My first solo shoot

As you may know, if you read my blog regularly, I've been working on my studio photography skills. I'm mostly interested in coloured lighting and long exposure effects in the studio. Anyway this was my first shoot, I booked Studio 33 in High Barnet and my Model was Ria

The studio is a great venue with plenty of space, there is a lot of natural light flooding in which some people like, personally I prefer to be in a dark room with now windows but the studio was great for the sets that I wanted to work on.

We worked on 3 sets over a 3 hour period, they were as follows:

  1. Gelled edge
  2. Coloured fill 
  3. Temperature wrap

These are all very effective and eye catching sets but each come with their own challenges.

Here are a few of my edits from the shoot. 

Lens wise I'm using my 50 f1.4 for everything other than the head shots, for those I'm using my 85mm f1.4

Settings are all f5.6 and 1/200 of a second at iso 50. That's about as shallow as I could get with the ambient light in the studio.

In summary, though I'm really happy with my results, I'm working on another shoot with the same model to do some long exposure work.

 This was my first edit from the shoot, a great pose, really happy with this shot could have maybe done some more cleanup of the background.

This was my first edit from the shoot, a great pose, really happy with this shot could have maybe done some more cleanup of the background.

 I'm really pleased with the lighting on the dress and background in this one, I clipped the models hand off the bottom though which is a little annoying, Ill not make that mistake next time.

I'm really pleased with the lighting on the dress and background in this one, I clipped the models hand off the bottom though which is a little annoying, Ill not make that mistake next time.

 Im pleased with the lighting in this one, that fill is hard to get in the right position but I think I have it here. Could do with some more shape to the face, this was probably due to my lack of direction on makeup which I will correct next time.

Im pleased with the lighting in this one, that fill is hard to get in the right position but I think I have it here. Could do with some more shape to the face, this was probably due to my lack of direction on makeup which I will correct next time.

 I like this pose and the catch lights coming out in the eyes.

I like this pose and the catch lights coming out in the eyes.

 Really pleased with this one, I could have maybe introduced a shoot through for some foreground detail. And I'm not 100% on my toning work but don't think I'm far off.

Really pleased with this one, I could have maybe introduced a shoot through for some foreground detail. And I'm not 100% on my toning work but don't think I'm far off.

 I love the way the light has brought out the hair in this one, no so pleased about the discolouration I have in the skin, I could have probably done some better work on that.

I love the way the light has brought out the hair in this one, no so pleased about the discolouration I have in the skin, I could have probably done some better work on that.

Scorching in Kent

We had a long weekend away in Deal, Kent. We enjoyed a picnic on the beach, burgers on the beach and a new level of strange sunburn all down my arms. Definitely need to work on applying sun cream in future. 

Shooting wise I stuck to the usual shots in deal and ventured out to Herne bay, that was mostly a scouting trip for later in the year when the sun sets at a reasonable time.

Sadly. I didn't get to fly the spark, too windy and too many people on the beache. 

Gear wise I used my 16-35 f4 and my 70-200 f4

 70-200 f4 at 101mm, f20, iso 50, 60 Secs

70-200 f4 at 101mm, f20, iso 50, 60 Secs

 It was a nightmare to get this anywhere near in focus, mainly due to the wind, if you zoom in on this, it isn't in focus.  70-200 f4 at 185mm, f16, iso 50, 30 secs

It was a nightmare to get this anywhere near in focus, mainly due to the wind, if you zoom in on this, it isn't in focus.

70-200 f4 at 185mm, f16, iso 50, 30 secs

 70-200f4 at 154mm, f13, iso 50, 30 secs

70-200f4 at 154mm, f13, iso 50, 30 secs

 I think there's an epic pano of the pier here that I haven't done yet. Next time.  70-200 f4 at 200mm, f13, iso 50, 30 secs

I think there's an epic pano of the pier here that I haven't done yet. Next time.

70-200 f4 at 200mm, f13, iso 50, 30 secs

 This would look good at blue hour with the pier all lit up.  16-35 f4, at 17mm, f11, iso 50, 30 secs

This would look good at blue hour with the pier all lit up.

16-35 f4, at 17mm, f11, iso 50, 30 secs

 70-200 f4 at 123mm, f4, iso 50, 1/640

70-200 f4 at 123mm, f4, iso 50, 1/640

London daytime long exposures

Last weekend regardless of the heatwave I decided to get myself out and shoot some daytime long exposures. I limited myself to a small area on the opposite side of the river to the Shard, an area I've not really shot before.  I also wanted to do some location scouting for later in the year when the night doesn't happen at 10pm.

To get movement in the clouds in the summer you have to take exposure of over 60s. This does come with its own issues. Like dust on the lens, the slightest spec will be quite prominent in your image and will require extra work in post processing. Glare is also an issue, If there's even the slightest glare it will be very prominent. If you are using a dslr you need to cover your viewfinder too as you get strange reflections from it. To try and combat the glare I use circular nd filters rather than plate ones, its more expensive but you can use the lens hood and it massively cuts down glare issues. I had my polariser with me but in the bright sunshine and shooting at around 24mm every image would have ended up with a strange blue circle, so that didn't get used. I used a cheap cable release to time my exposures.

So armed with one lens, my camera and my larger sturdy tripod, away I went.

All images shot with Sony 24-70 f2.8

 This is a great location, would look loads better with all the city light and some golden hour colour. I will deffinately be back here and with a wider lens.  24mm, f22, 70 secs, iso100

This is a great location, would look loads better with all the city light and some golden hour colour. I will deffinately be back here and with a wider lens.

24mm, f22, 70 secs, iso100

 A well photographed view but not one I've shot before myself.  24mm, f22, 60secs, iso100

A well photographed view but not one I've shot before myself.

24mm, f22, 60secs, iso100

 I like the line of the shadow with the line of the bridge in this composition.  25mm, f22, 60secs, iso50

I like the line of the shadow with the line of the bridge in this composition.

25mm, f22, 60secs, iso50

 This is another great location but again I think this would look better at night with a boat going past and with a wider lens.  24mm, f22, 91 secs, iso50

This is another great location but again I think this would look better at night with a boat going past and with a wider lens.

24mm, f22, 91 secs, iso50

 This is me attempting some street photography, something I need to try and do more of with my 50mm prime and my 85mm prime  52mm, f2.8, 1/80, iso50

This is me attempting some street photography, something I need to try and do more of with my 50mm prime and my 85mm prime

52mm, f2.8, 1/80, iso50

More Pluto Pump Shooting

Due to the heatwave and life getting in the way I haven't had chance to shoot as much as I would like recently. So this weekend, undeterred, I decided to see if my new pixapro lights made droplet photography with the Pluto pump any easier. 

In short they did massively improve my hit rate with consistent light output and proper modifiers took lighting out of the equation as a problem. Next time I will try to do more with the gels, I have a purple on the right and an orange on the left here with a blue or white gridded light from above. The orange isn't really coming through so will go with a different colour next time.

The main issue I was having was settings on the pump. It took me about two hours to get anywhere until I watched this video. This video unlocked the whole thing, basically me telling you my settings won't really help you, follow the method in this video. I also had to change my settings when the pump ran low, when I put ink in and if I moved the pump.

Another thing to be aware of is getting the correct focus. Im not far off here in my opinion, I'm using a macro lens so my depth of field was very fine. I got there basically by putting a drop into the bowl, then sticking a tube of toothpaste in the bowl so the writing on the back was visible, then I focused my camera on the writing. This is the best method Ive found so far.

All settings are roughly the same on each shot:

90mm, f8, 1/125 secs, iso100 all with the Sony 90mm f2.8 macro 

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A few shots of my setup and my settings. Remember as I said my settings probably won't work for you. All drop 3 settings were set to 0.

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Learning Studio Photography

Recently I've been devoting a lot of my free time to learning studio photography as you will know if you read my blog regularly. Jake Hicks and his various online resources and community are my main learning resource. I've tried a few resources online before and this is by far the best for me. I get constant feedback on my work, regular tips, tutorials and workshops, this has helped me massively. Anyway, this is just an update, with a few of my images so far.

Gear wise Im using the following :

Lights : 3 x PixaPro CITI600

Modifiers: I currently have 2 x soft boxes, 3 silver umbrellas, a 42 inch beauty dish and a poppy background.

All shot in my small one bed London flat.

My current model is my girlfriend Polly, who Im very grateful to for helping me out. I'll obviously branch at and look for other models and rent a studio when I'm confident enough and feel ready.

Lenses I'm using here are the 24-70 f2.8 and the 85mm f1.4, settings will be similar on most, at around f2.8 -f5 and 1/125. The long exposure shots are at 2 seconds and 6 seconds.

 Quite happy with this one, I think I've just about got the balance from the lights where I wanted it.

Quite happy with this one, I think I've just about got the balance from the lights where I wanted it.

 This is a really awesome setup and pretty simple..

This is a really awesome setup and pretty simple..

 Long exposure fun.

Long exposure fun.

 One of my first shoots with the new lights, needed to work on my editing here and the colours aren't separated properly, lighting placement isn't quite right.

One of my first shoots with the new lights, needed to work on my editing here and the colours aren't separated properly, lighting placement isn't quite right.

 This was pretty difficult, with strange settings and an incorrectly placed key light with the wrong modifier on it!

This was pretty difficult, with strange settings and an incorrectly placed key light with the wrong modifier on it!

 I don't think I'≥m far off light wise here, I think Im getting some ambient light interference and my key should perhaps be closer.

I don't think I'≥m far off light wise here, I think Im getting some ambient light interference and my key should perhaps be closer.

 Reasonably happy with this one, apart from cutting her elbow off on the left.

Reasonably happy with this one, apart from cutting her elbow off on the left.

London Imperial War Museum

I've been concentrating lately on studio photography but decided to give Polly a weekend off. I had a wander over to the Imperial War Museum, the main thing I was after was the atrium at the top of the building, but I took a few shots while wandering around. It is a great museum and well worth a visit. I had hoped to get a shot outside with the cannons and the clouds moving the the background but that wasn't meant to be this time. I imagine the atrium will look pretty impressive at night too so will be back later in the year.

 This is the image I came for, quite happy with it, could have maybe removed the door to make the image a bit stronger.  This is a 3 shot HDR. around these settings :   12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4.5, 1/500, iso100

This is the image I came for, quite happy with it, could have maybe removed the door to make the image a bit stronger.

This is a 3 shot HDR. around these settings : 

12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4.5, 1/500, iso100

 Quite happy how this one turned out.  This is a 3 shot HDR. around these settings :   12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4.5, 1/500, iso100

Quite happy how this one turned out.

This is a 3 shot HDR. around these settings : 

12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4.5, 1/500, iso100

 I think the lower down composition is better, although I like the composition without the door in.  This is a 3 shot HDR. around these settings :   12-24 f4 at 24mm, f4.5, 1/500, iso100

I think the lower down composition is better, although I like the composition without the door in.

This is a 3 shot HDR. around these settings : 

12-24 f4 at 24mm, f4.5, 1/500, iso100

 This would look loads better with clouds and maybe at twilight, I'll be back later in the year for that one.  This is a 3 shot HDR. around these settings :   12-24 f4 at 12mm, f5, 1/1250, iso100

This would look loads better with clouds and maybe at twilight, I'll be back later in the year for that one.

This is a 3 shot HDR. around these settings : 

12-24 f4 at 12mm, f5, 1/1250, iso100

 The main atrium, pretty impressive as far as atriums go.  This is a 3 shot HDR. around these settings :   12-24 f4 at 12mm, f5, 1/15, iso100

The main atrium, pretty impressive as far as atriums go.

This is a 3 shot HDR. around these settings : 

12-24 f4 at 12mm, f5, 1/15, iso100

 The atrium from above.  This is a 3 shot HDR. around these settings :   12-24 f4 at 12mm, f5, 1/15, iso100

The atrium from above.

This is a 3 shot HDR. around these settings : 

12-24 f4 at 12mm, f5, 1/15, iso100

 I think this is actually a bomb or some sort of submarine.  16-35 f4 at 16mm, f4, 1/25, iso 500

I think this is actually a bomb or some sort of submarine.

16-35 f4 at 16mm, f4, 1/25, iso 500

 More atrium.  16-35 f4 at 16mm, f4, 1/60, iso 500

More atrium.

16-35 f4 at 16mm, f4, 1/60, iso 500

 I thought this was just some cool art, its actually a section of the Berlin Wall!  16-35 f4 at 35mm, f4, 1/200, iso 100

I thought this was just some cool art, its actually a section of the Berlin Wall!

16-35 f4 at 35mm, f4, 1/200, iso 100

Jake Hicks Colour and Exposure

Studio photography is unlocking a whole new area of photography for me and Im loving learning it. In the past I've tried a few different resources, learnt a little but nothing would ever stick. I've long been a fan of Jake Hick's work and I can safely say that attending the first workshop was by far my best investment this year. So, when he announced his second workshop that centres around colour and long exposure photography, I couldn't book it quick enough. Jake doesn't just provide great workshops, but also provides an incredible community, where like minded artists can learn and grow together, encouraging each other with constructive feedback and invaluable tips.

As you know if you have followed me at all, long exposure photography is something that I really enjoy, so learning how to do it properly in a studio setting with coloured gel lighting was a fantastic experience. Jake explained 3 builds to us very clearly, giving us fundamental knowledge on how and why each setup gives the effect that it does.

We then got the chance to shoot each setup with the amazing Gabriella modelling again, making it difficult to not come away with great shots.

Retouching portrait work is a new skill to me which I am really enjoying learning, this is made much easier by the feedback Jake gives on the Facebook group associated with the workshop. My current focus is colour toning with curves, getting that right in my opinion, is the key to portrait retouching.

Anyway here are a few of the shots I came away with.

 This was the second setup of the day, simple when you know how but incredibly effective. This unlocks a whole host of variations on this theme.  24-70 f2.8 at 50mm, f5.6, ido 200, 1/125

This was the second setup of the day, simple when you know how but incredibly effective. This unlocks a whole host of variations on this theme.

24-70 f2.8 at 50mm, f5.6, ido 200, 1/125

 This one is magical and the technique used unlocks so many possibilities. I'm really happy with this shot,   and brilliant posing from Gabriella. I have an idea for an image I can try at home with a similar setup.  24-70 f2.8 at 50mm, f5.6, ido 200, 1/125

This one is magical and the technique used unlocks so many possibilities. I'm really happy with this shot,

 and brilliant posing from Gabriella. I have an idea for an image I can try at home with a similar setup.

24-70 f2.8 at 50mm, f5.6, ido 200, 1/125

 There's more going on here than you might think and doing this on your own would be difficult but I will definitely be giving it a go soon.  24-70 f2.8 at 50mm, f5.6, ido 200, 1/125

There's more going on here than you might think and doing this on your own would be difficult but I will definitely be giving it a go soon.

24-70 f2.8 at 50mm, f5.6, ido 200, 1/125

The more studio photography I do, the more I realise that the devil is in the detail. The main skill is developing your eye, knowing if a light is in the wrong place, if the intensity is too much or too little and how to put it right. Also how to work with colour and contrast, how to retouch skin properly, the list goes on....

So my journey continues, the Colour and Exposure workshop was amazing, I learnt loads, met some great people and came away with some amazing images. There's still one more Jake Hicks workshop I haven't attended, so as soon as that is announced I will be booking.

Greenwich

I've been focusing a lot recently on learning more about studio photography and specifically shooting with coloured gels. This weekend I took a weekend off studio photography to watch the royal wedding and visit Greenwich.

I've always loved visiting greenwich, its a great place with tonnes of history, quite nice bars, restaurants, museums and the amazing view from the hill.

From a photography stand point theres the Cutty Sark, The Queens House, the Maritime museum, the foot tunnel and the Observatory. All great places to shoot. Today I visited two of the locations Ive never visited before. The Cutty Sark and the Queens house. I went armed with my 12-24 f4 as its was inevitable that I would be shooting wide angle and I also had the new grip attached to the a7riii. I must say I really like the grip and can't really see it coming off the camera any time soon.

 One of the most photographed stair cases in London, Queens houses famous tulip staircase. Its actually much less grand in person, the idea angle gives it more gravity. I was there on a relatively quiet day and there was a queue to take a shot of it.  12-24 f4 at 13mm, f4, 1/20 iso 100

One of the most photographed stair cases in London, Queens houses famous tulip staircase. Its actually much less grand in person, the idea angle gives it more gravity. I was there on a relatively quiet day and there was a queue to take a shot of it.

12-24 f4 at 13mm, f4, 1/20 iso 100

 Cutty Sark, this is a fantastic museum in Greenwich. The Cutty Sark was an extremely fast and advanced merchant ship back in its day. What surprise me was the shear scale of it. The size of its cargo bays and the very small crew quarters. Personally I think the best shots of this are either underneath it, or on the deck at the front at night with a longer lens to take advantage of the lens compression and pull the city in closer when its all lit up.  12-24 f4 at 12mm, f10, 1/640 iso 100

Cutty Sark, this is a fantastic museum in Greenwich. The Cutty Sark was an extremely fast and advanced merchant ship back in its day. What surprise me was the shear scale of it. The size of its cargo bays and the very small crew quarters. Personally I think the best shots of this are either underneath it, or on the deck at the front at night with a longer lens to take advantage of the lens compression and pull the city in closer when its all lit up.

12-24 f4 at 12mm, f10, 1/640 iso 100

What happens if you try to pixel shift a long exposure with movement.

As we know the new A7riii has a pixel shift function, it takes 4 images moving the sensor around each time. When merged with special software it creates a large and very detailed image with huge dynamic range and great colour. Sony do however point out the limitations of this approach. If things move in the scene it won't really work so you need the camera on a tripod and have nothing move in the scene.

I thought I would put this to the test, as the images created when using pixel shift are awesome. Is the image totally destroyed by the movement or would it be usable?

While In Bruges for my birthday I decided to try this at night. below is the resulting image from the merged 4 pixel shifted images.

 So from this perspective the image looks kind of ok, if you shared this on insta people would be probably non the wiser, there's some strange coloured lighting going on that is immediately obvious but not much else.  24-70 f2.8 at 31mm, f4.5, iso100, 30 Secs

So from this perspective the image looks kind of ok, if you shared this on insta people would be probably non the wiser, there's some strange coloured lighting going on that is immediately obvious but not much else.

24-70 f2.8 at 31mm, f4.5, iso100, 30 Secs

 This is the pixel shifted image at 300%, the light wasn't ideal due to Belgian restaurant service being really slow. You can start to see some strangeness happening in the car door.

This is the pixel shifted image at 300%, the light wasn't ideal due to Belgian restaurant service being really slow. You can start to see some strangeness happening in the car door.

 This is pretty much the same section taken from a 3 shot HDR, you can see the difference in detail and the colour.

This is pretty much the same section taken from a 3 shot HDR, you can see the difference in detail and the colour.

 This is what happens if a car goes down the road, so light trails are out of the question.

This is what happens if a car goes down the road, so light trails are out of the question.

 A person moving doesn't work very well either.

A person moving doesn't work very well either.

 These men were fitting this fantastic sculpture late into the night, its about 10pm in this image. Their movement created more interesting artefacts in the image.

These men were fitting this fantastic sculpture late into the night, its about 10pm in this image. Their movement created more interesting artefacts in the image.

 This is an edited HDR with the same settings, is it worth fixing up a pixel shifted image if it has artefacts from movement. Probably not.

This is an edited HDR with the same settings, is it worth fixing up a pixel shifted image if it has artefacts from movement. Probably not.

So this is what happens if things move in your image, you get these strange artefacts. Im not sure what this would mean for cloud movement in the sky, it would probably create a massive mess. This would however work in certain circumstances with minimal movement and you could alway edit out the artefacts in post, colour matching may be difficult but not impossible. 

I won't use this in the majority of my shots but it does have its place and it was fun finding out.

Birthday in Bruges

My wonderful girlfriend Polly is pretty good at birthday presents, the most notable being a helicopter ride sat on the floor with the doors off taking photos over Manhatten. This year she took me away for a surprise weekend to Bruges. 

Bruges is a beautiful Medieval city with interesting architecture, lovely canals, wonderful local beer and tasty chocolate. We spent 4 days sightseeing, sampling the local food and beer and of course I got a few shots in here and there.

For kit I decided to take my 12-24, 24-70 and various filters for the 24-70. It was a mistake not to take my 70-200, that will be coming in future.

 This is the shot everyone takes in Bruges and I was joined here by several other photographers taking a variation on this theme. Sunset was a bust due to a cloudless sky. I will note with this picture I had sampled a few strong local beers and some Flemish stew so was a little wobbly!  12-24 f4 at 12mm, f22, 30 Seconds ISO 50

This is the shot everyone takes in Bruges and I was joined here by several other photographers taking a variation on this theme. Sunset was a bust due to a cloudless sky. I will note with this picture I had sampled a few strong local beers and some Flemish stew so was a little wobbly!

12-24 f4 at 12mm, f22, 30 Seconds ISO 50

 Room with a view. This is my girlfriend Polly looking out at the top of the Belfry of Bruges in the main square. The view is pretty amazing and its not that far up to the top. You get to stop a few times on the way but it is a little narrow. Get there early as we queued for over an hour and we got there at about 11am. It is a lot higher than it appears in the film.  24-70 f2.8 at 43mm, f2.8, 1/500, iso 100

Room with a view. This is my girlfriend Polly looking out at the top of the Belfry of Bruges in the main square. The view is pretty amazing and its not that far up to the top. You get to stop a few times on the way but it is a little narrow. Get there early as we queued for over an hour and we got there at about 11am. It is a lot higher than it appears in the film.

24-70 f2.8 at 43mm, f2.8, 1/500, iso 100

 This is the other shot that everyone takes in Bruges. It is a little bit further away from the main square but well work finding. They were also erecting an interesting sculpture that you can see in the later night shot.  24-70 f2.8 at 31mm, f22, 4 seconds (6 stop filter and a polariser in use) 

This is the other shot that everyone takes in Bruges. It is a little bit further away from the main square but well work finding. They were also erecting an interesting sculpture that you can see in the later night shot.

24-70 f2.8 at 31mm, f22, 4 seconds (6 stop filter and a polariser in use) 

 I've been wanting to do some shots like this for ages but just not got round to it. Bruges is full of cyclists so I thought I would have a go. I ended up with a lot of blurry shots but a few that were in focus.   24-70 f2.8 at 31mm, f8, 1/20

I've been wanting to do some shots like this for ages but just not got round to it. Bruges is full of cyclists so I thought I would have a go. I ended up with a lot of blurry shots but a few that were in focus. 

24-70 f2.8 at 31mm, f8, 1/20

 One afternoon after a days sightseeing we wandered a little bit further out to one of the fantastic parks. This is one of the very well tended flower beds with beautiful tulips.   12-24 f4 at 16mm, f8m 1/60, iso 100

One afternoon after a days sightseeing we wandered a little bit further out to one of the fantastic parks. This is one of the very well tended flower beds with beautiful tulips. 

12-24 f4 at 16mm, f8m 1/60, iso 100

 The earlier shot but at night. Possibly got there a little late for the perfect light but that's debatable. Would have been better to have some clouds with movement in the sky. For the sculpture in the distance, they had more or less finished erecting is a dolphin or whale made from plastic bottles coming out of the canal- a great piece of sculpture..  24-70 f2.8 at 26mm, f11, 4 Secconds iso 100

The earlier shot but at night. Possibly got there a little late for the perfect light but that's debatable. Would have been better to have some clouds with movement in the sky. For the sculpture in the distance, they had more or less finished erecting is a dolphin or whale made from plastic bottles coming out of the canal- a great piece of sculpture..

24-70 f2.8 at 26mm, f11, 4 Secconds iso 100

 On one very sunny day we rented bike to escape the crowds and look at a few windmills. We rode down the river to the nearby picturesque village of Damme. This is Polly on her bike on the way to Damme. Don't be fooled by the picture it took about 4 attempts to get this right she had to keep going backwards and forwards a few times.  24-70 f2.8 at 24mm, f8, 1/30, iso 100

On one very sunny day we rented bike to escape the crowds and look at a few windmills. We rode down the river to the nearby picturesque village of Damme. This is Polly on her bike on the way to Damme. Don't be fooled by the picture it took about 4 attempts to get this right she had to keep going backwards and forwards a few times.

24-70 f2.8 at 24mm, f8, 1/30, iso 100

 This is us stopping on the way back from Damme, the path was a fantastic tree lined road. Sadly I didn't have my 70-200 to take advantage of this with compression! That lens is now coming with me every time I travel.  70-200 f2.8 at 59mm, f2.8, iso 100, 1/2000 iso 100

This is us stopping on the way back from Damme, the path was a fantastic tree lined road. Sadly I didn't have my 70-200 to take advantage of this with compression! That lens is now coming with me every time I travel.

70-200 f2.8 at 59mm, f2.8, iso 100, 1/2000 iso 100

 A few interesting buildings in the main Bruges square, probably not dark enough for this shot but it was late and I was tired. It also took ages to get it this free of people.  12-24 f4 at 14mm, f4, 1/15, iso 100

A few interesting buildings in the main Bruges square, probably not dark enough for this shot but it was late and I was tired. It also took ages to get it this free of people.

12-24 f4 at 14mm, f4, 1/15, iso 100

 A wide view of the main square.  12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4, 1/15 iso 100

A wide view of the main square.

12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4, 1/15 iso 100

 A man on a bike talking to one of the hard-working horses. The horse seemed to like him, it didn't like other people but was quite receptive to this guy.  12-24 f4 at 13mm, f9, 1/125, iso 100

A man on a bike talking to one of the hard-working horses. The horse seemed to like him, it didn't like other people but was quite receptive to this guy.

12-24 f4 at 13mm, f9, 1/125, iso 100

Jake Hicks, Creatively Simple Lighting

I've been wanting to have a go at studio lighting and portraits now for ages. I've watched countless Youtube videos on the subject but they always seem to miss out  that you need to properly learn whats going on. Like they say the magician never reveals their secrets, that and they are often trying to sell you one thing or another!

Jake Hicks is the master of using coloured gels in studio photography. His work is fantastic and really stands out. So armed with my 85mm f1.4 and my 24-70 f2.8 off I went to Jakes Creatively Simple Lighting workshop over at Amersham Studios. I was jumping in at the deep end but Jake is a great teacher and like he says if you can master gelled light then standard white light is easy.

The day was fantastic from start to finish, we had a great group of like minded people eager to learn. Jake gave us fundamental knowledge to allow us to go away and realise our creative ambitions. He demonstrated 6 excellent lighting setups and we all got to shoot 4 of them.

I came away with the tools I need to attempt similar setups myself and unlock a whole new area to my photography. 

Our model for the day was the beautiful Gabriella Grigo. She was very professional and she made each set up easier to shoot and come away with a great image.

Here are a few of my shots:

 Setup 1, incredibly simple yet effective.  24-70 f2.8 at 51mm, f2.8, 1.125 iso 100

Setup 1, incredibly simple yet effective.

24-70 f2.8 at 51mm, f2.8, 1.125 iso 100

 Setup2, This is slightly more complicated and requires some balancing of the colour temperature, but I love the effect!  85mm f1.4, at f1.4, 1/125, iso 50

Setup2, This is slightly more complicated and requires some balancing of the colour temperature, but I love the effect!

85mm f1.4, at f1.4, 1/125, iso 50

 This was probably my favourite setup, it opens up a whole host of creative possibilities!  24-70 f2.8 at 60mm, f2.8, 1/125, iso 100

This was probably my favourite setup, it opens up a whole host of creative possibilities!

24-70 f2.8 at 60mm, f2.8, 1/125, iso 100

DSC02705-Edit.jpg

So what now? I loved the experience of shooting a model with gelled studio lighting, learning how to control the light in this way has unlocked so many new creative possibilities.

I'm definitely going to need to do a lot more of this! With that in mind Im probably going to need some new kit, this will include, a vertical grip for the Sony, some studio lighting with modifiers and some gels. Oh and further down the line a nice 50mm prime.

I'll also definitely be attending more workshops with Jake Hicks.

Tate Britain

After living in London for around seven and a half years now, I still have a massive list of places to visit and photograph. Tate Britain is well up there, so today I decided to pay a visit. We actually had a warm day in London, which led to the museum not being too busy, making my job a little easier. I went in with a few ideas for compositions, mainly around the main hall and the dome. I had a good wander around but I did miss a few exhibitions, so will definitely be back. I was in a bit of a rush to get back for the Grand National!

I took along the 85mm f1.4 and my 12-24 f4, both fantastic lenses. Here is what I came away with.

 Golden ration composition going on here, quite happy with this one. I did have to remove someones hand though.  This is a 3 shot HDR, with 2 shots 3 stops either side of the below settings.  12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4, iso 100, 1/125 Second

Golden ration composition going on here, quite happy with this one. I did have to remove someones hand though.

This is a 3 shot HDR, with 2 shots 3 stops either side of the below settings.

12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4, iso 100, 1/125 Second

 The dome from below.  This is a 3 shot HDR, with 2 shots 3 stops either side of the below settings.  12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4, iso 100, 1/125 Second

The dome from below.

This is a 3 shot HDR, with 2 shots 3 stops either side of the below settings.

12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4, iso 100, 1/125 Second

 Again I didn't read the note on this but I know I love it!  85mm f1.4, at f1.4 iso 100, 1/15 Seconds (how is this sharp!!)

Again I didn't read the note on this but I know I love it!

85mm f1.4, at f1.4 iso 100, 1/15 Seconds (how is this sharp!!)

 An abstract shot with the 85mm  85mm f1.4, at f1.4 iso 100, 1/320 Seconds

An abstract shot with the 85mm

85mm f1.4, at f1.4 iso 100, 1/320 Seconds

 The room where I found this was full of interesting models and sculptures.  85mm f1.4, at f1.4 iso 100, 1/320 Seconds

The room where I found this was full of interesting models and sculptures.

85mm f1.4, at f1.4 iso 100, 1/320 Seconds

 Bokeh!  85mm f1.4, at f1.4 iso 100, 1/320 Seconds

Bokeh!

85mm f1.4, at f1.4 iso 100, 1/320 Seconds

 This lens is pretty awesome and should get some good use next weekend!  85mm f1.4, at f1.4 iso 100, 1/320 Seconds

This lens is pretty awesome and should get some good use next weekend!

85mm f1.4, at f1.4 iso 100, 1/320 Seconds

 Very colourful, maybe theres a composition hidden here somewhere.  12-24 f4 at 23mm, f4, iso 100, 1/15 Second

Very colourful, maybe theres a composition hidden here somewhere.

12-24 f4 at 23mm, f4, iso 100, 1/15 Second

 This was like a swimming pool with a ladder, didn't read the text on this but I quite like it.  12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4, iso 100, 1/15 Second

This was like a swimming pool with a ladder, didn't read the text on this but I quite like it.

12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4, iso 100, 1/15 Second

 Not sure whats going on here but Im annoyed I didn't get a shot with the 85mm of the manakin.  12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4, iso 100, 1/30 Second

Not sure whats going on here but Im annoyed I didn't get a shot with the 85mm of the manakin.

12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4, iso 100, 1/30 Second

 No clue whats going on here, there were strange noises going on too.  12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4, iso 100, 1/30 Second

No clue whats going on here, there were strange noises going on too.

12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4, iso 100, 1/30 Second

 A sculpture on the way to the Gallery.  85mm f1.4, at f1.4 iso 100, 1/2500 Seconds

A sculpture on the way to the Gallery.

85mm f1.4, at f1.4 iso 100, 1/2500 Seconds

 Scouting for future shoots nearby.  85mm f1.4, at f2.8 iso 100, 1/2500 Seconds

Scouting for future shoots nearby.

85mm f1.4, at f2.8 iso 100, 1/2500 Seconds

Westminster

I haven't visited Westminster for a while, I had decided that I didn't want to photograph it while the repair work was being done on the Elizabeth tower (most people call it Big Ben, but that's actually the bell). I have since come to my senses, the work will apparently be going on until 2021 and the bell wont chime until then, so I would be waiting a while to photograph it.

So armed with my 24-70, a selection of ND filters, my tripod and a polarising filter, away I went.

 Managed to catch what brief sunset we had from the hospital garden.   This is a 3 shot hdr with 3 stops either side of:  24-70 at 46mm, f20, iso 50, 1.6 seconds, I think I used a 4 stop nd here.

Managed to catch what brief sunset we had from the hospital garden. 

This is a 3 shot hdr with 3 stops either side of:

24-70 at 46mm, f20, iso 50, 1.6 seconds, I think I used a 4 stop nd here.

 Sunset from the hospital garden.  This is a 3 shot hdr with 3 stops either side of   24-70 at 40mm, f22, iso 50, 20 seconds,  6 stop nd and a polariser

Sunset from the hospital garden.

This is a 3 shot hdr with 3 stops either side of 

24-70 at 40mm, f22, iso 50, 20 seconds,  6 stop nd and a polariser

 Another shot from the hospital garden, I had to time it just right to avoid peoples heads getting in the shot while taking selfies.  This is a 3 shot hdr with 3 stops either side of   24-70 at 34mm, f11, iso 50, 2 seconds,  6 stop nd and a polariser

Another shot from the hospital garden, I had to time it just right to avoid peoples heads getting in the shot while taking selfies.

This is a 3 shot hdr with 3 stops either side of 

24-70 at 34mm, f11, iso 50, 2 seconds,  6 stop nd and a polariser

 Blue hour with the clock in the middle.  Again a 3 stop hdr with 3 stops either side of  24-70 at 61mm f11, iso 100, 4 seconds   

Blue hour with the clock in the middle.

Again a 3 stop hdr with 3 stops either side of

24-70 at 61mm f11, iso 100, 4 seconds

 

 A blue hour shot from the side of the river.  24-70 at 24mm, f22, 30 seconds

A blue hour shot from the side of the river.

24-70 at 24mm, f22, 30 seconds

 Close into the bridge, not sure I like the perspective on this one  Again a 3 stop hdr with 3 stops either side of  24-70 at 24mm f18, iso 100, 30 seconds

Close into the bridge, not sure I like the perspective on this one

Again a 3 stop hdr with 3 stops either side of

24-70 at 24mm f18, iso 100, 30 seconds

Baker Street Pixel Shift

I've been wanting to try out the pixel shift technology on my a7riii since I got it. Pixel shifted images have a couple of requirements. They have to be perfectly still with nothing moving in the shot and the camera must not move so will need to be on a tripod, this saves on complicated re aligning in post. I think the software may be able to cope with this but I didn't want to risk it.

With this in mind I could think of no better subject than Baker Street tube station. It fits the bill perfectly with the only complication being people on the platform and trains coming in and out.

From what I understand what pixel shift will take 4 images, shifting the sensor 1 pixel for each image. This leads to the camera capturing all the RGB information for each pixel and a final images that is (4*42) megapixels in size, so 168 megapixels.

To create this image you have to take your 4 images from the camera and combine them using Sonys Imaging Edge software. This will then output an ARQ file, mine was 325mb in size and the individual images about 81.8mb, so you get roughly all the data from each image in one large file. Photoshop is not able to read the ARQ file so I converted it to a TIF with Sonys software and then imported it for editing.

The end image has a lot more detail than the single file, the colour also looks a lot more realistic and required less editing. I'm not sure the level of detail matters that much unless you are printing the image really really large. That said,  I do like the end product and it wasn't too difficult to work with. I assigned my c1 button to pixel shift so its really easy to setup in camera.

This is a feature that I will definitely use again, especially for architectural shots.

Here are the results:

 This is the finished product, I'm quite pleased with it, I wanted to shoot a really wide pano but the station was quite busy and it would have take a lot of time to get it exactly how I wanted it. So I'll save that one for another day, one that isn't over a bank holiday weekend.  This is an incredibly detailed image, you cant quite read the writing on the tube map zoomed in though.  Shot with Sony 24-70 f2.8 at 32mm, f9, iso 100, 1.6 secconds

This is the finished product, I'm quite pleased with it, I wanted to shoot a really wide pano but the station was quite busy and it would have take a lot of time to get it exactly how I wanted it. So I'll save that one for another day, one that isn't over a bank holiday weekend.

This is an incredibly detailed image, you cant quite read the writing on the tube map zoomed in though.

Shot with Sony 24-70 f2.8 at 32mm, f9, iso 100, 1.6 secconds

 This is a 300% crop from the image to show you the difference in sharpness, this is the normal image without pixel shifting straight from the camera.

This is a 300% crop from the image to show you the difference in sharpness, this is the normal image without pixel shifting straight from the camera.

 This is a similar 300% crop from the shifted image, as you can see there is a lot more detail and the colour is much better.

This is a similar 300% crop from the shifted image, as you can see there is a lot more detail and the colour is much better.

Spiral Staircase

London is a treasure trove for photographers, there are interesting compositions and locations to shoot galore. There are the obvious places, less obvious places and then hidden places. Today's location was a hidden place, somewhere a little off the beaten track and tucked away.

I'm not going to openly disclose the location other than its a staircase in a London railway station somewhere. If it wasn't for friend at work Jim, I would have no idea that this place even existed. So thanks for the tip Jim!

 Almost from the top.  Sony 12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4, iso 320 1/8 Seconds

Almost from the top.

Sony 12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4, iso 320 1/8 Seconds

 Looking through the mesh at the top of the staircase.  Sony 12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4, iso 320 1/8 Seconds

Looking through the mesh at the top of the staircase.

Sony 12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4, iso 320 1/8 Seconds

 Looking through the grid at the top of the stairs.  Sony 12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4, iso 320 1/8 Seconds

Looking through the grid at the top of the stairs.

Sony 12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4, iso 320 1/8 Seconds

 Sony 12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4, iso 320 1/13 Seconds

Sony 12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4, iso 320 1/13 Seconds

 This was my first shot, after finding the staircase tucked away.  Sony 12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4, iso 320 1/13 Seconds

This was my first shot, after finding the staircase tucked away.

Sony 12-24 f4 at 12mm, f4, iso 320 1/13 Seconds

DSC02145-Edit-2.jpg

Weekend in Kent

My Girlfriend's parents live in Deal, Kent. This weekend I had a long weekend there. We enjoyed some excellent food and a few good days out. I also enjoyed some photography and drone flying. 

I had 3 locations in mind, Reculver, Botany Bay and the usual fantastic Deal Pier. The clocks have just gone forward so no real chance of getting in a sunset this trip. I had intended to get up and go for a sunrise shot in Deal but I failed miserably and apparently it was pretty spectacular. Oops!

I think being deterred by bad weather is something I suffer from too often so in future I need to try to be creative even in bad conditions. With this in mind I set out to find a few good compositions and use ND filters for really long exposures. As well as scouting for future shots.

Deal Pier

 I've taken this shot many times, but never with exactly this composition, not with these tones and not for an exposure this long. This would be pretty special for a sunrise and one day I will get there and take that shot!  Taken with Zeis 16-35 f4 at 16mm, f22, iso 100, 206 seconds 

I've taken this shot many times, but never with exactly this composition, not with these tones and not for an exposure this long. This would be pretty special for a sunrise and one day I will get there and take that shot!

Taken with Zeis 16-35 f4 at 16mm, f22, iso 100, 206 seconds 

 This is a composition I've been thinking of for a while, quite pleased with it, could have possibly have done with a longer exposure to soften the sea and sky a little more. Would be excellent as part of a pano at sunrise.  Taken with Sony 70-200 f4 at 145mm, f13, iso100 30 seconds

This is a composition I've been thinking of for a while, quite pleased with it, could have possibly have done with a longer exposure to soften the sea and sky a little more. Would be excellent as part of a pano at sunrise.

Taken with Sony 70-200 f4 at 145mm, f13, iso100 30 seconds

 I don't think Ive shot exactly this composition before, again something that would look pretty special at sunrise.  Shot with Sony 24-70 f2.8 at 48mm, f22, iso 100, 70 seconds

I don't think Ive shot exactly this composition before, again something that would look pretty special at sunrise.

Shot with Sony 24-70 f2.8 at 48mm, f22, iso 100, 70 seconds

 I don't think Ive tried this one before, but again something that would look good at sunrise, which would be difficult as the pier isn't open at that time, I would have to try to get my camera through the railings at the gate somehow.  Shot with Sony 24-70 f2.8 at 24mm, f14, iso 100, 30 seconds 

I don't think Ive tried this one before, but again something that would look good at sunrise, which would be difficult as the pier isn't open at that time, I would have to try to get my camera through the railings at the gate somehow.

Shot with Sony 24-70 f2.8 at 24mm, f14, iso 100, 30 seconds 

 Shot this with my dji spark in pano mode, the wind was getting get up so I was a bit weary about flying too far over the sea.

Shot this with my dji spark in pano mode, the wind was getting get up so I was a bit weary about flying too far over the sea.

Reculver

What a wonderful location. I was a bit sad to find that I had left the memory card out of my DJI Spark. It was plugged into the side of my laptop. Whats worse is that the conditions were perfect for drone flight, no wind whatsoever and plenty of sunlight.

 This place is wonderful, easy to get to and great for photography. This would make a stunning sunset location. I like the tones in the sea for this one.  Shot with Zeis 16-35 f4 at 33mm, f22, iso 100, 206 secconds

This place is wonderful, easy to get to and great for photography. This would make a stunning sunset location. I like the tones in the sea for this one.

Shot with Zeis 16-35 f4 at 33mm, f22, iso 100, 206 secconds

 A much tighter composition. At about this time a guy was flying his Mavic which made me sad as I couldn't fly my spark.  Shot with Sony 70-200 f4 at 70mm, f22, iso 100, 206 seconds

A much tighter composition. At about this time a guy was flying his Mavic which made me sad as I couldn't fly my spark.

Shot with Sony 70-200 f4 at 70mm, f22, iso 100, 206 seconds

 I quite like this for its calmness, the reflection and the tones in the water. I went for a much shorter exposure here, the water was really calm anyway and no clouds.  Shot with Zeis 16-35 f4 at 33mm, f18, 30 seconds.

I quite like this for its calmness, the reflection and the tones in the water. I went for a much shorter exposure here, the water was really calm anyway and no clouds.

Shot with Zeis 16-35 f4 at 33mm, f18, 30 seconds.

Botany Bay and Kingsgate bay

So Im told that this place is very very busy in the summer and the parking can get interesting. I would recomend choosing your timing wisely.

 A wonderful sea cave looking out on to the horizon, with an added Polly into the picture for scale.  Shot with Sony 12-24 f4 at 12mm, f5.6, iso 100, 1/100 second

A wonderful sea cave looking out on to the horizon, with an added Polly into the picture for scale.

Shot with Sony 12-24 f4 at 12mm, f5.6, iso 100, 1/100 second

 The sea arch leading from Kingsgate bay to Botany bay. More Polly for scale.  Shot with Sony 12-24 f4 at 12mm, f5.6, iso 100, 1/320 second

The sea arch leading from Kingsgate bay to Botany bay. More Polly for scale.

Shot with Sony 12-24 f4 at 12mm, f5.6, iso 100, 1/320 second

 This is more a location scouting image, this would look awesome at sunset, would have to be timed carefully though with the tide.  Shot with Sony 12-24 f4, at 12mm, f5,6 1/320 second

This is more a location scouting image, this would look awesome at sunset, would have to be timed carefully though with the tide.

Shot with Sony 12-24 f4, at 12mm, f5,6 1/320 second

 Giant Steps.  Shot with Sony 12-24 f4 at 12mm, f5.6, 1/320 second

Giant Steps.

Shot with Sony 12-24 f4 at 12mm, f5.6, 1/320 second

Footage from my DJI Spark

Snow day 2, Macro day

Turns out the beast from the east wasn't quite finished with us here in London. This weekend temperatures have shot back down to around 0 and snow has come back. This put a downer on me vernturing out into the cold so I decided to get the macro lens out and shoot some images with snooted flash.

I need to learn much more about lighting! I aslo need some E mount extension tubes!

Anyway here are some of the results.

All images shot with the Sony a7rii and the Sony 90mm f2.8 Macro lens.

 An egg helf up by two forcs. Lit by DIY snooted flash.  90mm f14, 1/200 secs

An egg helf up by two forcs. Lit by DIY snooted flash.

90mm f14, 1/200 secs

 A slightly wet apple  90mm f20, 1/200 secs

A slightly wet apple

90mm f20, 1/200 secs

 One of our garden statues.  90mm f16, 1/200 secs

One of our garden statues.

90mm f16, 1/200 secs

V&A Museum

Following the snowpocolypse of last week we have had a mixture of weather in London ranging from strangely warm and sunny to rain, lots of rain. So this weekend I decided that my shooting would be done at the V&A. I've never been here before, I always end up in the Natural History museum or the Science museum, both of which are also excellent.

Anyway I took along the a7riii, the 12-24 f4 and the 85 f1.4. Not really shot with the 85 yet and I though it would be nice to use in the museum, due to the f1.4 and the amount of bokeh it produces.

Anyway here are some of the shots:

 Took me a while to figure out where this was! I also didn't go quite as wide as I could have, a good reason to go back! The flippy tilty screen came into its own with this shot.  12-24 at 17mm f16 1.6 secs, iso 100

Took me a while to figure out where this was! I also didn't go quite as wide as I could have, a good reason to go back! The flippy tilty screen came into its own with this shot.

12-24 at 17mm f16 1.6 secs, iso 100

 Main hall with the fantastic sculpture.  12-24 at 12mm f4 1/30 secs, iso 100

Main hall with the fantastic sculpture.

12-24 at 12mm f4 1/30 secs, iso 100

 Scultpture with the 85, the detail and bokeh you get with this thing are amazing!  85mm f1.4 1/30 Secs (thats IBIS for you!) iso 100

Scultpture with the 85, the detail and bokeh you get with this thing are amazing!

85mm f1.4 1/30 Secs (thats IBIS for you!) iso 100

 More fun with the 85  85mm f1.4 1/100 sec iso 320

More fun with the 85

85mm f1.4 1/100 sec iso 320

 To people admiring a famous work of art.  85mm f1.4 iso 320 1/100

To people admiring a famous work of art.

85mm f1.4 iso 320 1/100

 Rhino  85mm, f1.4, 1/10 iso 100, yes these settings are ridiculous and its not particularly sharp.

Rhino

85mm, f1.4, 1/10 iso 100, yes these settings are ridiculous and its not particularly sharp.

 Tapestry room.  12-24 at 12mm, 13 secs iso 100

Tapestry room.

12-24 at 12mm, 13 secs iso 100

 BOKEH!  85mm f1.4 1/100 iso 1000

BOKEH!

85mm f1.4 1/100 iso 1000

 Two guys fixing a sewing machine.  85mm f.14 1/100 iso 800

Two guys fixing a sewing machine.

85mm f.14 1/100 iso 800

 More of the stunning sculpture.  85mm f1.4 1/80 iso 100

More of the stunning sculpture.

85mm f1.4 1/80 iso 100

Pluto pump and a fishtank

The Beast from the East visited the UK this week, causing travel chaos, snow penises and a day working from home. Due to today being the last day of Snowmagaddon , I decided to stay at home and plan an indoor shoot with the pluto trigger, pump and the trusty fish tank.

This shoot was a total nightmare from start to finish. It took me three hours to get the settings right on the droplets. Then getting focus was a nightmare, keeping the fishtank clean a nightmare and the cleanup in editing also pretty painful. Not a shoot I will repeat in a hurry! I do have some ideas for future shoots with the pluto pump and trigger though.

Gear used: A7riii, Sony 90mm f2.8 Macro, two light stands, pluto trigger, pluto pump, manfroto tripod, diy snoot and a Nikon flash.

 Got this after about 300 attempts. Main issue here is that you have roughly 3 attempts with the ink and then the bottom bit has just become a total mess. Then you have to empty the tank, refill, clean, not touch anything and go again. Changing from white to blue ink was mostly luck, the pluto pump has a hole where you can just drop the ink in quickly.  iso100, f13, 1/200, lit with a Nikon flash

Got this after about 300 attempts. Main issue here is that you have roughly 3 attempts with the ink and then the bottom bit has just become a total mess. Then you have to empty the tank, refill, clean, not touch anything and go again. Changing from white to blue ink was mostly luck, the pluto pump has a hole where you can just drop the ink in quickly.

iso100, f13, 1/200, lit with a Nikon flash

 iso100, f13, 1/200, lit with a Nikon flash

iso100, f13, 1/200, lit with a Nikon flash

 iso100, f13, 1/200, lit with a Nikon flash

iso100, f13, 1/200, lit with a Nikon flash

 The setup

The setup

Tower Bridge from the docks

Despite the cold we've been quite lucky with the weather this weekend. I decided to take the opportunity and take out the new camera, with the 24-70 f2.8 G master, that hasn't been used yet and see how good it is. I've ordered filters for it as its an 82mm filter thread whereas my Nikon glass used to be 72. I prefer using the circular screw on filters as you can use the lens hood to avoid glare which can quickly become a problem.  

So all shots from this shoot were without any sort of filter, hence the slightly strange settings in some of the shots.

I found this location the way a lot of spots are discovered, via Google maps. It is not very far from Tower Hill although I wish I had worn my walking boots rather than my trainers.

In conclusion I think the lens is excellent, amazingly sharp and quick to focus, perfect mid range lens.

 First composition from the docs just as sunset was starting and the lights were coming on.  ISO 50 67mm f22 1 sec (this is a hdr so the 1 sec is not the full story)

First composition from the docs just as sunset was starting and the lights were coming on.

ISO 50 67mm f22 1 sec (this is a hdr so the 1 sec is not the full story)

 Slightly different composition further in with more lights coming on and the light starting to fade.  ISO 50 48mm f18 0.4Secs (this is a hdr so the 0.4 sec is not the full story)

Slightly different composition further in with more lights coming on and the light starting to fade.

ISO 50 48mm f18 0.4Secs (this is a hdr so the 0.4 sec is not the full story)

 I think this is my favourite image of the evening, the light is just at the perfect level, sunset still in full force and all the lights have come on. I will probably go back and take the other compositions at a similar time.  ISO 100 44mm f18 30 Secs (Again a HDR)

I think this is my favourite image of the evening, the light is just at the perfect level, sunset still in full force and all the lights have come on. I will probably go back and take the other compositions at a similar time.

ISO 100 44mm f18 30 Secs (Again a HDR)

 Similar timing as the previous image but different composition.  ISO 100 59mm f18 20 Secs (Again a HDR)

Similar timing as the previous image but different composition.

ISO 100 59mm f18 20 Secs (Again a HDR)

 Thought I would test out the closer focusing of the new lens and see what the bokeh looks like from this location, in all I'm pretty impressed!   I was also joined by another 2 photographers at this location, one with a Cannon one with a Nikon. Both were using all manner of different 100mm square filters and diy devices to stop glare. They had warming filters, and grads I think. Personally I only really ever use polarizers and ND filters. Grads and colour filters can be achieved in post easier and its less kit to carry. One guy had a Gitzo tripod that was quite nice, when my trusty manfroto dies I will be after one myself I think.  ISO 100, 53mm, f2.8 1/6 Sec ( Could I have hand held this with the IBIS, surely not)

Thought I would test out the closer focusing of the new lens and see what the bokeh looks like from this location, in all I'm pretty impressed! 

I was also joined by another 2 photographers at this location, one with a Cannon one with a Nikon. Both were using all manner of different 100mm square filters and diy devices to stop glare. They had warming filters, and grads I think. Personally I only really ever use polarizers and ND filters. Grads and colour filters can be achieved in post easier and its less kit to carry. One guy had a Gitzo tripod that was quite nice, when my trusty manfroto dies I will be after one myself I think.

ISO 100, 53mm, f2.8 1/6 Sec ( Could I have hand held this with the IBIS, surely not)