About a year ago I set my camera up in the back seat on the tripod and drove around the city centre of Manchester. More recently I wanted to try it again with Mark helping me out. This was actually taken after spending about an hour driving around the city centre, then on the East Lancs road back towards Mark’s house. It was difficult to get the timings and flash right, but that is my face reflected in the mirror as I was driving at the time. Makes for a good Facebook cover photo.
Walking back to the car after an afternoon exploring Robin Hood’s Bay and the beach I decided it was a scene that was worthy of an experiment with a new toy my friend John had given me. I had seen many pictures taken in the day with very blurry clouds like this and wondered how it was done. Turns out it is using a “big stopper” filter in front of the lens, that is a ten stop neutral density filter. Basically very dark sunglasses for your camera that cause the shutter speed to be very long (hence the cloud blur). However these filters are over £100 so I found a cheap “solution”. My friend John is a welder and welders wear helmets with dark glass to protect their eyes. John kindly gave me a small square of this glass to experiment with. It made my 1/250th of a second shutter speed into 30 seconds and is the equivalent of a 13 stop neutral density filter. That’s the good news. The bad news is it comes out of the camera looking green (see below), but with RAW image capture and some skills with Lightroom and Photoshop I was able to recover the above photograph. I must try this again in future!
There is a small fun fair with two or three rides as part of Manchester’s Christmas Markets in Piccadilly Gardens. Not as interesting as the ice rink, but still worth a look. This was taken just before dusk, but with the right setting I was able to shoot through the flying customers and focus on the Debenhams Store and Arndale Tower buildings in the background. Putting the camera on burst mode I fired of a dozen or more frames and then selected the one I liked best, based on where the flying people were. The two with their arms out stretched made the above image a winner for me!
Number One is the office building behind the bridge which carries trains between Deansgate and Oxford Road Stations. You can see the blur of a train heading into Deansgate. First Street is a development by Ask Developments and is said to comprise of offices, apartments and a tree-lined boulevard. It extends west off Deansgate. The lines in the foreground are from moving traffic as this was a long exposure taken with the camera on a tripod.