Looking up in Manchester / by Neil Alexander

[caption align="aligncenter" width="800" caption="Manchester University building (Click for larger)"]Manchester University[/caption]

The other morning I went for a stroll around Manchester city centre again, but this time I set myself a slightly different constraint; I could only shoot up. So no street shots, macros of handrails or puddles, and generally no people either, unless they were sporting a blue and red cape.

I also tried, where possible, to avoid using a tripod too. Now I know that may sound a little strange, but I use a tripod a lot and sometimes I just find that it plain ol' gets in the way. Especially if time is against me and the light is decent. Another reason is that I appear to have misplaced my DR-6 angle finder, which is extremely handy when shooting upwards on a tripod, so it was far simpler to lie on the floor on my back and breathe slowly. Also the image stabilisation on the Nikkor 70-200 F2.8 is so good, that hand holding down to 1/30 second even at 200mm is a pretty safe bet.
To the images then. These are all 3 frame brackets processed in Nik's HDR Efex Pro using one of the few presets that I actually like. I think it's called Granny's Attic. I shot these images with this processing in mind as it produces a dramatic gritty effect the way I had envisaged them.

[caption align="aligncenter" width="800" caption="Balconies (Click for larger)"]Balconies[/caption]

[caption align="aligncenter" width="800" caption="More balconies (Click for larger)"]More balconies[/caption]