The theme I’ve selected for this assignment is Manchester’s Metrolink; which I extend to some general scenes of Mancehster along the Metrolink routes.  This set of three images are scenes which include objects of different reflectivity.

Image 1 – Metrolink and Office Building

Metrolink and Office

Metrolink and Office – ISO100, f/11, 1/60s. Click to see on Flickr.

I wanted a shot with some sense of movement, without obscuring the metro and making it unrecognisable, so I shot this on ISO100 and 1/60s.  The shot was taken in shade, but it was still quite bright, so the low ISO allowed for a slow-ish shutter speed without over-exposing the image.  I composed the shot to minimise the amount of sky in the direction where the sun was; a little more sky would have ended up with clipping in that area (and it is bordered on that as it is).

Metrolink and Office Histogram

Metrolink and Office Histogram

The histogram is fairly spread out, but the sky/clouds are pushing up the bright tones towards the very edge, while the blackness of the metro windows and the shade inside has pushed up the darker tones.

Difference between how I saw this scene, and how it turned out:

I expected the sky in this image to be quite bright, given it’s the direction the sun was coming from, however I expected it to be “bluer” than is apparent.  The reflection in the building is more along the lines of what I expected from the background sky.

Image 2 – Metrolink and Shudehill Stop and Bus Station

Metrolink and Shudehill

Metrolink and Shudehill – ISO200, f/16, 1/100s. Click to see on Flickr.

The Metrolink has been extended to Rochdale this year, so I wanted a shot that alluded to that.  Here the glass of the tram, the frosted glass of the multi-storey above Shudehill bus station, the metal of signposts and the brickwork of the station provide the variation in reflectivity.  I’ve shot the image with the sun to the side and behind to avoid direct reflections and light the scene evenly.  The reflects on the dark glass of the metro minimise the impact of the contrast in the scene.  There are some completely black areas around the metro’s glass, however no important detail is lost; if anything they frame the reflection pleasantly.

Metrolink and Shudehill Histogram

Metrolink and Shudehill Histogram

Difference between how I saw this scene, and how it turned out:

This is pretty-much exactly how I saw the scene – the camera’s captured what I saw very accurately with no surprises in the result.

Image 3 – The Lowry

Lowry - ISO200, f/11, 1/200s.  Click to see on Flickr.

Lowry – ISO200, f/11, 1/200s. Click to see on Flickr.

The Lowry is just off the Metrolink route, so fits the theme and provides a good range of reflective surfaces; glass of different colours, metal (with a variety of textures and angles) and other materials.  I shot with the sun behind me; the variety of angles ensured there was no direct reflection back towards me and camera.  A short exposure ensured a well-exposed image in the bright sunlight, and the f/11 aperture gave a good depth of field from the Lowry on the left to the black glass buildings on the right.

Lowry Histogram

Lowry Histogram

As the histogram shows there is a reasonable spread of tones with no clipping despite the bright reflections on the metal of the Lowery and darker glass areas.

Difference between how I saw this scene, and how it turned out:

I expected the darker buildings and shade in the theatre to come out from the camera with less detail so was surprised at how generally balanced this turned out.  While I thought shooting with the sun behind me would give me the best chance of a good shot, I didn’t expect it to turn out quite so well.