (D3CityPics)
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Christmas at the Royal Albert Hall 
I was wondering how many of you guys outside the UK have heard of this place? The Royal Albert Hall sits on the northern edge of South Kensington, London, and is probably best known for holding the Proms concerts annually each summer since 1941. 

Since its opening by Queen Victoria in 1871, the world's leading artists from many performance genres have appeared on its stage and it has become one of the UK's most treasured and distinctive buildings. Each year it hosts more than 390 shows in the main auditorium, including classical, rock and pop concerts, ballet, opera, film screenings with live orchestra, sports, award ceremonies, school and community events, charity performances and banquets. It has a capacity of up to 5,272 seats. The Hall is a registered charity held in trust for the nation and receives no public or government funding.

The place was heaving with revellers last weekend, (13 Dec), all eager to participate in the annual Christmas carol sing-along. Nothing gets you in the mood for Christmas like a carol concert especially when there's a full choir and orchestra to hand. Mix that with the spectacular setting of the RAH and you're guaranteed huge helpings of Christmas spirit. We've been a few times now and knew the form. Battery powered Christmas lights, mince pies, reindeer antler headbands and of course you have to join in with the singing. 

Handheld 3 exposure hdr -1 to +1. pp in acr, photomatics and photoshop with copious use of the topaz de-noise plugin. Fuji XE2 with 14mm f2.8 at f2.8, exposure 1/160 to 1/40th sec, ISO 6400

#royalalberthall   #christmas   #christmas2015   #concert   #carols   #carolsinging   #architecture   #architecturephotography   #hqsphdr   #london   #londonlife   #londonphotography   #hdr   #hdrphotography   #hdrphoto   #audience   #christmasspirit  
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Millennium Pano
I took this shot late at night,( it was something like 2.00 a.m.), on London's south bank at the entrance to the Millennium footbridge which crosses the Thames in front of St Paul's cathedral. At this time in the morning you quite often have it all to yourself although there's usually a few photographers floating around with the same idea. I love this place, there's just so many things to photograph.

Opened in June 2002 the bridge was shut almost immediately after an unexpected swaying motion set in when participants of a charity walk tried to open it. Londoners nicknamed it the 'wobbly bridge'. It didn't re-open for a further two years while modifications were made to eliminate the problem.
This was the first time I'd shot it with my Fuji set up, an XE2 with a 14mm f2.8 prime. I normally lug my Nikon gear up there but man is it heavy hence the slight change in direction with this lightweight mirrorless camera.  

6 exposure, tripod mounted hdr -3 to +2 at 1ev spacing. pp with acr, photomatix, photoshop, topaz clarity & de-noise. Image selectively sharpened and cropped to give a panoramic view . Fuji X-E2 with 14mm f2.8, f9, exposure 1-28  sec's, ISO 800.

#london   #London   #Millenniumbridge   #millennium   #river   #Thames   #RiverThames   #Hdr   #HQSPnight   #Longexposure   #nightphotography   #night   #londonphotography   #hqspnight   #architecture   #architecturephotography   #architectural   #iconic   #footbridge   #icon   #southbank  
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Bank
If you ride the tube in London this will be a familiar sight, the standard looking descent into the myriad of tunnels that link the various stations and platforms. The granite like steps sport cast iron nosings which look like they could last forever while the brass handrails are polished to a high standard by the millions of hands that grab them on a daily basis.

This is one of the descents into Bank Station near the Royal Exchange, (see a couple of photos back). It was voted London's worst station by the general public. I dare say this might have had some bearing on the recent announcement to upgrade the Waterloo and City line subway, which provides access to and from the DLR and Northern line platforms. The  £57 million scheme commenced on November 8 meaning the station won't reopening until August 2016. Construction work has already uncovered the ruins of the historic Roman Temple of Mithras, with archaeologists from the Museum of London recovering more than 30 Roman tablets.

6 exp tripod mounted hdr +3 to -2 long exposure hdr. Post processing in acr, photomatix, photoshop, topaz de-noise and topaz clarity. Fuji X-E2 with 14mm f2.8, f8, ISO 800,  exposure 1/8 to 3.7 secs.

#London   #Tube   #Underground   #travel   #steps   #Bank   #city   #tunnels   #hqsphdr   #citylife   #hdr   #hdrphotography   #hdrphoto   #nightphotography   #nightphotography   #architecture   #architecturephotography   #longexposure   #fuji   #fujifilm   #fujixe2  
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Architectural Juxtaposition
Something of a mouthful for a title. I sort of knew what juxtaposition meant but looked it up anyway. Word's thesaurus said 'combination', (n.).

Anyway, my first post for quite a few months. We moved house back in August and I only got the pc back on line yesterday! It might only have been 3 months but I couldn't remember various photoshop moves that used to be second nature. It's amazing how rusty you get after just a short break but it's all coming back :- ) 

The change of environment, (sleepy village in the middle of the Kent countryside, UK), means there are plenty of new photo opportunities around me although I've still got lots to do in and around the house so won't be able to indulge myself fully just yet.

I took this shot on the London 24 photo shoot back in July. The new sleek office block with its regular straight lines, flat surfaces and modern materials couldn't have looked more different to the Victorian building in front of it with its decorative stone features and brick walls. A marriage of old and new.
 
Single hand held exposure. pp with acr, & photoshop. Fuji X-E2 with 55-200 f3.5-4.8 at 55mm,  f4, exposure 1/450 sec, ISO 400.

#london   #architecture   #architecturephotography   #architectural   #hqspmonochrome   #londonphotography   #londonphoto24   #city  
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St Paul's
For more than one thousand four hundred years, a cathedral dedicated to St Paul has stood at the highest point in the City. The present Cathedral is at least the fourth to have stood on the site. It was built between 1675 and 1710, after its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London. All things St Paul’s on this great site www.stpauls.co.uk/

It's the seat of the Bishop of London and "parish church of the British Commonwealth", and is the largest and most famous of London's many churches. Located on the site of a Roman temple, the present structure was Designed by Sir Christopher Wren. The resulting masterpiece is today one of Britain's most recognizable landmarks. Wren's version of St Paul's was approved only after long wrangling with the church commissioners who turned down his first two designs. The result was a compromise between Wren's original idea of a dome and the commissioners' preference for a plan in the form of a cross.

The stainless steel Spherical sculpture is called 'Amicale' by sculptor Paul Mount (1922-2009) and was made in 2007 and installed in March 2012.

7 exp tripod mounted hdr +3 to -3 taken in bulb mode with with the Trigger Trap  long exposure HDR app. Post processing in acr, photomatix, photoshop, topaz de-noise and topaz clarity. Fuji X-E2 with 18-55 f2.8-4 @ 18mm, f11, ISO 200, exposure 1sec to approx 1.5 mins.

#StPauls   #London   #Cathedral   #Icon   #night   #nightphotography   #longexposure   #hdr   #hdrphotography   #hdrphoto   #hqsparchitecture   #sculpture   #fujifilm   #fuji14mm  
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A City Sleeps
I'm always looking for interesting angles when it comes to photographing this bridge. This is one I haven't tried before. Taken on London's South Bank just outside the Tate Modern the weird and wonderful structure helping to frame the shot is of course The Millennium Bridge. 

Despite what the Exif info says, (it was an hour off), I took this shot at just gone 3.00 am in the morning. London was asleep with just the odd reveller wandering past. Even the ebbing Thames seemed to be asleep. Being the shortest night of the year it was already light when I eventually got home at 5.00 a.m having walked about 15 miles during the London Photo 24 event. Who says we don't suffer for our art :- ) 

This is one of the first times I've used the Trigger Trap Long Exposure gizmo which runs off a smartphone app. It uses your cameras bulb mode to  brackets shots and communicates via a small dedicated lead. The only limitation of this cool piece of kit is that the shortest shutter speed is 1 sec, a limitation of the camera not the app. You wouldn't be able to use it during daylight hours unless you had a ND filter but at night it comes into its own. My longest exposure was something like a couple of minutes. Unfortunately the exif info doesn't record the bracket durations as it's all done on the phone but the user interface allows you to pick the number of brackets the ev steps and the mid exposure.

7 exp tripod mounted hdr +3 to -3 taken in bulb mode with with the Trigger Trap  long exposure HDR app. Post processing in acr, photomatix, photoshop, topaz de-noise and topaz clarity. Fuji X-E2 with 18-55 f2.8-4 @ 18mm, f11, ISO 800, exposure 1sec to well over two minutes for the last bracket.

#hdr #hdrphotography #hdrphotographers #hdrtheworld #hqspnight #hqsphdrphotography #hqsparchitecture #london #thames #thamesriver #riverthames #millenniumbridge #nightphotography #night #longexposure #longexposurephotography #cityscape #cityscapephotography #cityscapephotos #bridgephotography    #bridge #bridgesaroundtheworld #acitysleeps  #londonphoto24 #hqsphdr  
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Machine
This is one cool building! When you come across it wedged in amongst all the other blocks in London's financial district it's immediately recognisable with all the externally mounted, staircases, lifts, and services.

Sitting at No 1 Lime Street it was completed 28 years ago at a cost of 75 million quid. it still looks the business. Sometimes known as the Inside-Out Building it's  the home of the insurance institution Lloyd's of London. 

The building is a leading example of radical Bowellism architecture in which the services are located on the exterior to maximise space in the interior. Twenty-five years after completion in 1986 it received a  Grade I listing; it was the youngest structure ever to obtain this status. It is said by English Heritage to be "universally recognised as one of the key buildings of the modern epoch.

It was designed by architect Richard Rogers and built between 1978 and 1986. The building consists of three main towers and three service towers around a central, rectangular space. Its core is the large Underwriting Room on the ground floor, which houses the famous Lutine Bell within the Rostrum. The Underwriting Room (often simply called "the Room") is overlooked by galleries, forming a 60 metres (197 ft) high atrium lit naturally through a huge barrel-vaulted glass roof. The first four galleries open onto the atrium space, and are connected by escalators through the middle of the structure. The higher floors are glassed in and can only be reached via the exterior lifts.

6 exp tripod mounted hdr +3 to -2 long exposure hdr. Post processing in acr, photomatix, photoshop, topaz de-noise and topaz clarity. Fuji X-E2 with 14mm f2.8, f11, ISO 800, av exposure 7.5 secs.

#london #londonphotography #lloydsoflondon #lloydsbuilding #night #nightphotography   #richardrodgers #architecture #architecturephotography #hdr #hdrphotography #hdrphotographers #longexposure #longexposurephotography #hqsparchitecture   #lloyds #night #nightphotography #nightscapes #machine   #londonphoto24  
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