A nice way of grabbing busy cityscape and Urban shots when there's a lot of people milling around in the shot and you would prefer it if they weren't there. Set up on your tripod and use a 10 stop ND filter. Made up of dark glass, originally designed for scientific use, these filters reduce the amount of light getting to the sensor by 1024 times ( 10 stops ). This enables exposures of many minutes in daylight. Moving objects and people don't have time to register on the sensor. Result - an image of an always crowed place with absolutely no one around. I took this image of the Millenium Bridge at 2 o'clock on a busy afternoon. The exposure was 10 minutes at f22. I added the sky later because the clouds had blurred in the original shot and the new dramatic sky helps give the impression that the image was shot at normal exposure with no people there. Impossible in reality.
Like it or not, the cliched London cityscape and London skyline images seem to be popular selling images. The problem is how do you take these classic images. With a different slant. One idea that I'm going to have a crack at is to use the 10 stop ND filter at a small aperture to achieve very long exposures. Hopefully this will mean I can grab some of the classic scenes in the daytime without any people in them. A 10 min exposure should get rid of most moving abjects. It's a bit dull today, so this can only help as I will get longer exposures.
Cutthroat Bridge near Ladybower is another great location for miniature landscape photography. The little stream running up from the A57 at Cutthroat Bridge is particularly good.
The Wyming Brook is a fantastic location to shoot running water over rocks. The fast running stream flows through a miniature gorge and provides endless opportunities for the landscape photographer.
Got some great shots of Deltic 22 Royal Scots Grey today as she passed Finningley with the Lincoln Christmas Markets special.
One of the best places in the Peak District for Landscape photography.
Some fantastic shots from my fellow photographers on the p4me site of the Aurora last night. Its amazing to think that the beautiful light show that we see are charged particles eminating from the sun (our local star ). It is humbling to think that the sun could actually snuff us out in the blink of an eye if it became violent. Thankfully, it is a fairly average star, sitting there in space, burning its fuel nice and stable on the main sequence. It's also amazing to think that the Earth's Iron core protects us from the charged particles put out by the Sun because the magnetic field that it generates deflects the particles around the earth just like a force field shield straight out of Star Trek. The Aurora that is seen in the Northern ( and Southern) latitudes happens because the magnetic field lines eminate from the Earth's poles ( just like a bar magnet and the iron filings used in the physics lab at school ). If it wasn't for the Earths magnetic field, those lovely charged particles, ( lethal radiation ) that gave us the spectacular show last night, would have bathed the earth in radiation. Worth a thought as we gasp in awe at the beautiful sight.
The Derwent Valley provides the landscape photographer with an amazing variety of shooting opportunities. The three reservoirs of the Ladybower chain are the main feature of the area and are always in a state of change as the water levels rise and fall due to the weather and the demand for water. Two striking features are masonary dams of Derwent and Howden. Constructed in the early years of the 20th century, these two mighty stone dams stride across the valley floor in true gothic splendour.
With a bit of research and reading it is possible to trace the 100- plus year history of the Derwent Valley Water Board and it's construction projects in the valley. It is not just the dams themselves that provide a fascinating subject for the photographer. There was a temporary village situated within the valley, built to house the Navvies and their families as they worked on the construction of the Dams. The Derwent Valley Waterboard constructed a railway that ran up the West side of the reservoirs to the Howden dam and the site of the Navvy village at Birchinlee, This transported thousands of tonnes of stone needed to build the two Dams. When water levels drop, many of the features of the railway and the dam construction plant are revealed and provide fantastic opprtunities for very atmospheric landscape compositions.
Then there is the connection that the Derwent and Howden dams have with the RAF and the 617 Dambusters squadron, During the preperation for the famous Dams raids on the German Dams during World War 2, the Lancaster Bombers of 617 squadron filled the Upper Derwent Valley with the throaty roar of their V12 Rolls Royce Merlin engines as they practiced the low level flying and pin point targeting over the reservoirs and the dams. Many of these practice flights were in the dead of night at 60 feet above the surface of the reservoir - Talk about brave and skillfull - we owe a lot to those brave men.
The weather can change very quickly in the Valley and the place can take on a totally different feel within minutes.
I love the place and never tire of the endless photographic delights it provides.
Had a great day on Monday. Freezing cold afternoon spent taking images in the Upper Derwent Valley with my good friend Nidge. Brilliant location for landscape shooting - A man made lakeland with history and natural beauty all rolled in to one. Well worth a visit.