Exeter Midsummer Party marking start of Exeter Festival, Exeter Quayside, 17th June 2011. Pyrotchnics on the River Exe. Image MBI000919
A few quick images from the party on Exeter’s quayside last night. It was the most spectacular sunset, but of course I didn’t have my camera with me (Doh!). I did grab it in time to get some pictures of the finale, which was quite spectacular.
(If you would like to reproduce any of the images on my site, please email me, colin ‘at’ colinmunrophotography.com, giving the image number and the intended use)
Exeter Midsummer Party marking start of Exeter Festival, Exeter Quayside, 17th June 2011. Pyrotchnics on the River Exe. Image No. MBI000918.
Exeter Midsummer Party marking start of Exeter Festival, Exeter Quayside, 17th June 2011. Pyrotchnics on the River Exe. Image No. MBI000917.
The Port Royal bar reflected on the River Exe at night. Exeter historic quay, Exeter, Devon, England. Image MBI000910.
The Port Royal bar reflected on the River Exe at night. Exeter historic quay, Exeter, Devon, England. image No. MBI000910. Please email me, quoting this number if you’d like to license use of this image or purchase a fine art print.
I took this pic a couple of nights ago. The last of the revellers had staggered home and the quayside was quiet. It was warm and perfectly still, with a clear starry sky overhead. Perfect for this type of image. So a little after midnight I pulled my gear together and climbed out of my boat’s saloon. For a pic such as this, relying solely on distance sodium street lighting and faint starlight the iso needs to be cranked up a bit, but not so much as to make the image very noisy, and, obviously, the shutter speed way down. Depth of field is not an issue as everything in the picture is distant, so the iris can be (and was) wide open. I used an old 20mm prime lens, a favourite of mine. The sodium lighting gives the pub and adjacent buildings an unearthly yellow hue. I rather like it this so did not atempt to change this, feeling it added to the rather surreal look. Clearly the stars and buildings differ massively in brightness. To acheive useable exposure of both required melding two images at very different shutter speeds (four stops difference if memory serves me). Some post processing of the starry sky was also required. The image was converted in to a grey scale image to remove colour noise, then reconverted back to an RGB image before melding.
Exeter historic quayside at night. Cafe live on a warm summer night, Exeter, Devon.
Feels like summer has finally arrived. We’ve had a few great days recently, and for once it’s co-incided with schools half-term so I’ve had the chance to take get the boogie board out with my son, rather than watching DVDs as rain lashes the windows (the norm for holidays!). I’ve been playing around with High Dynamic Range images a little bit recently. I’m not always keen on the effect, sometimes it works for me sometimes its just too lurid.
There has been a quay in Exeter since Roman times; the main trade was wool and woolen cloth, with the Customs House being built in 1680 to collect taxes on this burgeoning trade. The square riggers and the trade has long gone but many of the fine old buildings remain, converted now to cafes, bars and craft shops. I took these two images while out bat watching along the river bank with my kid (an extra treat as way past his normal bed-time). Each image is a composit of three long exposure images (these varied from 1/8th to around a second, from memeory). I actually took around 10 images of each scene but selected only three for the final images.
Exeter quayside at night. Cafe life along the river Exe by Exeter's historic quay in central Exeter, Devon, on a warm summer evening.
Larger images (and additional images of Exeter) can be viewed by clicking on this link here
. If there is sufficient interest I may produce some prints of these images for sale.
Standing on the edge of suspension bridge crossing the River Exe in central Exeter a little after midnight attracts a little attention from passing dog walkers and late night revellers. Was I suicidal? Those that came closer breathed a sigh of relief when they saw my camera and tripod. No! I was obviously simply deranged; why else would I be pointing a camera down towards almost totally black water.
The swans of central Exeter are a glorious sight, skimming low over the water or congregating along the quayside to be fed by tourists, children, couples….pretty much everyone really. At night they float noislessly along the river like luminous ghosts. Sometimes they gather in large numbers, as in this picture, to squabble, converse, exchange ideas, debate, bicker, cogitate, fraternise and flirt – who knows? In early spring (as this was) the water is muddy and dark with suspended soil washed in from moorland upstream. At night the darkness enhances the already striking contrast between the pure white swans and the inky water.
Mute swans (Cygnus olor) gather at midnight, River Exe, Central Exeter, UK
Boats locked in ice at midnight, Exeter Canal Basin, Exeter city, Devon, England.
Apologies to John Mills and co for the bad pun. By chance this next blog was going to be about Alexandria, Egypt (well, Abu Qir actually, a small seaport nearby). Things came up and I haven’t quite completed it yet. As temperatures plummet and my boat is once again locked in ice I somehow managed to prise myself away from my woodburner last night to play around with some long exposures and high dynamic range shots. Returning to the warmth of the saloon around midnight, after a couple of hours freezing my butt off, I decided I had suffered exposure long enough and a warming whisky was required. Feeling began to return to my fingertips and I felt reassured they weren’t frostbitten after all.
Reviewing the pics afterwards I felt reasonably satisfied my time wasn’t entirely wasted. The one I’ve attached is an HDR composite of three exposures, ranging from 30 seconds to around 10 seconds. In the end I decided to combine them manually rather than use software such as Photomatrix, layering alternative exposures and combining as looking pleasing to the eye (well to mine eye anyway).
I’ll upload more images as i get around to editing them. Expect a blog about Abu Qir soon too (possibly titled ‘Soaking wet in Alex’)