<<< o >>>made of sterner stuff 71 comments + add yours

If ever I need confirmation of the fact that my wife is as tough as nails and I'm just a yellow-bellied wuss, this is the shot I'll return to ;-) Taken today, at the top of Blackpool Tower, it demonstrates that some people can walk across a five foot square of plate glass 380 feet above the ground without batting an eyelid, and others – myself included – can just about manage it, but need a bit of a sit down and a cup of tea afterwards ;-) Anyway, it was a shame the weather was totally crap, as this is the first time we've been up the tower since we moved to Blackpool in the summer of 2004, but I'm definitely going to go back up when the light is a bit better.

On another matter: I was interviewed by Garth Leach from The Daily Shooter the other day, and the interview has just gone online. Thanks Garth.

focal length
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exposure bias
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RAW converter
2.18pm on 1/2/06
Canon 20D
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
17mm (27mm equiv.)
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C1 Pro
3x2 + Blackpool Tower + fylde coast + people
comment by joel at 09:14 PM (GMT) on 1 February, 2006

nice shot, you colour those shoes red....or were they already like that?

comment by djn1 at 09:15 PM (GMT) on 1 February, 2006

joel: they're like that anyway.

comment by Markus Nilsson at 09:17 PM (GMT) on 1 February, 2006

Cool shot. If I were to pick a side, I guess I would end up together with you drinking a nice cup of tea rather than strolling back and forth over that piece of glass. Looking forward to some clear weather shots from the tower.

comment by mark at 09:19 PM (GMT) on 1 February, 2006

Excellent Dave, love the red shoes, really sets the whole thing off...Red for danger? As for where I'd be in this situation? Flattening myself against the most solid looking object around asking whether it was time to go on the beach yet ;-)

comment by Fellow Eskimo at 09:20 PM (GMT) on 1 February, 2006

My boyfriend is trying to get me to go to the glass floor in the CN tower...much higher than 380 feet. Well, youre wife has more guts than I do too. Love the shoes.

comment by dave at 09:30 PM (GMT) on 1 February, 2006

the docs make this photo; great!

comment by m at 09:35 PM (GMT) on 1 February, 2006

Tea, cup of Tea!
I'd have needed a darn sight more ;-)

comment by Monika at 09:39 PM (GMT) on 1 February, 2006

Awesome, love the shoe color, kinda like a warning of danger: the drop below!

Don't worry about being a chicken, I went to the empire state building last fall and one look over the railing and I passed out cold... sigh

comment by CW at 09:50 PM (GMT) on 1 February, 2006

This one really strikes me instinctively as a great shot. I hope everyone else has the same reaction to it. Some photos hit that emotional/artistic/compositional balance quite well and this is one. Nice job!

comment by tobias at 09:51 PM (GMT) on 1 February, 2006

I love this capture. Well explained and well captured. I am on your side. I really do not wish to reminded quite how far from the ground I am. I love the red of those shoes, very deep and warm and then the slight haze of the ground below.

comment by Olive at 09:52 PM (GMT) on 1 February, 2006

I'm starting to see some giddiness when I look this picture, lol.

Nice shoot! :-)

comment by JD at 10:13 PM (GMT) on 1 February, 2006

Congrats on the interview, comes off nicely.

This shot looks almost as if its 2 images that have been stuck together! (guess thats becuase of the glass!).

Have you increase the shoe's saturation at all??

comment by Jarama at 10:21 PM (GMT) on 1 February, 2006

Great effing shot! I get the chills everytime I look at it...

comment by Chris [57 degrees] at 10:42 PM (GMT) on 1 February, 2006

Wow! That is a great photo, scary but great!

comment by Robert #2 at 10:45 PM (GMT) on 1 February, 2006

Nice interview. It was good to hear some of your thoughts. Like many here, you and John Washington are the reason I have a photoblog; you deserve as much recognition as can be sent your way.

I like this one-- the red shoes remind me of Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz: she sure ain't Kansas anymore. All the scuff marks make we wonder how intense the view was when it was new and crystal clear. Being afraid of heights, it makes me shudder.

comment by cj at 10:53 PM (GMT) on 1 February, 2006

Fun, but not much more than that. I particularly dislike the way that the lines in the top right corner distract from the whole. This contrasts to the lines on the left which make the shot.

To me you increase the scariness factor a lot by cropping the whole right side. And it is scariness that this is all about, no?

comment by Jo at 10:53 PM (GMT) on 1 February, 2006

Read DMs! That takes me back a few years.

It's an excellent photo - I love the way the glass divides the "above" and "below" so that the boots and jeans are really clear while the buildings below are blurred. It's almost as though you're looking down into another world...

comment by Free Spirit at 10:57 PM (GMT) on 1 February, 2006

Am I alone in saying I'd lie down on the glass quite happily? ;o)

The shoes make the photo.

comment by Kristyn at 11:20 PM (GMT) on 1 February, 2006

I love the contrast of the red shoes on the rest of the shot, powerful.

comment by Caryn at 11:24 PM (GMT) on 1 February, 2006

Just looking at this shot makes me feel slightly dizzy. I think I would have had trouble walking across that floor, too.

comment by aaronn at 11:56 PM (GMT) on 1 February, 2006

i think i need to sit and have coffee... i'm terrible with heights even the glass/transparent elevators freak me out. You captured it nicely!

comment by flying cow at 12:09 AM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

how about calling it "stepping on glass" :P

comment by flying cow at 12:10 AM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

i dont like the itself too much, but its a fabulously unique composition.

comment by flying cow at 12:10 AM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

*the shot

comment by Laurent at 12:16 AM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

I really enjoy to see this on photo, and not living it.
Maybe because I don't like the red shoes :p
Nice shot.

comment by Tim at 12:38 AM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

I don't know that I'd bat an eye walking across it, but I think I'd probably suffer an attack of vertigo leaning down to tie my shoe!

comment by Todd Baker at 01:54 AM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

Very nice! Bad weather or no, this one invokes all the emotion it needs to! BTW, I'm with you....

comment by Seat83 at 02:15 AM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

You keep on Rock'in! Congratulations!

comment by Gary at 03:09 AM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

terrific Dave, and needless to say, great perspective

comment by lisa at 03:16 AM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

this made me think of Charlie and the Glass Elevator. I think that was the title, anyway. nice one, I think the drab weather works just great with this.

comment by peter cohen at 03:23 AM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

Neo goes places like that every day.

comment by PlasticTV at 06:25 AM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

Definitely a cup of tea. :p At least you were stern enough to take the shot. :)

comment by AV at 06:38 AM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

I have also stood on a glass floor like this before (Cape Town Waterfront, SA). At the time I couldn't believe how difficult it was for me to walk over it, you KNOW it won't break, etc, but the mental and physcical effort is took to actually cross it, sort of embarrassed me. I do have slight acrophobia (which seems to get worse as I get older), but I immediately had the same feeling just LOOKING at this picture!!
Phew! But reading here ... I'm not alone, and I actually like this pic!

comment by Lino Baschiera at 06:47 AM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

A cup of tea?? I'll nead a double scotch before and after. Great Dave!

comment by Navin Harish at 07:29 AM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

Sometimes the responsibility of being tough just because you are a man is really overwhelming.

comment by brett Admire at 07:59 AM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

the red shoes..

comment by Ellie at 08:37 AM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

Awesome shot! the sides of the tower give a great sense of the height... Scary!
I like the red shoes! Look like Doc Martins to me, rock on.
Oh, and I have started a photoblog, please check it out when you have time :-D

comment by peter at 08:45 AM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

You know the Matrix is telling you that the glass will hold, but somehow you are never quite convinced. I know how you feel :-)

comment by Dan at 08:50 AM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

Yes nice capture, you wouldn't catch me standing on there either, but as with you, my wife probably would!

comment by David [mondaymorningphoto.com] at 09:27 AM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

Ah, good ol' Blackpool Tower :-) If I owned the office/building beneath, I'd be tempted to put a fully clothed mannequin on the roof to *really* freak out the people standing on the glass! (only joking). Great capture - you can really "feel" the dizzyness!

comment by Ed at 09:27 AM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

Very Nice shot.
I can't belive you have never been up the tower until now!

comment by Håvard at 09:38 AM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

And now I'm definetly going to by myself DrMartens-shoes! :p

Like the shot. It plays tricks whit your brain; Of course you see the shoes first.. Then you have to think; "Where are they standing?" Love it! ;)

I'm not sure, but it might look even bether if you outline the shoes and make the rest of the picture black/white..? Anyway, just a thought.

comment by joan at 09:46 AM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

I love this shot (especially before explanations), and I love your family's footwear as portrayed in your photos. Someone has great taste in shoes - either your wife, simply because she's amazingly cool, or you, because you are anticipating the photo potential at the time of purchase.

comment by SteveO at 09:50 AM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

Hehe, im the kind of person who sees people like you and jumps on the glass as your walking across it :-) (an ass) Thats a cool shot, love the colour of the shoes too.

comment by Ioannis at 10:04 AM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

Congrats on the interview. BTW, it appears next to a picture of you that looks like some I had taken a while back (http://www.ioannisverdelis.com/gallery/2005-05-29-Blackpool somewhere around the middle of the page). I honestly did not see yours before I took mine. Is it a coincidence?

comment by Ellie at 10:49 AM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

After a second look at this, i particularly like the way that the right foot is on a shaft of light, and the shadow is dropping onto the area below the glass, adding to the 'argh' factor! Also i agree with what a few others have said, the contrast of the red shoes against the drab day seems to call out 'danger!' love it :-)

comment by slashermct at 11:22 AM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

Good to see someone else likes to wear red doc's. Pity you can't get any other colours (apart from black/brown) in the shoes these days.

Lovely pic

comment by CurlyBoy at 12:13 PM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

Nice Docs! It's too bad the glass is scratched enough for it to be less than perfectly transparent ... but it's a neat shot. It almost appears gimmicky -- as if someone, somewhere, has a whole series of shots of people with cool/interesting shotes alll standing "in air" 300+ feet above a city. Dunno.

comment by Paul Courtney at 12:41 PM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

Hi Dave,
The 'Hanged man', dangling above his scaffold.
I love the shoe-lace.

comment by Lee at 01:25 PM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

Oh if only that white reflection wasnt there under the right shoe. That would of been incredible. Nice shot anyway, the shoes make it for me.

comment by x-iii at 03:27 PM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

i feel like the person in the photo. standing so high and above everything and everybody else, but yet at the same time, standing so dangerously over a thin piece of glass, unsure of when it will start to crack and cause my fall. and even then, these red shoes can't fly. i'll still fall.

comment by Floridagal at 04:11 PM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

This reminded me of my visit to Toronto last month. The glass floor is same as CN tower there which is at a height of 342 m. I was too scared to stand on the glass and look below.....very dizzy! But my husband was quite brave and he was walking across the glass plate :)
This picture is beautiful and the red color shoes add warmth to it.

comment by prasoon at 04:57 PM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

wonderful capture. i wonder what height it would be - somewhere close to 70 storeys, is it?
its a perfect capture and the red really brings in life :)

comment by Eddie F at 06:03 PM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

I think the grey day helps make the picture, it really separates the above and below and I love the added recklessness of an untied shoe!

comment by noushin at 06:31 PM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

I honestly get dizzy just by looking at this. I love the contrast of red shoes to back ground. When I opened the page, it took me a second to realize what was going on.

comment by Rickard / Sweden at 07:17 PM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

Very nice. The red coloured shoes really does it. But I still can´t stop thinkin of how it would have looked like if everythin exept the shoes were in black&white? Well, you´re the photographer. But you have actiually inspired me to take up the old camera again. Thanks.

comment by Paul at 08:02 PM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

Hard as nails and scared of nowt - just like a woman

My legs were jelly just looking at this shot.

comment by djn1 at 08:29 PM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

Thanks everyone :-)

comment by Pete McPhedran at 11:08 PM (GMT) on 2 February, 2006

Love the red docs! I used to have a pair that were blue, but the store "dyed" them black, I didn't realize that until they started to wear and show the blue through. Then I LOVED them.

I would love to do the same to a red pair, but unfortunately as far as I know, you can not buy docs in Canada any more.

Oh yeah, the photo rocks! I was jumping up and down on the glass at the CN Tower, my GF almost cried. She still shudders when we talk about it. I'd still have the cupa tea though!


comment by ZM at 01:26 AM (GMT) on 3 February, 2006

good luck to you!

comment by Fernando at 03:13 AM (GMT) on 3 February, 2006

I thought that the man was dead! Hanged...
Should I visit a psychiatrist?

Nice shot!

comment by djn1 at 08:13 AM (GMT) on 3 February, 2006

Fernando: no, but you'd probably need a doctor if my wife heard you calling her a man ;-)

comment by Jips at 02:39 PM (GMT) on 3 February, 2006

Very great photo. Il like the idea, and the touch of red color.

comment by AR at 06:32 PM (GMT) on 3 February, 2006

Very nice, I've seen someone do a hadstand on a similar floor on Toronto's CN Tower...I had problems just walking onto the thing.

comment by Matt Simpson at 12:51 AM (GMT) on 4 February, 2006

Yeah, I can't handle the CN Tower glass floor either. This is a sweet shot, though.

comment by Eric Hancock at 03:30 AM (GMT) on 5 February, 2006

Excellent shoes.

comment by Jess at 08:40 AM (GMT) on 5 February, 2006

I laid down on the glass floor in the CN tower. It was an awesome feeling, but it also felt pretty good to be on "solid ground" again.

comment by Ibarionex at 10:49 PM (GMT) on 6 February, 2006

With the light the way it's been in the morning recently, this is already good shot would be even better.

comment by End_User-X at 02:44 AM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

You Brits just have so much more style than we boring yanks. Those are some cool shoes.

comment by Stephan Kohler at 07:39 AM (GMT) on 18 April, 2006

The CN-Tower in Toronto was the first impression, when I saw this pic. If you have the the chance to get there....

I remembered my first reaction when I saw the kids walking on the glass floor.

Great picture!

comment by Richard at 02:54 PM (GMT) on 21 December, 2007

I won't go into details on the photo, which is pretty good IMHO, but I think I have a greater "glass" challenge for anyone out there. In Zurich we have a public toilet cubicle which is made entirely of "one-way" glass. (Yes, you can see out, but not in, stupid) Takes a bit of nerve to get your pants down.