The Shard

Infrared lens hotspot.

Good morning. 

If you have purchased the infrared filter as i previously mentioned in a blog post couple of weeks ago, and have been shooting with it, you will have noticed the strange colouring that you have received. 

The bright red file is normal, Prior to shooting setting a custom white balance is recommended. A lot of advice i have read is setting it again green grass or foliage. For the below image being a city scape there wasn't much grass around, so i chose to shoot in RAW and play with the white balance later in post. 

One thing i have learn is the visible hot spot in the centre of the image. I shot this using Nikons 24-70mm f2.8 and lens hot spots are a most common problem encountered when shooting infrared light. They usually manifest in the form of a bright circle, sometimes in the shape of aperture leaves directly in the center of the image. The problem is exaggerated as you stop down (increase f stop number), with the spot becoming more prominent and defined. 

Hot spots can be caused for a variety of reasons, the most common of which is the coating on the inside of the lens barrel being reflective in IR light. Another frequent reason is light interaction between the coatings of the lens elements. A less common reason is light interaction between the lens elements and the imaging sensor(usually the micro-lenses) in the camera. In this case using the lens on one camera model may have no hot spot issues and on another model there could be prominent hot spots.

Unfortunately, if your lens has this issue the only solution is to simply use a different lens altogether. Fortunately the majority of lenses don’t have this problem or the problem is very minor and normally not visible in images.

Once i find a suitable lens and am happy with the results ill report back. 

If you have any suggestions to use on a Nikon body id like to hear your views. Feel free to use the contact page.

I hope that you enjoy these images. This is a new technique and something i am enjoying playing with. 


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Infrared Black and White. London

<img src="Black and white morelondon" alt="lack and white monochrome morelondon infrared hoya R72 filter The Shard vewing gallery town hall Lee Ramsden">

Nikon D800 f8 3min ISO400 24-70mm@28mm



Here is a Black and White processed infrared image of London's MoreLondon area, with the town hall and the Shard building. 

My next blog post on Monday i will be showing the out of camera file compared to the processed colour version. And explain why there is a visible hotspot in the centre, due to the choice of Lens. (This won't happen again, i am enjoying the learning curve with these.)


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Polarising Filter.


Today is just a quick post, but wanted to try and show the importance of using a circular polarising filter. Here you can see from a shot of London from the View at the Shard, i had to shoot through a window.

With out a polarising filter

This image you can see the reflections in the glass from inside of the building. 

With a polarising filter fitted

By using a polarising filter, it is not perfect, but seriously cuts out the reflections and so saves you much more time having to edit less.

Like always if you have any questions please feel free to post in the comments. 

Hope that you enjoy the rest of your Sunday... 


London view at the Shard gallery London Uk Tower Bridge HMS Belfast

The above image would not have been able to been created so clean without a polarising filter. 



Please feel free to share this post on your social media, giving credit to the photographer Lee Ramsden



The view from the Shard London HDR image break down.

Hi, hope your keeping well and have had a good weekend. 

Here are some images from the previous London landscape image that i have posted. 

I wanted to show the images used to create the final image. 

I clamped the camera down to the handrail using the Manfrotto Magic arm and using a cable release i rattled a few bracketed frames. 

I have included the metadata on each image, but other then converting to jpg, they are straight from the camera and in the order the camera took them and i added to Nik softwares HDR efex pro 2.

London Shard The View HDR image Photography tutorial Nikon D800 award winning

Here is the first base image. In face i quite like this exposure but i personally prefer having the extra range to play with. 


And finally this is the out put from the software. As you can see it has little punch, no halos. or even much contrast going on. But the key is to get a nice base to start with, and then bring this into photoshop and make it your own.

I have tried many different HDR software on the market and not one will you be able to click process- done.

But i do think that this is a good thing, no 2 images will ever be processed the same and so this way it makes you take your time and make something unique and more realistic.

london View from the Shard HMS Belfast river Thames Tower Bridge

Here is the final image. 



The View at The Shard London photography tips.

Hi, how are you? 

I hope that you are well, while I'm stuck out at work on the rig for a month....

mobile, iphone, Lee, Ramsden, London, The View From The Shad, Landscape, Photography, Lancashire, HDR

Last week for the Mrs's birthday we took a trip to the new viewing platform in the Shard building- London.

72 floors high you get an incredible view of London.

You have to book in advance, and pick your time slot, i was particular in that i wanted sunset to dark.

After googling the timings i was happy that we would catch the setting sun, but just had to have our fingers crossed for the weather :0)

london View from the Shard HMS Belfast river Thames Tower Bridge

As you can see, we were so very lucky in the weather front, after so much snow and bad weather recently.

I wanted to give a couple of tips that i found so handy while shooting here.

and these tips will not only help if you fancy going up the Shard but I'm guessing 99.9% of tourist locations.

Tip 1

- The venue Tripod ban...

A lot of tourist venues have a tripod ban and so you are not allowed to enter with / or use one.

Manfrotto G clamp

As you can see i over came this by using a Manfrotto magic arm, and super clamp. 

The security observed me using this and did not bother in the slightest. 

While using the clamp and magic arm, i treated it like a tripod and so was using my cable release to gain much longer shutter speeds. 

Tip 2

- Don't for get your polariser filter.

To try and reduce the reflections you gain shooting through the glass, a circular polariser filter is not perfect, but cuts down the problem loads. 

Nothing will stop the other members of public and their point and shoots, using the flash - still amazed at what they recon the on camera flash will light up. 

That its, i can really recommend the Shard, it was a fantastic experience. 

Keep in touch in the comments bar bellow...