01 June 2015
Title: Nothing for an hour, and then…
The story behind this image embraces three current personal photographic interests:
An ongoing project of mine is populating a section of my website with ‘alternative’ images of our Capital. Attending events for the Region often brings me to up to Town and, therefore, offers me plenty of opportunity to capture life and sights around me. I know this type of image has been done to death with the 'lone red bus crossing Westminster bridge isolated on an, otherwise, black and white background of the bridge and Big Ben et al.' But one can’t miss an opportunity like this can one? I had taken a day pass on the Thames Clipper service and returning west to Westminster, passed under Waterloo Bridge, as the scene slowly unfolded above and behind me.
I have always had a penchant for the wide perspective and am constantly trying out different aspect ratios to find the ‘perfect’ panorama. Of course, just like framing, it depends on the image and the image must come first. Mustn’t it?
Pano’s are great for viewing on a wide screen monitor or TV, (and tablets to a certain extent, whereby you can ‘swipe’ across the image in sections.) However, I was always disappointed with prints on unsuitable paper sizes. That was until the lovely folk at Fotospeed marketed the panoramic paper (210mm x 594mm) in a range of quality finishes. Okay, it is only an A3 sheet cut down the centre of its longest aspect - (duh - why didn’t I think of that?!!) Similar to above, this style of photography has been gradually increasing in popularity due to cameras including it an in-camera motion (sweeping) panorama. The downside to that is one is limited to jpg and a single pano on the one sensor - thus ‘wasting’ the full sensor area and, therefore, limiting resolution. The benefit of software applications is that you can use the full sensor area and merge them together in post-processing. That’s what I have done here. This is a Lightroom panorama merge of five single images. The original images were taken in portrait mode to add more impact of the sky and water whilst not decreasing the detail on the bridge. For the techies, these images were taken manually (so all should be identical exposure values) and shot in RAW on an Olympus EM5ii with 75-300 zoom at its widest. ISO 200, 1/320 sec at f/8. The resultant RAW pano merge was then edited in Photoshop for the colour pop.
Regarded as a ‘toy’ effect by many, I actually quite like it - though use it sparingly. This style is made very easy now with most cameras offering it as an in-built jpg art option. The plethora of digital imaging software also allows for easy application of the pop of isolated colour within a black and white image. This one was achieved in Photoshop by creating a duplicate layer and merely ‘erasing’ the black and white of each bus to reveal the red ‘underneath.'
Image © Roger Kelly