Critique London Wall Place

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#1
These are a few photos I took of London Wall Place last week. This is a building I spent a lot of time working on so I like to try and get some half decent images for use on linkedin and the like. It has been completed a couple of years but previously when I have been down there it has been a bit gloomy so just did some detail/abstract shots, now the landscaping and green walls have had time to establish it all looks a bit more finished anyway.


1.
Image-007
by David Walker, on Flickr

2.
Image-003
by David Walker, on Flickr

3.
Image-004
by David Walker, on Flickr

4.
Image-006
by David Walker, on Flickr

5.
Image-008
by David Walker, on Flickr


This one I am not sure on, the building was reflecting the sun and creating a bright spot on the pavement and I was trying to use that to create a silhouette of someone walking by to add a bit of life to the image and I liked the tonality it gave. I can't put my finger on it though but it does look like it is quite there. Not sure if it is the messy lens flare ore the traffic but it is definitely missing something. Maybe someone would have a suggestion?
6.
Image-005
by David Walker, on Flickr
 
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Rich
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#3
Really liked your Paris photos Dave, but not keen on any of these especially those with the blurred pedestrians.
Also find the one with the vapour trail projecting from the side of the building very distracting.
Do you think it might be better trying early in the morning, city can still be quiet at that time
Sorry to be negative, but having seen some of your other efforts think you can do better with this subject
 
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bass_junkie83
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#4
I think you’re right about the traffic in number 6, to me that’s the bit that grates on me.
I think you may well be right. I may have some other shots either side of this one that I may be able to use in a composite to lose the vehicles.

Really liked your Paris photos Dave, but not keen on any of these especially those with the blurred pedestrians.
Also find the one with the vapour trail projecting from the side of the building very distracting.
Do you think it might be better trying early in the morning, city can still be quiet at that time
Sorry to be negative, but having seen some of your other efforts think you can do better with this subject

No problem at all, always happy to have some honest criticism.

There is some intention behind the differences between these any my Paris photos, and not just that I find night shots much easier!

I work for a facade consultancy that designed the cladding for this building, so I had a somewhat self imposed brief for these which was to produce a set of images that showcase the building while also clearly showing off all the various aspects of the cladding.
A big thing in architecture at the moment is integration with the public realm, and that was particularly prevalent with this building by the way it sits over the public spaces around the old Roman wall and ties into the elevated Barbican walkways. For that reason I wanted to keep people within the image, the idea of allowing the motion blur was to stop them becoming the subject of the image and give a sense of bustling movement on the streets below a giant static monolith. Though if it needs explaining, I probably haven't pulled it off. :LOL:
I think it works well enough in #3, but in #4 they people walking past are too close to the camera making it just a distraction.
Similar with the traffic in #2, but also because stationary traffic cuing up outside would look terrible and the motion blur is the only thing that distinguishes it from any other snap shot.

Even getting in early London is very busy. My first available train into London is at 4:00am, gets me into London at 5:00am which means I can get to anywhere within central London by around 5:30am. Even then there is a lot of traffic and people around. The Image below is of another of my projects that was recently completed, the new UK HQ for Qatar Airways on Conduit Street. This was taken some time before 6:00am and still needed the use of a 10 stop filter to 'lose' the constant flow of passing people and traffic, even then I still had to wait for gaps between delivery lorries parking up outside.
Image-002
by David Walker, on Flickr

I have no excuses for the vapour trails, pure laziness on my part as they could easily have been removed. My only excuse is that I edited these straight after going though all my holiday photos by which time I think I had lost concentration!
 
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#5
The Image below is of another of my projects that was recently completed, the new UK HQ for Qatar Airways on Conduit Street. This was taken some time before 6:00am and still needed the use of a 10 stop filter to 'lose' the constant flow of passing people and traffic, even then I still had to wait for gaps between delivery lorries parking up outside.
Hi, architecture pics in a busy city are most difficult... As you say, there are many things beyond your control.

And different people have different taste(s) ... ---

I try to align corners vertically. This means using WA or UWA lenses if you cannot move away as much as necessary. My lenses: 12 mm -> 15 -> 18 -> 21 ... etc.

And, of course even when using UWA/WAs, despite using the level in my camera (or an externally mounted one) the corners in my building pics are not always
vertical.

To avoid giving the impression the building is falling down, I use the SW functionality in Photoshop for vertical alignment.

You did this in#1, shown above! :)
 
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#6
Thanks for the reply Dave, now you have explained it I can see how you tried to integrate the buildings and city life.
Admittedly its been a while since I visited the city that early and it sounds like its even busier these days
I did at one time get the night bus in when I was working on a project that the Corporation only allowed early mornings on.

As Immo says above architecture in busy cities is hard and converging verticals are just one more challenge.
Only a subjective view and if the client was happy its job done, it was nice to read your thoughts on my reply
 
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#7
The first image is very good. It's generally good to have a few people in the shot to gives a sense of life and scale but it's less of a distraction if they are blurred. Some people like images without people but most like a few people in the shot. Loads of people in the shot can be a bit of a distraction.

The rest of the images don't work for me and are let down by the converging verticals. It's a shame as some of them look well composed but the lack of verticals and the lack of space around them is an issue.

What lens did you use.
 
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bass_junkie83
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#8
Thanks all for your comments, the converging verticals seem to be by far the biggest issue.

Believe it or not, all of these images have had some degree of perspective correction to reduce the severity of the converging verticals, but the issue I often have is not having enough dead space in the images to fully correct the verticals and still have enough remaining image to crop the final image without there being empty white space in the corners.

I am using the Samyang 12mm lens with a Fuji XT3 (1.5 crop) so I am not sure going wider is really an option. Going to 8mm puts me in fish eye territory so what I gain in additional FOV could well be lost when it comes to correcting barrel distortion.

A tilt shift lens would be the ideal solution but there is nothing native to the Fuji system. The widest tilt shift I know of is the canon 17mm which would work with an adaptor, but on a crop sensor 17mm is hardly wide and they cost ££££, with around another £300 on top for an adaptor.

Maybe shooting panoramas is the answer? I have had success on the odd occasion I have tried it, but limited to horizontal panoramas using the pan function of my tripod head. I suppose I would need something like a nodal ninja to do vertical panoramas, and would also allow me to shoot an array if I need to increase both height and width of a particular scene.

In tis case I pretty well am the client. So while I may be happy with them one day, I will want to improve on them the next. :)
 
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#9
Thanks all for your comments, the converging verticals seem to be by far the biggest issue.

Believe it or not, all of these images have had some degree of perspective correction to reduce the severity of the converging verticals, but the issue I often have is not having enough dead space in the images to fully correct the verticals and still have enough remaining image to crop the final image without there being empty white space in the corners. :)
Hi, I think this is one of the rare cases where equipment can make a difference. I use "FF" 24x36mm. Then 12mm is really FL 12mm. And there is even a 10mm.

This goes for Leica M mount and SONY E mount.

My widest native lens for SONY is the ZEISS Loxia 2,8/21 I like to use for architecture when visiting cities. My Leica lenses go down to 12mm (and they can
be adapted to my SONYs).
 
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bass_junkie83
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#10
Hi, I think this is one of the rare cases where equipment can make a difference. I use "FF" 24x36mm. Then 12mm is really FL 12mm. And there is even a 10mm.

This goes for Leica M mount and SONY E mount.

My widest native lens for SONY is the ZEISS Loxia 2,8/21 I like to use for architecture when visiting cities. My Leica lenses go down to 12mm (and they can
be adapted to my SONYs).
Yes this is definitely a case of a hobbyist trying aspiring to achieve professional results.
I used to shoot full frame when I did photography semi-professionally (not that architecture was something I ever did) but I sold all that stuff when I wanted to downsize.

I wonder if one of the cheaper panoramic heads is worth a punt to try, and if it looks to be a workable solution I can always upgrade to something better built if justified. Something like this perhaps?
https://www.amazon.co.uk/DSLRKIT-Pa...s=nodal+ninja&qid=1567070771&s=gateway&sr=8-4
 
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#11
With building photography you are always going to be at a disadvantaged if you are using a cropped sensor. If you do a lot of this type of photography it might be worth getting a full frame body.

The thing about a shift lens is that you can significantly increase the field of view by shifting the lens in one direction taking a shot and then shifting a lens in the other direction and taking a shot. These 2 images will then stitch together seamlessly without the distortion you get in normal panorama because the camera body hasn't moved. So a 17mm lens could produce a finished image that had the same look as one taken with a 10mm lens with the benefit of some vertical correction.

Here are a couple of shots taken like that the first one is a left and right landscape shot and the second one is a 2 portrait shots which creates a square shot when stitched.



 
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#12
Yes this is definitely a case of a hobbyist trying aspiring to achieve professional results.
I used to shoot full frame when I did photography semi-professionally (not that architecture was something I ever did) but I sold all that stuff when I wanted to downsize.
Hi, I am a hobbyist, too. - I try to take pictures I am happy with, which are worth showing (and seeing). Over the years, a fair amount of equipment found its way to me ... ---

If you use APS-C, you will simply have to work within the parameters of these systems. But this is life. What you pay is what you get.

By the way, I have a soft spot for Fuji. I still have the GS645 medium format camera. :)
 
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