22 February 2008

Shoot London and HDR photography

A few weekends ago I went into London with a fellow photography friend. We spent the day travelling around looking for suitable subjects to cover.

First stop was Speaker's Corner by Hyde Park. I've not been there before and it was quite an experience! Seeing the different speakers up on their soap boxes with the crowds gathered around was a great photo opportunity and kept us busy for an hour. Next stop was SoHo and Chinatown where the Chinese New Year decorations were up in preparation for the big event later that week. We moved on down to the Embankment before heading down towards the GLA building and Tower Bridge.

Luckily we were at the GLA Building for one of their weekend openings so we got to head up to the viewing platform to take in the sights. The best opportunity for shots though seemed to be inside the building on the way down the long spiralling staircase. As the light was fading, everything was lit up and gave us some great shots. Below is an example looking back up from where we'd come down:

We then headed across Tower Bridge to get some shots from the north embankment. My friend got me interested in taking some HDR (High Dynamic Range) shots which I gave a go. Not having tried the technique before I was keen to see what I could achieve. So, setting the camera in bracketing mode and firing off 3 shots on the tripod at 2 f-stops either side of the regular meter reading, I ended up with my photos ready for the post processing.

Back at home and using Photomatix pro software, I ran the HDR generate feature and ended up with the shot below. Not bad for a first attempt I think!

The technique allowed me to capture pretty much all the detail that would have otherwise been blown out in the highlights or under exposed.

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