Tourist for a day…

It’s always difficult, as a photographer, to go to a place that is frequently photographed. I feel bad if I leave having not done it justice.

The other week I found myself outside Buckingham Palace. Every person and their camera seemed to be there! I had two options – I could either take a photo of everyone and the palace, placing it in context, or somehow try and create an isolated image that went some way to capturing ‘Buck house’ as it is viewed in the national consciousness.

Here is my attempt. What I was aiming for was to capture some of the grandeur and regal nature of the building, deliberately removing it from its surroundings as a tourist attraction. I combined two exposures from my little Canon G11, one for the sky and the flag, the other for the white stone. I took several shots until I got the flag waving suitably. Did I capture what I was looking for?

As an aside I’ve uploaded the full size file. It’s a pretty impressive image for such a small camera!

2 comments to Tourist for a day…

  • I agree with you that getting an intriguing & fascinating picture of a frequently photographed place involves real efforts.
    It’s good to learn from you that exposing for a two different elements of composition while shooting can do wonders to a picture.
    But it will be great if you can explain to beginners like me to how to combine two exposures!
    I mean I want to learn how you exposed for sky, then for stones of the building & combined them?

  • Ankit,
    Thanks for the comments. I wouldn’t normally combine two images, but as I was shooting into the sunlight it was a way of having a blue sky – rather than white as it would have been in just one photo.

    I combine two shots in Photoshop. First off take one photo exposing for one part of the scene, and then another exposing for the other part. Use the aperture lock button on your camera to lock the exposure correctly for the part of the scene you want. Then create a layer for each in photoshop and ‘copy and past’ one section over the other.

    An easier way is to use the ‘merge to HDR’ command. HDR photography is combining lots of different exposures. (Google it for more info, I’m not an expert.)

    Hope that helps, I’d be happy to explain it better via email – you can find my email on the contact page :)

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