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Guardian Angel

Posted by
Ian Bramham (Manchester, United Kingdom) on 17 February 2012 in Art & Design and Portfolio.

I was in Newcastle in the NE of England on Wednesday taking my daughter to a University interview. The main road in and out of the city passes right next to a famous statue called the "Angel of the North" by sculptor Antony Gormley.

He's the sculptor who created the 'iron men' statues on Crosby Beach that I've photographed so often.

Anyway here's a quick shot that I took as we were leaving the city - well actually it's a slow shot as it was a 4 minute exposure but you know what I mean!

We really didn't have much time there but I guess these are the situations where lots of practice taking long exposure photos pays off.

The scale of the statue doesn't really come across well in this photo but it is enormous - it is 20 metres (66 ft) tall, with wings measuring 54 metres (177 ft) across.

NIKON D700 2409/10 second F/5.6 ISO 200 16 mm (35mm equiv.)

Like what you see here and are interested in photographic composition?.....the blog section of my website now has a complete set of 5 articles covering my personal approach to the subject: Ian Bramham Photography - Blog

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Rupesh from kudal, India

‘’ Beautiful image. Wonderful composition and light. …..’’

17 Feb 2012 8:08am

@Rupesh: Thanks Rupesh!

Hans ter Horst from Ruislip, United Kingdom

Amazing, I love the way the light seems to radiate from the statue!

17 Feb 2012 8:24am

@Hans ter Horst: Thanks Hans! - 16mm on full frame really exaggerates perspective which gives that impression that light is radiating from the statue and the 2 stacked nd filters have resulted in the natural edge vignette. All in all this didn't need much processing, the main things apart from the obvious square crop and b&w conversion involved some lifting of the shadow areas and an overall boost to contrast.

Gérard Beullac from Paris, France

Impressive sculpture !
The long pause creates a surnatural light all over it and it works superbly !

17 Feb 2012 9:01am

@Gérard Beullac: Thanks Gérard....long exposure photography brings the nicest surprises sometimes!

Sergei Z from Türi, Estonia

Excellent job! Very impressive!

17 Feb 2012 9:50am

@Sergei Z: Thanks Sergei!

Andrew Atkinson from Hartlepool, United Kingdom

Ian, great shot. possibly one of the best I've seen of the Angel. I wish all me quick shots turned out like this :-)

17 Feb 2012 10:26am

@Andrew Atkinson: Thanks Andrew!

Helen from Melbourne, Australia

Seriously Ian. I am amazed by how you see this world! It is many years that you have been in my blogwatch and you never cease to amaze me. You have an extraordinarily consistent talent. Day after day, I am in awe. Perhaps you do not appreciate how you impact on others? It isn't about the processing. It is your eye. Thanks for making my life and my visual travel in the UK so amazing.

17 Feb 2012 10:34am

@Helen: Thanks Helen! I do love photography - hopefully that shows through from time to time!

Ana Lúcia from Leiria, Portugal

I'm impressed! Fantastic work.

17 Feb 2012 11:31am

@Ana Lúcia: Thanks Ana!

Ian Smith from London, United Kingdom

Magnificent! Truly magical touch - best photo of this ugly sculpture I've ever seen!

17 Feb 2012 1:24pm

Marie LC from Entre montagnes et Bretagne, France

Grandiose !

17 Feb 2012 3:41pm

Stefan from Thiersee, Austria


17 Feb 2012 5:05pm

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

Looks like a completely different world compared to my old colour one, I'll have to give this a try Ian.
Just think, you drove by the best coast in the north-east, you might have more time on your hands next time eh?

17 Feb 2012 5:43pm

omid from mashhad, Iran


17 Feb 2012 8:21pm

janina from Melbourne, Australia

Yes, I've seen this in documentaries and it is humungous! I like your version much better. 4stars. ;OD PS: Hope your daughter gets in.

17 Feb 2012 11:36pm

Pavan Kaul from Mumbai, India

A beautiful composition Ian. The long exposure really works its magic here~

19 Feb 2012 5:14am

missparis from Paris, France

C'est splendide

19 Feb 2012 9:33pm

Daryl Johnson from Worcester Park, United Kingdom

Lovely dramatic image.

21 Feb 2012 3:10pm

Brandon from New York, United States

Beautiful photo! May I ask, how do you achieve an exposure longer than 30 sec (shutter lock?)?

19 Jun 2012 2:33pm

@Brandon: Hi Brandon - I use a DSLR camera. Mine is a Nikon but they all have a setting called 'bulb' for exposures longer than 30 seconds. I use a remote control for long exposures so that I don't have to keep my finger pressed down on the shutter button. Not touching the camera while it's doing its thing on the tripod also helps avoid blurry shots.

Brandon from New York, United States

Thanks so much for the response! My apologies on not being more specific. After shooting a long exposure of let's say 60 sec, you would then have 2 photos, each of 30 sec... correct? How do you then merge them? I assume you then use long exposure noise reduction? Thanks so much for the help!!

19 Jun 2012 4:10pm

@Brandon: No, if you use the bulb setting then you would get a single exposure photo of 60 seconds and definitely not two shots of 30 seconds each (the longest single exposure I've successfully done using bulb is about 10 minutes but the correct exposure calculation starts to get complicated beyond about 8 minutes or so). Yes, I do enable 'long exposure noise reduction' in the camera menu settings - it's a big help.

This image has been featured in 1 Remix collection.

B&W Photography by Hoshisato

2409/10 second
ISO 200
16 mm (35mm equiv.)