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Old Mar 2, 2004, 2:43 AM   #1
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Default Big Ben

Hi all,
This is most likely a very common photo tourists take while visiting London. I've been there few weeks ago and, of course, here is my own picture of Big Ben.
Only thing on this photo which bothers me is the central tower which is not well lit, probably reflector lights covering it were out.
I used tripod, of course, and circular polarizer as well. Photo was taken at 6:20 PM, so I was able to capture some nice sky.

F:7.0, 8sec, IS0 64
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Old Mar 2, 2004, 3:30 AM   #2
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I love the clarity. The blue sky at night did throw me a bit but then again I don't experience nights that far north, maybe that's normal?

Nice work.
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Old Mar 2, 2004, 4:47 AM   #3
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Thanks Selvin,

Well, it wasn't middle of the night though, there was still some light at 6:20 PM.
The picture below is taken four minutes before the first one, F:8.0, 10sec, ISO 64
I think this blue sky comes form circular polarizer, but I'm not sure. Anyone had similar experience?

And yes, here is the gorgeous Tower Bridge:

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Old Mar 2, 2004, 5:35 PM   #4
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Brilliant pair of photos!

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Old Mar 2, 2004, 5:56 PM   #5
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A lot of people don't know that "Big Ben" is the name of the clock. The tower is the "Tower of London"

Incidently, I don't think a polarizer will do much at night unless you were using it as a neutral density filter.

Were you using manual or automatic exposure? It looks like you may have been using auto. Auto-exposure at night will always make the picture too light. It will always try to make the picture equivalent to 18% gray. You probably want to use -1.0 EV compensation at night. If you are using manual exposure then you should bracket to get the best exposure.

In spite of the above, I like the pictures except for the sky. The color looks off to me. Possibly a WB problem.
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Old Mar 2, 2004, 8:00 PM   #6
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nice pictures!

wat shutter and arperture did you use? film speed?
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Old Mar 3, 2004, 2:17 AM   #7
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Thanks Vito,

first one: F:7.0, 8sec, IS0 64
second one: F:8.0, 10sec, ISO 64

Calr, yes, the name of the clock tower is Big Ben, and is a part of The Houses of Parliament.
The Tower of London lies next to the Tower Bridge, unfortunately I visited only The Tower Bridge

I used manual exposure. You might be correct when you say it could be WB issue. Most probably it is. However, I liked the blue skies

I couldn't have experimented too much as me and my wife were trying to see as much of London as we could, and we had so little time. Next time I will pay more attention

I usually set WB against white piece of paper, but how do I set WB at night? Same procedure or something else?
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Old Mar 4, 2004, 1:08 PM   #8
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Great pics. I like the blue sky.
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Old May 13, 2004, 1:12 AM   #9
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First of all, I have to say that Zuhdo, your pics are a real joy to view.
The variety & the eye you have - EXCELLENT - keep it up.

And now I find my own home town. Yes I'm a Londoner & I have to comment on someone's misplaced trivia knowledge.

Big Ben, the clock tower we all know, has many bells inside & the biggest is called "Big Ben". The clock is called St. Stephen's, if my memory hasn't been destroyed by too many Fosters Ices. Hic!
The last bit of trivia for that is 9 feet & 14 feet. The length of those hands!

Sky colour, I would agree WB has fixed onto lights & sky gone blue.
Polarizer would have given great saturation too.
Also another combining effect, which I often used myself, was the amount of pollution lit up by all the lights. Only on evenings & nights when there hasn't been a drop of rain for a few days.

Zuhdo, tell me something. I've not been back to London for a while now, but under Westminster Bridge (with Big Ben), were the green lights on at any time? They sit under the bridge's arches. The reflections of those are sweet.
Something to look out for, on your return journey.
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Old May 15, 2004, 2:01 PM   #10
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Les Pattison wrote:
Sky colour, I would agree WB has fixed onto lights & sky gone blue.
I have noticed that in my camera with no manual white balance ajustment, using the flash in night shots (even if the flash does nothing at all) willforce the white balance to a setting that will get colors right at night, specially when there are no white areas in the picture that the camera can fix to. I found this specially useful recently during a night shooting session where all street lighting was sodium (yellow) and pictures without flash did not get the yellow color right. Turning on the flash corrected it. This might not be desirable in all cases, though, specially if there are objects close to the camera that you don't intend to illuminate.
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