henrivanavezaath
henrivanavezaath

Big Ben



Londons most famous landmark the Big Ben

Londons most famous landmark the Big Ben
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Awards

Contest Finalist in Architectural Masterpieces Photo Contest
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6 Comments | Report
FredericMONIN PRO+
 
FredericMONIN January 04, 2017
Great compsoition and processing
henrivanavezaath
henrivanavezaath January 04, 2017
Thanks/Merci Frederic
Witmar
 
Witmar April 07, 2017
beautiful shot
henrivanavezaath
henrivanavezaath April 08, 2017
Thanks Witmar
Beth888
 
Beth888 April 18, 2017
Wow, perfect shot
samanthastraith
 
samanthastraith December 11, 2018
Amazing!!
PhillipJGordonPhotography
 
PhillipJGordonPhotography February 08, 2019
Superb!
bobbytaylor71 Premium
 
bobbytaylor71 Mar 03
Congrats on your awards ... A skillfully captured scene//image.

Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken during a short visit to London. It was taken from the south side of the river Thames, were you have a nice panoramic view on the House of Parliament, Westminster bridge and the clock tower (Big Ben). It is a crowed place with tons of tourists taking selfies with the Big Ben on the background. Big Ben is obviously one of the must see landmarks in London.
Time
This picture was taken during the blue hour on the 24th of November. The exact time can be seen on the tower clock. It was busy, not only with tourists, but also people heading home from work. You can see the light stripes of the cars on the Westminster bridge and a crowd at the water bus station on the other side of the bank. It was rush hour.
Lighting
The blue hour is the short period of time after the sun has set and before it is completely dark. The contrast between the sky and the lights of the lanterns isn't that big so you don't get overexposure in the bright parts or underexposure in the shadow. At this time of the day the available light changes fast so you have to check your exposure after every shot and if necessary adjust it. This means that you are shooting in the M mode, allowing you to control all elements (aperture, exposure and ISO). I wanted a long exposure so I put the ISO on 50 and then played with my aperture to get the exposure time I wanted. That is why I ended up with f/14 and not the normal f/11 I would use for a shot like this.
Equipment
I planned to take some long exposure shots and for those a tripod is a must have. Traveling light I brought a Gorillapod which is a smal flexibel tripod, ideal when traveling and when you do not have that much space in your bag or want to carry much weight. I took the ball head of my tripod and put this on the Gorillapod. This allowed me better control the position of my Camera, you can't shot without one. The Camera I used was a Sony a77II with a Sigma DC HSM 10-20 f/3.5
Inspiration
I was going for another picture, the more classical one, on the bridge with the blurred traffic on the foreground. I have posted that one too. On my way to Westminster bridge I saw this shot and I had to take. It was a windy night and with a longer exposure I knew the clouds would turn into fades, adding a bit of drama to the shot. I wanted to get a bit of a Dickens and Harry Potter atmosphere.
Editing
The post processing of the picture was first done in Lightroom. Adjusting the highlights and shadows, changing the brightness a bit and some small adjustments to the colors. After that I exported it to NIK Color Effex Pro4 to give it the finishing touch with the detail extractor and the low key filter. That is about all it took to come to this image.
In my camera bag
I do a lot of night photography so I always have a tripod with me or at least in my car. In my bag there is my Sony a77II body with either the Sigma 10-20 3.5 lens or the Sigma 24-70 2.8 lens on it. I always have an ND filter in the bag, lens pen, spare batteries and a spare SD card. For some more advanced long exposures I use my trigger trap connector which is also always in my Lowepro Slingshot.
Feedback
I was visiting an event and brought my gear to take some shots of London. I traveled light, just one bag of hand luggage containing both my photo gear and clothes. I knew I was going to take some long exposure pictures and Big Ben was on my list. I planned what I could plan upfront and then took advantage of what the moment offered me. The location was a bit of cliche, lots of tourist taking selfies, but that should not be a reason to not take the shot. Don't try to be unique, you might miss out on a great photo.

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