Monday 31 August 2015

Mystery in Stone

Mystery in Stone - Fuji x100s, 1/80, f/2, ISO 3200, Infrared filter

On a recent conference visit to Europe I traveled light, so I only took my little Fuji x100s with me and left the backpack full of DSLR gear at home. One of the places I got to visit was Stonehenge, which has always been on my bucket list. It was a hot, cloudless day. The light was bad, and there were throngs of tourists, so I wasn't expecting to get anything decent, but I took lots of pictures anyway. In particular, I took a few shots with my infrared filter, which works really well on the x100s, allowing me to take handheld exposures (I had forgotten my tripod).

I felt that the stones have a more "otherworldly" look in the infrared, which increased the mystery of the place. Dialing down the "clarity' slider in Lightroom did the rest. I'm quite happy with the result.

Salisbury Reflections - Fuji x100s, 1/80, f/2, ISO 1600
Stonehenge is near Salisbury, the site of a wonderful cathedral. I took the above shot in there, capturing reflections in the mirror-smooth surface of a pool of water. The water overflowed the pool right around the edges, so that no ripples could reflect from the edges, resulting in the perfect surface.

I chose black and white for this image to emphasize the strong vertical lines. I could have lightened the bottom half of the image (water doesn't reflect 100% of the light), but then it would have looked artificial.

St. Paul's - Fuji x100s, 20sec, f/16, ISO 200
I have always enjoyed photographing a city at night, often favoring long exposures, and this was the second time I wandered London at night with a camera and tripod. This is one of approximately one billion photos of St. Paul's Cathedral you'll find online, yet I particularly like this view, with all the strong lines complementing the diffraction spikes caused by the small aperture. The various pedestrians have been blurred out by the long exposure.

It was my wife's idea to convert this to black and white, and of course she was 100% right. She always is.  And so, by complete coincidence, my only images of the last few months worth showing are in black and white. I think I'm starting to like this medium. I Hope you enjoyed this little triple; a very good evening to you.