We went to Tate Britain recently to see the L S Lowry exhibition. Lowry painted the industrial landscapes of Lancashire in the first half of the 20th Century. Lowry became, justifiably, an immensely popular and much loved painter. His painting style is instantly recognizable through his depiction of the population of these urban landscapes. The Exhibition runs to 20th October. It’s a brilliantly curated exhibition. Don’t miss it. Click the links in this paragraph to find out more.
I don’t recall the last time I visited Tate Britain but it’s a long time ago. The staircase is jaw dropping.
How do you photograph something like this when all you have with you is a Canon G10? I really needed my ultra-wide zoom lens. Well, I got a half-decent image. Photographing on the stairs was not easy. Too many people and attempts to include them proved impossible or plain awkward.
We went back down to the Foyer, my wife went off to browse the Gallery shop and I looked up the staircase. I could see there was a potential image of people on the staircase that was segmented by the architecture. But to get a decent shot I had to hold the G10 above my head to shoot, and the area below my centre of interest (on the ground floor) was a small café with a collection of tables at which people were sitting. I felt rather uncomfortable shooting in that very obvious way – the people in front of me had no idea whether they were in the shot or not. Thankfully no-one seemed bothered.
Framing was not easy, and I had to stand there and wait for a likely placement of figures on the stairs, raise the camera quickly and shoot a shot with the inevitable fractional delay on the G10. Of about 10 shots taken, back home there was only one I felt had potential.
And here is the original un-edited RAW image. Five figures, four of them blurred! Nothing for it but to see if the ‘four’ could be exterminated – photographically speaking. Thankfully I managed it and here is the final result with which I am rather pleased. It helps so much that the one person who was sharp is the one looking across the image up the staircase.
Sometimes the impossible can be possible. And one final point. No matter how clever you become at cloning out the unwanted and rebuilding the image you leave tiny traces of your activities. In these situations Topaz Clean is the rescue package. Using that plug-in just to clean up the final image a little bit removes any trace that some people have…. simply disappeared, leaving no trace! Click the image to see a higher quality enlargement.