Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pic(k) of the week 45: Millennium bridge & St Paul's cathedral

It's probably fair to say, I'm pretty familiar with most major capitals around the world; yes, I haven't been to Canberra (Australia) or Ottowa (Canada)!

Even though, I've been to the capital of the United Kingdom multiple times, London is a city I really don't know that well. Until a few days ago, I didn't even have a dedicated London gallery on the Travel part of my website. Well, that has changed now; here it is!

On my recent visit to London last week, I concentrated on photographing the "new City" on the south bank of the river Thames, between the Blackfriars and Tower bridge. There is some very interesting modern Architecture in this part of the capital! 

Having said that, I was especially interested in the newest of the many bridges over the Thames; "The Millennium bridge", a 325m pedestrian bridge, which first opened on June 10th 2000, to be closed only two days later! 

The natural sway motion of people walking, caused small sideways oscillations, which in turn caused the people to sway in step making the problem even worse. In the end the design office Arup, needed 18 Months to sort out the resonance problem by installing additional damping. Getting rid of its nickname "The Wobbly bridge" was not easy, but I checked it out and it feels pretty stable to me!

One of the best places to photograph the Millennium bridge is from the Southbank, with the St Paul's cathedral in the background. The image below was shot just after sunset on a beautiful Autumn day. I was somewhat disappointed in the weak lighting of the bridge which didn't really stand out until it got dark completely.

St Paul's and Millennium bridge (West side)

Image details:
Fujifilm X-T1 with the XF18-55 Fujinon lens
ISO 200, f11, 53mm (79mm full frame equivalent)
Exposure bracketing, 7 shots between 1/2s and 27s
Merge to 32 bit file in HDR Pro in Photoshop 2014 CC
Development of 32 bit file in Lightroom 5.6
Nik ColorEfex Pro for final contrast adjustment

I remain astonished how sharp the XF 18-55 "kittens" is. Together with the great sharpness of the X-Trans II sensor of the X-T1, it delivers a quality image!

I've recently changed my sharpness import settings for Fujifilm RAW files to what Pete Bridgwood explained in his blogpost here. If you are shooting on a X-Trans Fujifilm sensor, make sure you check it out!  

Remember: "What makes photography a strange invention, is that its primary raw materials are light and time" - John Berger

Happy shooting,
BJORN






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