<<< o >>>touchdown #2 39 comments + add yours

From the vantage point of yesterday's shot: turn 90 degrees to the right and wait about an hour and a half. This is the companion shot to touchdown #1, and I much prefer this one.

Quick update: A couple of people have asked about the (monochromatic) toning on this image but the image wasn't toned. What you see here is a white-balance corrected image. I forget exactly which bit of the image I used as a white/grey point but I didn't do anything else to the colour of this shot. Also, the exposure, despite being five minutes plus, was relatively easy to set; i.e. this would have only been a 20 second exposure at f/4.0. In other words, I just metered at maximum aperture then adjusted the exposure time for f/16. Each stop you close the aperture doubles the exposure time: f/5.6 = 40s, f/8.0 = 80s, and so on.

11.36pm on 30/4/05

Canon 20D

EF 70-200 f/4L USM

87mm (139mm equiv.)


5m 8s







C1 Pro


capture date
focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter

3x2 + piers [St. Annes] + night shots [long exposures] + fylde coast [scenic]
comment by James Lomax at 08:04 PM (GMT) on 9 May, 2005

Nice shot David.
I've been to Blackpool a few times for photos, but never at night.

comment by B l o o r c h i at 08:19 PM (GMT) on 9 May, 2005

For 5m 8o of shutter speed is really a sharp one ... and I think it would be better if it was more contradicted ... there is a thin layer of dust over the shut.. but should say that I think it is one of the hardest shots you made .

comment by bmoll at 08:31 PM (GMT) on 9 May, 2005

Wondering if there was something 'unusual' done while postprocessing. Or is it just a bit adjusted? Just asking.. maybe it's not a secret :-) Nice pic, though.

comment by chris at 08:51 PM (GMT) on 9 May, 2005

with a five minute shutter, is it just experience that allows you to take a great shot. Or do you have to guess a few settings?

A beautiful shot.

comment by fraxinus at 09:06 PM (GMT) on 9 May, 2005

I also prefer this to Touchdown #1 - this really looks as if it has just landed and the inclusion of the contrasty wet foreground as counterpoint to the smooth and subtle background is absolutely spot-on. I'm also glad that you rendered it in this intriguing mono/duo tone. Definitely one to remember - and well worth waiting 5 minutes for!

comment by Lee at 09:35 PM (GMT) on 9 May, 2005

Great compostition...I love the symmetry!

comment by nogger at 09:50 PM (GMT) on 9 May, 2005

Yes, I think I prefer this one.

I think it's to do with symmetry and balance. I think the pier kind of overwhelms in #1, whereas in this one it acts more as a divider and the beach, sea and other buildings add a lot more interest/detail.

I think the two huts help as well.

The pier's also more obviously off centre in #1 (it may be in this but it isn't so obvious). And the ariel (is it an ariel?) doesn't help.

Or maybe I'm just talking bollocks? Who knows?

comment by PhilB at 10:24 PM (GMT) on 9 May, 2005

Excellent lighting!

A worthy addition to the Portfolio!

comment by Weston Boyd at 10:48 PM (GMT) on 9 May, 2005


comment by Andreas at 10:56 PM (GMT) on 9 May, 2005

don't know what to say about it, so I'll let it be..

comment by maleghost at 11:29 PM (GMT) on 9 May, 2005

don't like buildings in background

comment by franz at 11:33 PM (GMT) on 9 May, 2005

f/16.0! Wow, you're patient.. I take it you didn't bring your wife along? ;)
The monochromatic palette works great.

comment by Ray at 12:19 AM (GMT) on 10 May, 2005

Lovelly lighting. I especially enjoy the reflections at the bottom of shot.

comment by James at 12:21 AM (GMT) on 10 May, 2005

Sweet shot, really dramatic.

comment by Will at 01:27 AM (GMT) on 10 May, 2005

I've played with pictures of the school darkroom with just redlight, and it's quite difficult to get the exact exposure time right. Excellent work David, this is a beautiful photograph. I really like the shiny to matted contrast and the symmetric feel. Keep the photos coming!

comment by paul at 03:38 AM (GMT) on 10 May, 2005

reflections really came out dave, looks superb.

comment by End_User-X at 05:34 AM (GMT) on 10 May, 2005

I love the way the sky looks at 5m. The buildings standing out from it make it look like a painting. And as someone said about the first shot, the starburst effect on the lights are great, even better in this one.

comment by jcyrhs at 05:45 AM (GMT) on 10 May, 2005

I prefer this to touchdown #1 too. Having seen this, I feel alittle cramp when i re-visited its companion. I wonder if you realised this but at f16, your objects at the distant look so sharp they resemble minute toy objects with a spotlight in the background. Really looks like a set to me... =)
The street lamps are alittle distracting to me though... great shot nonetheless.

comment by sandro at 05:48 AM (GMT) on 10 May, 2005

Wow, a dream atmosphere with a central point of view which confers an immobile stability to all the composition

comment by Sharla at 06:25 AM (GMT) on 10 May, 2005

An excellent, excellent shot. There is plenty of room to land in this one and the evenly lit buildings are fortunate. The street lights were very generous with you but your eye to use two others for accents is so intimidating to us miniscule mortals. I'm curious how close you got to the optimal exposure and how much you had to do with C-1? In any case, it worked fine.

comment by SteveO at 08:33 AM (GMT) on 10 May, 2005

This is miles better than the other pic, the composition is much nicer and its a lot sharper too, which always helps. The toning also seems to work really well in this one, it would be interesting to see it when it wasn't colourised though, just to compare.

comment by Anders at 10:35 AM (GMT) on 10 May, 2005

Wonderful shot, light, composition and crispness. But... you do get a little bit tired of all these pier pictures after a while, however nice they may be. Sorry for the negative criticism, looking forward to some new subjects on your wonderful photos.

comment by Smallest Photo at 11:09 AM (GMT) on 10 May, 2005

Beautiful use of light.

comment by Abbas at 01:17 PM (GMT) on 10 May, 2005

I've checked Canon 20D specifications ... the minimum shutter speed was 30 seconds and I wonder how you did this ...

comment by deceptive at 01:24 PM (GMT) on 10 May, 2005

I like the surreal feel adjusting that white balance has produced - the beach almost looks like snow - very nice.

comment by .:pvav.photoblog:. at 01:51 PM (GMT) on 10 May, 2005

Excellent shot!

comment by Mikey at 02:23 PM (GMT) on 10 May, 2005

it always baffles me when i see photos like this.. how on earth can you work out how to set up your camera to achieve such a result. i wouldnt even know how to set my d70 to a 5 minute exposure time heh. fantastic work!

comment by Vivien at 04:14 PM (GMT) on 10 May, 2005

this one is way better then the one before which shows the same building but more blueish.
this building looks like a bog spider from outerspace. this is cool, a frightening alien spider preparing to attack you.
or better not. who knows ;).

comment by miles at 04:44 PM (GMT) on 10 May, 2005


comment by mr.nyo in ohio at 05:50 PM (GMT) on 10 May, 2005

David, love your work, can't remeber if i've told you that before. do you guys get low tides there or what?! do you need to wear waders to take these shots? does your tripod sink? thanks for the pix

comment by frisky? at 06:34 PM (GMT) on 10 May, 2005

great tones!

comment by juan manuel at 06:43 PM (GMT) on 10 May, 2005


comment by djn1 at 07:49 PM (GMT) on 10 May, 2005

Thanks everyone.

comment by Garth at 10:26 PM (GMT) on 10 May, 2005

Man this is a great shot

comment by Emerald at 01:21 PM (GMT) on 11 May, 2005

Definitely the best shot yet, nice one dad :)

comment by Michelle at 01:25 PM (GMT) on 11 May, 2005

Em's right this has to be my fave so far.

comment by m at 01:24 PM (GMT) on 13 August, 2005

To acheive the star8 on the lights did you use a filter or photoshop?

comment by djn1 at 02:02 PM (GMT) on 13 August, 2005

m: neither, it's a natural consequence of using a very small aperture.

comment by kefciu at 10:52 PM (GMT) on 26 August, 2005