Yesterday I blogged on the way to take a good photo at night. This is my attempt at a bit of street photography in the day.
So, the other day, I went to Liverpool. It was no more of a different day than most. I went on the train, and I had a day to just wander around (or until I got bored and got the train home).
So, I took my camera, and thought to start with that I’ll us my Canon 24-105 lens. The first shot that I came across was this, and decided to grab it.
It’s a sight that may well be disappearing from view, in a way. A newspaper seller is selling a plain, tree, newspaper. I have no data on whether they are declining, or increasing, or staying roughly the same, but it seems like everything is going digital, so less of a call for sellers.
I took the shot at a longish zoom to get the image without interfering, and to test the water of what seemed acceptable in Liverpool. It was fine. The next shot I got a bit closer for.
The man was making a dog out of sand. I dropped some money in his hat, and took a few pictures. I always drop a few coins in a hat if it’s requested when taking photos. It’s polite, and more often than not, they’ll act up for you – that’s not what i’m after, essentially, but it means they may pause for a second to allow you to get the shot you’re after. I grabbed a few, and left, in just a few seconds.
You’ll notice that I’ve processed these to be low on contrast too. They were backlit from the sun, so to keep the detail (the 7D is fantastic for this) I decreased the highlights, brought detail from the shadows, and added a slight vignette. The 24-105 at f4 also seems to lend itself well to this kind of processing.
Now, the sun decided to come out from behind the sky, and at the same time, I decided to stick my fisheye on.
Just taking it in the middle of the street looking upwards – nothing special. I aimed to keep the exposure lower to compensate for the sun. I have lowered the contrast in it, and added a darker gradient over the sky to keep the blue of the sky. This is pretty much how I processed the next few shots as well, using the sun as a main light source in camera.
This meant I had to get fairly close and point the camera upwards, and the end result works well, I thought. The sky has a vignette around the corners, and a slight grad to keep the blues in the colour and the sky from being blown out, but it was hard to keep it all in without going overly HDR – a look I do not want. The slight flare and distorted buildings work well, in my opinion.
And, my favourite of the day, is this.
The main Liverpool One centre, with two suns (actually, I’m sure you guessed, one reflected off the metal work). I exposed to keep enough detail in the sky and the shadows – hard, but as we’ve grasped, the 7D can do that. I used a grad over the sky to darken the sky and boost the colour, and I boosted up the shadows to include more detail. The original looks bad, whereas the edited one (without much more than would have been done in the days of film) looks pretty good.
Low ISO is key if you’re manipulating shadows so much, otherwise it is noisy, grainy, and in extreme cases, banding appears. Not pleasant.
Final two for today are quite simple. One right underneath Lime Street station, with a grad, and one really close to a train.
I hoped you enjoyed these. Please share around if you did, and click through to the Flickr pages to see the shots large.