Nelson, Swan and the Queen

These are just a few random shots that I decided to group for fun. This one of Nelson’s Column at Trafalgar Square is another of my stitching projects. So far I have been pretty happy with the results. Like Saint Paul’s and Big Ben, this one merged pretty well. The only one that hasn’t was my attempt to get a 360 panoramic from the top of Saint Paul’s Cathedral. I had to take a step between each shot to move around the dome and the resulting perspective doesn’t really match up.

Nelson's Column at Trafalgar Square, London. By Jameson Gardner

This Swan was at a little nature reserve near Newhaven. I’ll be posting more pictures from that area later. I have to admit that I edited an ugly house out of the background—it sort of ruined the nature reserve feeling.

Swan at nature reserve near Newhaven, UK. By Jameson Gardner

This last one is my wife taking a photo of Buckingham Palace. The flag was flying and we thought maybe we caught a glimpse of the Queen peeking out at us 😉

Woman photographing Buckingham Palace, London. © Jameson Gardner

Saint Paul’s

Here are a few more photos from London. Again, Saint Paul’s Cathedral was too big for my 50 mm lens. So, I just had to try to make interesting crops. I wish photos were allowed inside, there is definitely a different aspect of grandness when it surrounds and extends above you than when it sits before you. In fact, Christopher Wren designed the building to be optimally grand when viewed from both inside and out. There is a painted inner dome that you see when you look up from inside. Above that is a structural cone that supports the outer dome, which was designed to be taller and more visible from the outside than the inner dome would have.

Saint Paul's Cathedral London Detail

View of London from atop dome at Saint Paul's Cathedral, London

This is a view of the city from the top of the dome. It’s a lot of steps, but definitely worth it. Saint Paul’s Cathedral is built at the highest point in London and the 360 degree view from the top is spectacular.

Saint Paul's Cathedral, London detail

Above, one of the exterior shots where I was forced to find a composition within the limited angle of my frame. Below, I stitched together three shots taken from an alleyway as we approached the cathedral.

Saint Pauls Cathedral view through alley, London

 

The Way Things Are

These days it’s easy to get caught up in all the digital tricks and edits of photography. I am obviously not some kind of  film purist, but I do try to remember that I take pictures because something about what I am seeing in real life engages me. I have a couple shots here of pretty pedestrian subjects. One is from the port in Dover and the other from Kensington Gardens in London. Those were places we went to see sights, but definitely not the objects we came to see. I noticed things I thought were beautiful and took advantage of what I could get in the frame—the kind where I am less worried about representing what it is, just what it looks like.

Water spilling from a pier in the Port of Dover, England

This one is water spilling from holes in a mussel encrusted concrete pier. I had to warm it up a little in Photoshop because even white-balanced for cloudy, my camera recorded the evening light much cooler than it really was. That’s Photoshop so that you could see what engaged me, not so I could trick you into thinking I saw something else.

 

Clouds above Kensington Gardens in London

This one is clouds. I am a sucker for clouds. I’ll be honest though. For a split second I thought about messing with the levels to increase the contrast, or pumping up the saturation just a little. Then I realized that would subvert my purpose. I took a picture of these clouds because I liked them the way they were. I spent time making sure my camera was set to capture them the way I saw them with my eyes—now I am home thinking about throwing that all away because people are used to seeing photos doctored to be more striking and more colorful. Well don’t worry, I came to my senses. Here are my Kensington-clouds as-shot and unaltered. I hope maybe you can see a little of what I loved about them.

Back from England and Wales

We just got home last night from our trip to England and Wales. I have a-gillion photos to go through, but here is one from London.

Tower of Big Ben in London ©Jameson Gardner Art

 

I wanted to save space and weight in my bags so I only packed a 50mm lens and a 75-300 zoom. That meant that the 50 was my widest angle. I quickly learned that I often just plain wouldn’t have the space to get an entire site or building in the shot. That meant that I had to try to compose something nice in what frame I had, or as with this one of the tower of Big Ben, take multiple photos so I could stitch them together at home.