Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Barrowland neon does light up

There’s a definite downside to being forced off the road (aka not driving) in that you lose the desire to go to risky places carrying camera gear that might look expensive. Low light photography become a thing for early winter evenings when you can walk to possibly interesting places when there are still crowds around, rather than going places in the dead of night when they are deserted, and only likely to have people you would probably rather not meet being nearby.

I had no idea the Barrowland Ballroom neon still worked, let alone was in use, but there it was one (dark) afternoon/evening, flashing away and looking impressive.

As an aside, seeing it has made me wonder where I could find anything similar, since all the other (large) neon adverts are long gone from Glasgow.

I don’t have a sufficiently wide lens to catch the whole frontage in one shot, and panorama stitching results in distortion when used so close to the subject, so this was a chance to exercise some perspective correction filtering I had been using for another project. Provided this is applied correctly (and ignoring the anomalies that can arise for non-planar views) the results can be pretty good, as this corrected shot illustrates:

Barrowland night tweak

Barrowland night tweak

The coach wasn’t going anywhere, and is the only real flaw.

It was harder timing this shot to catch all the lighting active than to correct it, since the stars and letters are not all illuminated all the time. Now alerted, you should be able to spot the variation in intensity of some of them.

‘Experts’ (who I suspect don’t even own a camera) keep telling me to shoot this sort of scene in RAW, but I’m sorry, I’ll be ignoring them and sticking with jpg while the results come out like this, and I don’t  have to work harder.

For reference, this is the original view, which I had to capture from one side and at an angle to get into a single frame.

This was partly dictated by the lens, but at the time, was also forced on me as it was the only place I could get a clear and unobstructed view (forgetting that coach), and I’d probably have been given a hard time if I’d tried climbing onto the roof of pub/shops just behind.

Barrowland night natural

Barrowland night natural


January 18, 2017 - Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , ,

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