Tuesday 14 October 2008

Richmond Riverside with airliner overhead (night) - # 08/243

A chilly night beside the river is a good opportunity for photography but be careful that the swiftly rising tide does not catch your feet and dampen your shoes!

Discussion: the "string of pearls" is a fortunate accident as the plane came over set up for landing at Heathrow. I chose not to crop the image, preferring to leave the mass of darkness in the left foreground because it symbolises the dark rushing river and contrasts dramatically with the (false??) security of the lights of the bars and restaurants. I set the aperture at f16 to provoke the attractive little star burst effect in the street lamps. It begins around f8 on this lens.

(On this occasion no police arrived to ask if I was a terrorist because I was using a tripod to support a giant camera. Do terrorists always use tripods and highly conspicuous cameras when they pretend to be doing perfectly legal things?)

Technical (for those who want to know): Camera Olympus E3 set to Manual, ISO125, Aperture f16, Shutter held open for 19 seconds, Plus 1.5 Exposure Values added in post processing to brighten it up a bit.....so, a 30-35 second exposure may have been a better choice first time round. Lens Olympus 14-35mm f1:2.


  1. Great photo. I love the line the plane made in the sky.

  2. This is a wonderful night shot. I am such an amateur with the settings but I need more info about why you chose such a low ISO? I would have cranked it up to 800 (and gotten a lot of noise probably) Glad you escaped the Keystone Cops this time, you shutterbug terrorist you!

  3. @Virginia...noise is not a problem on this camera. The main reason for the low ISO is to a)make sure that any people wld appear as vague shadows or not appear at all unless totally static on a bench. b)I also wanted a slow speed to catch the string of pearls from the plane. ISO 800 wld have produced a fast shutter speed because of the intense lighting. Thus cancelling the effects mentioned.

  4. Not understanding anything about photo technique (using the "auto-technique"), I was surprised to see the dotted line in the sky (string of pearls sounds better, sorry)!

    Yes, I understand that tripods are considered as dangerous (in wrong hands). I bought a very tiny one which I can put in my pocket, but always forget to carry.

  5. Good picture.... what are those parallel lines in the sky?