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Great Hall, Natural History Museum in London

By jonathanfriel
This is a photo I took at the weekend when I visited the Natural History Museum for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition. I've been planning this shot for a while and I am quite happy with the results.

I think the Natural History Museum in South Kensington is probably one of London's most impressive buildings. I took this shot on the second floor looking over the central hall. This is one of London's most popular museums and this was taking out peak time (around 1pm) The place was packed but I used a 10 stop ND filter (B&W 3.0) on a 10 minute exposure so the visitors of the museum appear invisible - cool aye? I did a small bit of touching up in Photoshop to remove a few distractions ([1] a sign on the steps and two signs in the hall; [2] two benches next to the steps and; [3] the tail of the Diplodocus dinosaur that's exhibited in the central hall. I tried to remove the poster to the left and right but my photoshop skill aren't good enough Sad

We'll I'd be grateful for any comments you have.

Tags: Architecture Long exposure Digitally manipulated Natural history museum South kensington Nd filter B and w 30

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


DaveU 12 1.4k 125 England
9 Mar 2011 5:20PM
I like it .... pleasing symmetry and a good viewpoint. Clever to use the 10 stop ND to make the people vanish. I'd maybe straighten the verticals to stop it all leaning in though.

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susanbarton 10 11 1 United Kingdom
9 Mar 2011 5:20PM
Well done i wondered how you got rid of all the visitors a very beautiful image

CathR 11 151 564 United Kingdom
9 Mar 2011 5:22PM
Excellent shot, Jonathan. Don't worry about the posters as they are very unobtrusive and in any case provide a bit of variety amongst the stonework. Good that the windows aren't blown out which is always an issue with this kind of shot. I had read somewhere that 10 stoppers make folk disappear but I didn't quite believe it until now. It must have been a challenge protecting your camera from the hordes for 10 whole minutes though.

best wishes

James_C 9 36 56 United Kingdom
9 Mar 2011 5:46PM
Beautifully done.

9 Mar 2011 7:42PM
Great image!!

banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3893 Canada
9 Mar 2011 8:11PM
Fantastic shot, and what a great idea to get the shot with no people or ghosting. And in fact it has all of the qualities of a very well executed HDR image, - so perhaps you have invented a new approach to this!

The verticals are the only obvious mod to me, - and Ive loaded 2, - first is the original with the window light overhead toned down a small amount; second is the verticals straightened using the CS5 lens correction tool, - this also forces some cropping as it moves the bottom of the shot inwards and upwards.

Hope this helps,


NEWMANP 10 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
9 Mar 2011 11:22PM
lovely bit of work, i also see a superb and even better composition taking a vertical image from the centre of frame, hefty crop i know but could haqve been done at the taking stage as an alternative and it gets rid of the posters and reduces the amount of glass breaking the edge of frame.

i did a quick crop for you to consider.

as it stands in this format, id suggest a little distortion correction and a light crop both sides to lose the windows in the side edges. possibly a tweak on colour balance but a great basis to work with and a great bit of thought to eliminate the crowds.

10 Mar 2011 7:48PM
What a pleasant surprise to see an inamge generated by the 'old' method. How easy would it have been to just take the shot and modify it with photoshop. Well done for planning and undertaking this shot.
12 Jul 2016 8:16AM
This is a very well-taken photo of the inside of this building! It's a 9 out 10 for me! Just wow! Grin
I really wish I could go to London someday since I haven't been there yet, but I was so disappointed with the Brexit results and because of that I might no go there anymore, but on other countries instead... Sad

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