Golden Cambridge Morning

A rare portrait direction photo this week - most of my work tends to be in landscape mode. This one captures perfectly that moment on a early summers morning when the sun has risen but the early morning rays of light are still making their way up the sky and through the dark shapes of the buildings below. Sometimes this can lead to the image being massively overexposed and not really usable. Other times (as with this image) you can just about get that balance between light and exposure to create a dramatic image. 

The location in question is Trumpington Street in the city centre. Kings Parade and Kings College are just behind you and to your right is the start of St Catherine's College which stretches down the right hand side of the street almost as far down as the church in the far distance. This image was taken on a quiet Saturday morning before the crowds which tend to stream up and down this street during the day had begun to make their mark. I was actually heading back to my car after an early morning shoot and by pure luck came onto the street as the sun was bursting through buildings - creating this golden, almost water like effect on the road and pavement.

I find shooting into the sunlight (something you technically should avoid in photography) extremely addictive and on this particular day found myself standing, camera focusing down the street for several minutes taken shot after shot. The more I stood there the more I begun to notice little details and moments as the sunlight bounced off the building and created amazing silhouettes of the figures and shapes in front of me. This image along with a couple of others were the best of the bunch. Several shots were over exposed and couldn't be salvaged in post processing and others were too dark - too much detail being lost on both. This one however just managed to capture the balance between detail and the golden, fire like sunlight. Yes there are a couple of sun spots on the shot and yes I could have removed them but I wanted to convey the sunlight effect.

The image wasn't changed as much as you might think in post processing. I had to play about with the exposure settings a little bit to bring back some of the details in the far distance and also increased the saturation levels to bring out some of the gold and yellow colours but apart from that what you see is what was there!

Canon600d with a Sigma 18-250mm f/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM / iso200 / F5.6