One bridge. Five minutes. Two views

To look at these two photographs together, you wouldn’t believe they were taken only five minutes apart. My last blog post was about the wonderful day I had in London with my friend from America. I only covered the morning session, so I thought I would write about the end of the day. The middle bit can wait for another time.

We had already crossed the Thames and spent a few hours along the South Bank. Now it was time to return to the start and say our goodbyes. Being very close to the Tate Modern, it seemed appropriate to take a completely different view of the city while crossing the river, so we opted for the Millennium Bridge. I had never used this before, although I had seen television reports after it first opened, when it was discovered there was a certain amount of “bounce”. However, that had been fixed some time ago, but as I stopped part way for a long exposure of passers-by, I found there was still an awful lot of vibration. By this time the sun was setting and I was able to go down to 1/10th second, a favourite speed to blur people in motion. The resulting image is featured here. Converted to black and white in Silver Efex and with a slightly cold selenium tone. The day time temperature struggled to rise above zero, so it pretty much looks as I felt.

The next photograph was taken just yards away, but shows the wonderful colours of a London sunset. What struck me at the time was the bronze, silver and gold in the three buildings. This was actually the very first photograph that I processed in my new Photoshop CS5, using a combination of smart objects and adjustable layers. Although I tend not to change my images that much, my aim is to get them back to what I saw at the time… and then polish them a bit! The few pixel changes to repair dust bunnies are done tucked away behind the original and the general idea is to do a non-destructive edit. I’ve never been happy with that term though, as it’s possible to completely trash the photograph while keeping the integrity of the original. I would rather think of it as fluid editing. It’s a wonderful thing, but it really increases the file size. Now my images average 325 Mb each, although depending on the amount of detail, they can be considerably larger. No wonder we recently had to replace our old computer!

Bronze Silver and Gold

So… bridge and sunset captured for posterity, we made our way back to Charing Cross. It was one of my favourite outings and that was all down to spending it with a very dear friend.

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