Mersey

Liverpool Waterfront (Got to keep trying)

I am pretty sure that I have blogged about the Liverpool Waterfront before but even so, here is another…

I keep heading back to the same old place trying to get the illusive perfect shot of the Liverpool waterfront, as seen from the Wirral side.

After a recent bout of thunderstorms in the UK, I thought I would try my luck, hoping for some dramatic fork lightning over the city that would enable me to get a photo that would go viral and provide me with royalties for the rest of my life!! Nothing ventured nothing gained.

The weather had other ideas, and if anything as the day drew to a close the weather started to clear.

Wanting to keep up my creative streak of recent months I wasn't going to let this stop me from venturing out and making the most of whatever became of the evening.

Hamilton Square is quite a convenient place, with plenty of viewpoints and a close car park. Below is a link to the Google Maps location:

Hamilton Square, Birkenhead, England

Hamilton Square, offers unobstructed views of the city of Liverpool. Here are a couple of photographs taken with my phone that demonstrate the setup.

Hamilton Square, offers unobstructed views of the city of Liverpool. Here are a couple of photographs taken with my phone that demonstrate the setup.

Second pano shot of my camera set on a tripod overlooking the River Mersey.

Second pano shot of my camera set on a tripod overlooking the River Mersey.

The evening was calm, and offered a very small smattering of cloud. I therefore opted to work on the basis that the only decent cityscape shot that I would get would be a 3:1 crop. Below is one of the better shots that I managed to get. It is very similar to an image that I have taken before, but benefits now from the investment in a good camera body, and a set of great lenses.

Talking of great lenses, once I had done the skyline to death, I thought I would break out the big one, and see what the 70-200 2.8 was capable off. It was getting really late, and I was a little bit concerned with having such an expensive looking contraption with me so I made it a quick shot.

The results have truly astounded me. This lens surpassed all my expectations on reach and clarity.

This image below was taken from exactly the same location as the cityscape image above. Obviously choosing to focus in on the Liver Building, a famous landmark of the area. I was using a tripod and needed to go for a good 20+ seconds to use the low ISO rating and ensure correct exposure. All of this meant I was fully expecting a soft unusable image. I couldn't be further from the truth. It has actually come out as one of my favourites from this particular location.

FullLiverpoolTest-9539.jpg

So I guess that the moral of this story is, even when you think that a place has been done to death, there is still the chance of it throwing up a few surprises. Keep plugging away, the illusive photograph is exactly that….Illusive but great fun in the making.

Persistance...The Making of an image

For a long time (probably on and off since about 2009) I have been going to New Brighton hoping for a rewarding sunset/sunrise. Each time for one reason or another it just hasn't happened.

I have faced cutting winds, and ice cold temperatures. I have arrived early in the morning, late at night and each time the sky has been uneventful, or the cloud cover has been too heavy to provide anything of interest.

Finding a solid piece of stone amongst the soft sand provided a firm base.The shot was framed, and then captured using a remote release. Shutter times were approx. 1 second to allow the light in but prevent the clouds from becoming over exposed.

Finding a solid piece of stone amongst the soft sand provided a firm base.The shot was framed, and then captured using a remote release. Shutter times were approx. 1 second to allow the light in but prevent the clouds from becoming over exposed.

Finally after probably a dozen attempts mother nature rewarded me.

It was hard to believe that it was September. I was equipped with a fleece, a warm North Face down coat, ready for the wind coming in off the sea. What I got instead was temperatures in the late teens, and no wind at all.

This meant that water pools around the lighthouse appeared perfectly flat (without the need to use slow shutter speeds)

And no flying sand to damage everything in sight.

It was also nice to not have to fight with a tripod to keep it still. The only issue I did have was the soft, silt like sand that meant the heavy (Manfrotto) tripod (I have demoted to beach tripod) kept sinking into the sand. This was solved by finding a solid piece of rock that had protruded out of the sand. Surrounded by water I set about framing the shot, and waiting for the light to change.

I even had time to walk away from the setup and take some picture (using my iPhone 5). The very fact that the two images (left, and below) were taken using a camera phone gives you some idea just how beautiful the sunset was.

The light and colour changes during sunset are constant from one second to the next. This was another photograph taken using the iPhone just so that there was a record of how stunning the scene was.

The light and colour changes during sunset are constant from one second to the next. This was another photograph taken using the iPhone just so that there was a record of how stunning the scene was.

Once back home I got to work on post processing. It is always a good indication if post processing is minimal.

Below are a list of modifications made to get from original to final

  • Adjust angle to ensure that lighthouse was straight
  • Enable Lens profile correction
  • Remove chromatic aberration
  • Slight adjustment to the vibrance (+10)
  • Slight adjustment to the saturation (+2)

And finally, here is the image that I most happy with.

Final version - ©www.marc-gardner.com

Prints available on request.