Phlegm at Southbank

Tucked back from the Thames at Southbank, above ground on a walkway behind the QE Hall, you will find a classic work by Phlegm the well-known Sheffield Artist.

It’s not easy to photograph, because being above ground it is impossible to get a straight head-on shot, with tree foliage also getting in the way. I tried to shoot four images on my dSLR, looking up at the mural, but sadly I hadn’t taken my extreme wide-angle lens with me that day. If I had, it might have made things a little easier. As a result all the verticals were distorted and the images hadn’t really lined up either. I very quickly gave up on the idea of attempting to stitch them together. That was back last November. Then I thought a few days ago: nothing ventured, nothing gained. So I loaded them into Photoshop, clicked on Photomerge and waited. Bingo! What a surprise – Photoshop crunched the pixels and produced a stunning result. How does it manage that? Here is the resulting four image Panorama. Remember to click the image to see a higher quality enlargement.

_DS78146_CompositePhlegm’s work won’t be to everyone’s taste – his work is highly distinctive – fantastical creatures and objects being the main ingredient. But like so many Graphic Artists his work is precise, brilliantly designed and expertly painted. You will find his work widely on view across the UK and overseas.

Below you will find three close-ups from the mural. Click on them to see enlargements.

If you are interested to know more about Phlegm, then here are some links for you to investigate:

For Phlegm’s blog – click here. Click here for a brief biopic and a link to view a sequence of images of a mural in the making. Click here to view an article in the Guardian Newspaper with a set of 12 images of Phlegm’s work from around the world. And finally click here to go to the Sheffield Street Art webpage featuring Phlegm’s latest art in Sheffield and for a set of further links.


About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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14 Responses to Phlegm at Southbank

  1. Chillbrook says:

    I hadn’t heard of this artist before you mentioned him Andy. He produces some very interesting work. As for Photoshop, it’s an incredible program isn’t it? I’m constantly finding new tools and techniques that have me completely dumbfounded as to how the program has managed to do whatever and with such good results.

  2. Hi Andy,
    The stitched panoramic is great and I don’t think I’ve seen this mural head on as most people have shot it at an angle from one side. I know you are very busy but just so you know – I think Phlegms Bestiary exhibition in London has been extended until March 25th 😉

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Nigel. I thought this would interest you. I did actually shoot it from the side too but really that did not do it justice. Shooting up at it from ground level was the only way to try and tackle it in sections, but with the resulting converging verticals I really didn’t think it could be stitched together. I was so surprised by the result in Photoshop. Never underestimate the power of the software! I didn’t know Phlegm’s Bestiary was on show in London – I will see if I have time for that, may not be possible as we have a week away between now and then – I’m off to the ski slopes.

      • Yes it does appear that Photohop has made a good job of it. Often with closer inspection it is possible to realise that the software has done some strange joins but this appear to be OK.
        Phlegms exhibition has received lots of attention. The chap who runs the gallery must really like his work because he isn’t going to make any money from it and has even extended the show! Phlegm is not selling anything at the free exhibition and early on stated it was all about people being able to look at and enjoy (or not) art for free. After the exhibition all his work will be destroyed so it is a wonderful chance to see his work up close. He spent maybe 6 weeks installing, making and painting. I’m sure you’d enjoy it and perhaps get some photo opportunities.
        I realise you are heading off to the mountains but it would be wrong if I didn’t encourage you to go! 😉
        As an artist Phlegm has a great deal of integrity.
        There is a print exhibition at the Millennium galleries in Sheffield and Phlegm has three pieces in the show and is the only one not selling anything.
        He isn’t interested in heading down a commercial path and keeps afloat with his modest had made output.

  3. oneowner says:

    There is no doubt Phlegm is a talented artist and I think this photo shows it. The stitched pano looks seamless to my eye. Photoshop does a very nice job of integrating files like this. Nice work.

  4. Len says:

    That is one cool image Andy. You have proven why I never throw images away unless they are bad. These editing programs keep getting better and better and do some mind blowing things.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Len. Yes, we can be too easy to judge our work. I was expecting to return with an extreme wide-angle lens to re-take this mural. I doubt I can get a better shot than the Pano, thanks to Photoshop.

      • janina says:

        Yes, the pano is wonderful and shows Phlegm’s gentle sense of humour and futuristic creatures that I would like to meet! Microsoft have a more powerful image-merging software where you input still images taken over 360degrees that then provides a virtual view of the scene. I don’t recall it’s name, but I was astounded, too, at how it picks the right parts to produce the end result. I’m continually gobsmacked by the power of modern computing technology.

  5. I love Phlegm’s stuff.

  6. poppytump says:

    Enjoyed looking at this and your links Andy .
    Ah digital editing software … I’m digging deeper into such things and … well hours can be lost 😉

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