Month: March 2007

Tate Liverpool Chinese Fireworks

Sorry for not posting the past 2 days. I’ve been run off my feet trying to get the largest photography estimate I’ve ever been asked to do all sorted. I’m still not finished. Thursday evening was these fireworks and Friday was an all day shoot in which my camera has gone faulty. So now I’m back with a bang, so to speak. On Thursday evening Tate Liverpool launched their new Chinese feature. To celebrate it they had a fireworks display organised by Fantastic Fireworks. I was hired to shoot the event by them and it was an exciting evening. I was racing all over the Wirral trying to find the best spot to shoot the fireworks. Seacombe looked good, but in my head I knew Woodside was best. Another photographer tagged along with me, which was great because I was very worried about standing around Woodside at 8pm with 2 cameras. When we arrived there was already another photographer there and within 20 minutes more turned up. This wasn’t a public event but for some reason it was on the BBC News that morning so people turned up. I was told that the fireworks would be 600 feet high, and I found that hard to visualize. Its only now looking at the shots that I can appreciate just how large they are compared to the Liver Building in some shots. It was a tricky shoot to do because the buildings needed 1 exposure and the fireworks another. HDR doesn’t work at night, at least not in Photomatix. Very tricky night out, especially shooting 2 bodies. One with the 24-70 and another with the 100-400. I knew they would have smaller fireworks too and I wanted to get them. Oh, the entire shoot lasted 6 minutes! A normal display is 20 minutes long so you get plenty of chances. This was 6.

The Millennium Bridge

The Millennium Bridge

This bridge was insanely busy. I even had to queue to take a shot. I would of liked the bridge to be empty, and maybe a nice dramatic sky. However the other day I was at a Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibition. The way he did things was to capture the moment. He wouldn’t crop or edit the photo after. *Snap* and there’s your moment. So given that I couldn’t get a nice bridge shot with flowing lines and great contrasts I went for the moment. I like the way you have 2 people leaving and 2 arriving. I liked all the cranes which look like giants overlooking the city. In the distance I think there is a heard of school kids who turned up on the bridge. Lastly I liked the little cloud passing by. If I was doing a normal architecture shot with no people I would remove the cloud, it doesn’t work. In fact I’m not really sure it works in this shot. However, this was that moment and that cloud was passing by. It has as much right to be in the shot as anything else.

Camera: Canon 30D // Sigma 24-70 // Focal Length: 24.0mm // Exposure Time: 1/1250 // Aperture: f/11.0 // ISO: 400

The London Bean

The London Bean

I have no idea what this is, or why its there in London. I can only guess its art, and I like it. I decided to position myself so that the bean obscured Tower Bridge as I wanted the two objects to play off each other. It was a hugely popular bean with kids and adults having their photo taken with it. The London shots have won against the Liverpool shots for now. I had such a good time in London wandering the city as I would Liverpool. There’s so much to see from a non-tourist point of view. Every corner seems to have a photo op, its fantastic. I guess its just because I’ve spent months wandering Liverpool and London is all new to me. For £40 a return ticket on the train, or even £25 if I can get lucky, I’m going to be doing this more often. The weather was technically good, blue skies all day. There was a bit of haze and I hated the fact that there weren’t any clouds for me to HDR. Most of the shots aren’t going to be HDR due to that fact.

I don’t often point out flaws in my images because I don’t like people to spot them, but there is some really annoying banding in the sky thats driving me crazy. If anyone knows how to fix this I’d appreciate it. Its not there until I process the image to B&W. Its not to bad when printed and you don’t really notice it because its not the subject of the shot, but I would prefer it if it wasn’t there.

Camera: Canon 30D // Sigma 10-20 // Focal Length: 10.0mm // Exposure Time: 1/200 // Aperture: f/4.0 // ISO: 100

Porsche 911 – 4

Porsche 911 - 4

I think this will be the final Porsche shot. I can’t believe I didn’t spot the reflection on the bonnet. Bit of a shame. I’ll either be returning to Liverpool shots or London shots over the next week. Yesterday, being the start of BST, oddly felt just like a nice summer day. I haven’t yet looked at the shots but hopefully I’ll have one or two nice shots. I’m also off to London so hopefully I’ll get some good material from that. So depending how I’m feeling its either going to be London or Liverpool. The capital vs the Capital of Culture.

Camera: Canon 30D // Sigma 24-70 // Focal Length: 24.0mm // Exposure Time: 1/125 // Aperture: f/2.8 // ISO: 100

Porsche 911 – 3

Porsche 911 - 3

Those darn wheels again. I didn’t really get any from the front as the background was a bit bland. We planned to go to another location where I was going to get the front shots but we just couldn’t find the right spot. I do have a shot from the front but I didn’t notice the reflection of the building in the car. Its a shame as I think it spoils the shot. I might post it tomorrow and see what people think. My polarizer didn’t seem to have any affect unfortunately. I’m not entirely sure what happens between taking the photo and processing it. I seem to remember taking lots of great shots on the day and yet when browsing them now I keep finding too many faults.

Camera: Canon EOS 30D // Sigma 24-70 // Focal Length: 24.0mm // Exposure Time: 1/125 // Aperture: f/2.8 // ISO: 100

Another Porsche 911

Another Porsche 911

These Porsche shots are proving to be quite tricky. I spent a lot of time last year perfecting my B&W actions to get results I liked. I’ve got them to a point where photos work just by hitting F3. Portraits, landscapes, buildings, etc. They all work. This Porsche shot, it almost worked. The tyres vanished every time I processed the shot. You really need that extra small bit of detail when shooting a car. So its taken me about 2 hours of reprocessing to get them out.

Camera: Canon 30D // Sigma 24-70 // Focal Length: 24.0mm // Exposure Time: 1/25 // Aperture: f/8.0 // ISO: 100