The Thames Barrier at Dusk

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Thames Barrier : Canon 5D : EF 17-40mm (35mm) : 101 sec : f20 : Cokin Nuances ND10 and ND 3 Grad filter

Some shots look more dramatic under dark skies. So what do you do when you are at a location, it is the middle of the day and the dynamic range of the shot is off the scale. The answer is to use a combination of neutral density filters and be fearless in your post-processing.

There are some who believe you should do everything in-camera. I totally respect that but happen to believe that creativity is whatever gets you to your visual destination. As long as what you create, captures your imagination, makes you feel something, tells a story and is unique to you. It is still great photography.

The Thames barrier can make a great subject. Their structures dominate the skyline, are beautifully constructed and sit majestically across the Thames. The problem is what they are constructed from bright reflective metal. In daylight, especially with the sun anywhere near overhead, they present unimaginable difficulties with regards dynamic range. The answer is cut the range down with the use of filters and in post-processing to find channel settings (in monochrome) that allows the structures to stand out.

In this case, the sky was darkened to almost a night sky and a long exposure used to create a soft backdrop of water the barriers are left looking almost asleep as they lay across the Thames.