Shard Panoramic 1

I spent Saturday afternoon at Tate Modern -still my favourite Gallery in London, though Im not convinced the Herzog DeMeuron extension currently under construction is A) A good idea, B) A good design. But lets see..

Anyway upon leaving and crossing Sir Norman of Fosters Millenium (wobbly) bridge we were treated to a truly magical sunset which bathed the Urban Landscape scene down river in Golden Light, whilst illuminating a dramatic cloudscape as a scenic backdrop of the kind which would have had Turner doing cartwheels. Anyhow you get the picture- all in all a must do Photo opportunity.

Once again the adage the  best camera is the one you have with you, proves to be the case, and once again its the iPhone.

So I thought I’d try a wee experiment and see if I could produce anything approaching a decent quality panoramic image using

A) Photoshop stitching

B) DMD – a clever little iPhone app which allows you to shoot a panoramic on the fly so to speak and does the stitching in-situ.

So heres the results:

So heres the first – Photoshop Job

Heres -the 2nd -also Photoshop  but a bigger stitch -12 images & a different iPhone origination -mine had run out of battery so I borrowed my friends!

and finally the DMD image -a little fuzzy perhaps but not bad for a handheld instant panoramic.




So its been awhile but Im back on the block or blog even.

London has been in the limelight a great deal recently. There was some sort of sporting event called The Olympics which everyone seemed to get very excited about, so much so even The Queen got involved and did a freefall from Space into the Stadium or was that another guy? Either way Im sure they used a goPro. They got even more excited when one of the athletes a sprinter I think (Bolt ? ) won a race, grabbed a camera and started taking pictures of the crowd! Actually his shots came out pretty well, & surprisingly there was no motion blur!

Still, away from the action, and out on the streets the kids have been quietly (and sometimes illicitly) getting on with doing what they do best; Grafiti.

Banksy has got a lot to answer for, and i don’t mean that in a negative way. When i were a lad grafiti was called vandalism, and rightly so. It was usually just a mindless, hastily spray canned signature, or sometimes if the proponent was feeling especially literate that day, a statement confirming the fact that the signaturee “was here”., or the “LFC” were “Forever”.

Exciting stuff. the closest it got to being artistic was if the proponent used different colours for the name and the statement parts. Occasionally the artist would really extend his talent and show his sense of humour by adding a ‘Kilroy’ face, (nose & eyes ) with hands appearing to grasp the top of the wall.

Then along came Banksy, and graffiti and the Art of The stencil was suddenly elevated to the level of Art and Politics in one. Just in case if youve never heard of him or dont know his work;-

Banksy is a pseudonymous England-based graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter. His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humour with graffiti done in a distinctive stencilling technique. Wikipedia

Google him, and take a look. Whether your impressed or not you may be more impressed when you learn that his work now sells in international Art Galleries for thousands even hundreds of thousands of pounds/dollars. Not bad for a bad boy from Bristol.

This shot isnt a Banksy. At least I dont think it is, its getting so much harder to tell these days as he has so many imitators. But I like it anyway. I was with my gun /military obsessed 6 year old son when I saw it. He didnt really appreciate the illustration and subtle commentary on child soldiers, pressing me (yet again) on when/if he could join the army.

I patiently explained (again) that in this country at least and for the time being (at least), he would have to wait, and quickly took the shot before we got arrested.


Super Moon


I’ve never tried any Astronomy type photography before, but this evening with an amazing  full moon on the rise & a new lens in my camera bag it seemed like a good time to start.

Because tonight Ladies & Gentlemen on Celestial Command, we have for your viewing pleasure a Super or to use the correct astronomical terminlogy – Perigree Moon;

OK Here’s the Science bit: The Moon will seem especially big and bright since it will reach its closest spot to Earth at the same time it is in its full phase, NASA said.The Moon ‘is a ‘super Moon,’ as much as 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than other full Moons of 2012,’ The Moon follows an elliptical path around Earth with one side, or perigee, about 31,000 miles (50,000 km) closer than the other, or apogee.

The Moon will reach perigee at 11:34 p.m. EDT (0334 GMT on Sunday). One minute later, it will line up with the Earth and the Sun to become full.

Anyhow. I stepped out this evening and there she was, a beautiful glowing orb all shiny & bright. And having yesterday taken delivery of an equally bright and shiny 70 -200 mm f2.8 Canon Zoom lens, this evening it seemed like as good a time as any to shoot for the moon so to speak.

Size isn’t everything girls but when it comes to shooting distant objects it sure helps. At 200m the moon was dissapointingly small in the viewfinder. So I doubled the magnification with a 2x extender to try and fill more of the frame but I think an 800mm lens (or a telescope) would be the way to go for really good results. But a few more lunar orbits will have to pass before I can afford one of those.

Meanwhile after a little experimentation ( ignore the meter reading and go for a much faster shutter speed than the exposure indicated, & I got what I think is an OK result.

For the record:  ISO 400 /Aperture f4.0 /Shutter Speed 1/1600

I like the way you can actually make out the moons surface scarring in some detail.

What do you reckon? Meanwhile if anyone has any tips, (on astro photography or anything else 🙂 let’s hear them!