Day 303 – Evening Light in London and HDR

Another challenge, this time low light photography without a tripod in London as dusk approaches.

I thought I would have a go at a couple of HDR images – where you take three images at three exposures – about a stop apart – and merge them together as an HDR image in Lightroom. I have shared the settings on the middle shot. For this to work, I set my camera up so it automatically took three exposures and multi images at the same time so there was less rick of ghosting and camera shake – ideally a tripod should be used.

HDR of Tower Bridge - F16, 1/40sec ISO125
HDR of Tower Bridge – F16, 1/40sec ISO125

A shot of Tower bridge and I was able to bring back a lot of the detail on the bridge by doing it in HDR.

HDR of the Shard - ISO100. F6.3, 1/100sec
HDR of the Shard – ISO100. F6.3, 1/100sec

This is a somewhat grainy shot despite being at ISO100, but I shot it with two stops of light either side. This was a narrow pathway that was dark, but too early for the street lights and the Sharp at the end was bathed in bright sunlight. I love how the dark buildings frame the shard and how your are drawn straight through the picture to the focal point at the end.

Under the millenium bright - ISO125, F6.3, 1/40sec
Under the millennium bright – ISO125, F6.3, 1/40sec

I was still looking for different views – this is from underneath a bridge which acts as a framing to the image – I like how the boat is using the river and add’s to the sense of scale and how if you look close you can see a helicopter approaching The Shard – I was left wondering whether they could see in or not – what do you think?

Office Buildings at Dusk - ISO5000, F4, 1/100sec
Office Buildings at Dusk – ISO5000, F4, 1/100sec

The light disappeared quickly amongst the tall building, a wide aperture and a fast shuttter speed enable me to freeze the movement of the bikes, but to capture the bright lights of the building and the deep blue (twilight) sky beyond. Converging lines can be a problem when shooting wide, but I wanted to capture the height and the narrowness of the building the people seem to be heading towards.

Office Buildings, F4, ISO5000, 1/80sec
Office Buildings, F4, ISO5000, 1/80sec

Another evening shot – I love the patterns, the illusion of reflection and am amazed what a great image can be captured handheld without a flash in such dark conditions.

The phone box - ISO5000, F4, 1/25sec
The phone box – ISO5000, F4, 1/25sec

Another Iconic London shot – a red phone box, people as shadows in the background as they go about their business and the structure of the canopy silhouetted against the lit wall beyond.  It is very much a choice of ISO grain and a sharp image or no image at all … and I think it works well.

Horseguard parade - ISO5000, F4, 1/20sec
Horseguard parade – ISO5000, F4, 1/20sec

My final image – a soldier outside Horse Guard parade in the evening – it is well lit behind him and a you can see by his shadown street lights in front . but the camera was able to capture all his detail with a high enough ISO for me to handhold. It has been great fun using my scales to photograph a totally different landscape over the last three days and capturing memories of the capital – I might try and go back before Christmas without the family in tow.

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