An evening walk in Southampton

by Jools Gowans September. 08, 2009 1442 views

Northam Shoal
A modern sculpture depicting 800 metallic fish moving in a shoal. As you can imagine there was a large dynamic range in this scene so I thought I'd make an HDR. I normally prefer subtle HDR processing but this image just called out for some welly in Photomatix followed by strong use of Nik's Tonal Contrast filter in Photoshop. I like the way the variations in luminosity of the sky give it an almost underwater feel.

Axe murderer!
Southampton's best guitar shop for many years was MM music in St Mary's Street, it was one of my favourite haunts from my teenage years. In all of that time I'd never really noticed their sign high above the shop front.
The shop changed owners some time ago and moved across town but their old sign remains although it does look a little bit weathered now.
The low sun was streaming across the street from between two gables, I waited for maybe 15 minutes for the sun to move round enough to just catch the front face of the guitar, I think it was worth the wait.

Hoglands Park in the evening light. I liked the line of lamp posts and how they gave the scene a sense of depth, it's a shame there wasn't something more exciting to draw the viewer's attention to!

Whilst Debs sat patiently waiting for me to get on with my photographic pursuits she drew my attention to the sunlight streaming between two archways on the front of the Bargate. I thought I'd have a go at capturing it.

So I was looking to take a silhouette shot of one of the lion statues when I noticed the juxtaposition with the streetlight behind, it looks as though it's a microphone or perhaps an ice cream on a stick…

Here's the shot I planned my trip into town around. I came across a useful little program called “The Photographer's Ephemeris” which overlays sun and moon directions onto google maps. You can find it here []

I figured that at 1843 the sun would be hitting the building square on and shortly afterwards light would scrape across the facade revealing the texture of the stone.

I didn't have everything my own way, the National Trust had kindly left a trailer on the paved area just to the right edge of this scene, as a result I had to shoot from closer than I'd have liked - this image is in fact a vertical panorama of five landscape shots at 24mm which I've then rendered into a planar projection to make this final image.
It would have been easier with the 14-24:2.8

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There are 4 comments , add yours!
Helen Hooker 10 years ago

Great set Jools. Love the sculpture in no.1 - is that in the city centre?

10 years ago Edited
David Swatton 10 years ago

I love #4 with the light streaming through the doorway and the person perfectly framed in the gap - nice one

10 years ago Edited
Ittakesallsorts 10 years ago

Great set -they are all so good especially the fish in St Mary's - thought they may have gone rusty by now, but no they're fine. The Bargate is superb!!! ;-}

10 years ago Edited
Brian 10 years ago

Wow, I love the sculpture in #1, very cool.
#4 is wonderful. Great light and composition.

10 years ago Edited