21 January 2014

Fireworks in the wind and the rain

I don't normally mention the camera I use for a certain photo.   Why?  I simply don't think it's as important as the final image.

So why am I making an exception this time?

I took this series of photos with an Olympus OM-D E-M1.  The weather was wet.   I don't just mean a bit of light rain, I mean full on torrential windy camera killing rain.

I've tried various ways to keep the rain away from cameras before, sometimes an expensive solution and sometimes a plastic bag attached losely with an elastic band.   Strangely the plastic bag / elastic band combination had worked as well as any paid for solution.

Why is all of this important now?   Well because the Olympus OM-D E-M1 is supposed to be weather proof.   There's a video on YouTube of some nutter holding it under a tap while the water is flowing.   I'm not about to try that, but knowing that said nutter didn't break his camera leaves me much more confident about using the camera in the rain.

Of course it doesn't help keep the water off the lens (I just pretend it was an intentional artistic effect if anyone asks), but it does make shooting in bad weather much easier.

My favourite photo here is the first one.   What your can see is the firework reflecting off the rain while being blown by the wind.

I've taken many of my favourite photos when out in bag weather, and now I seems I have one less excuse not to get wet and cold.


14 January 2014

Getting high in London

Having asked a question on Facebook a few days earlier that I wanted to get "high" in London, I had a whole list of choices.  Some of them (London Eye, Shard, and on top of the hill in Greenwich Park) I'd done before, but the one that caught my attention the most was the Sushisamba Lounge Bar right in the heart of the City of London.

We phoned up in advance, reservations not required for off peak hours, so up we rocked.

Taking one look at our cameras the guy at the street level door told us quite bluntly that they had a no photography policy.  I questioned him on this, and according to him absolutely no photography was allowed.  Now I can understand how they might want to limit the use of professional equipment and tripods, but to say no photography at all on what is one of the best views in the whole of London.

Bonkers, just bonkers.

I knew there was a bar at Tower 42 just over the road, I'd read that reservations were required, but we were here and figured it was worth a punt.  Their attitude couldn't have been more different.  They explained there was a £15 minimum spend per head (still £10 cheaper than The Shard!), and we quickly made a booking for the evening opening time of 5pm.

The view was, as expected quite incredible.  The lounge / bar in Vertigo 42 was perfect, with some of my favourite chill music playing, and considering the location / view some really quite reasonable drinks prices - so much so that we all struggled to hit our £15 minimum spend!

They had no problem with us walking around taking photos of the view, and didn't mind that we weren't exactly the smartest dressed bunch of people.  We were there enjoying the view and spending the minimum amount allowed for around 2 hours.

Update:  I forgot to mention.  Much unlike The Shard, the windows at Vertigo were spotlessly clean!  Kudos Vertigo 42!

Some photos...