London Christmas and the Gayke

We recently went to London for an extended weekend. The weather was sunny, the babies (relative) cooperative and the prices reassuringly high as always. We flew in early in the morning and our approach to Heathrow allowed us to do a full circle over central London. I took advantage of the window seat and took some photos. As always in planes, the window glass was not particularly clear but post-processing improved the end result a lot:

With tilt blur to give it the look and feel of a miniature.
With tilt blur to give it the look and feel of a miniature.
Nikon D7100 with Nikkor 18-105mm lens. 1/25 sec at f/14. ISO 100

I took several photos from the plane but only had time to process this one. I may post more if any others come out alright.

London is already in Christmas mode with the decorations in full swing both outdoors and in the shops. I only managed to get a few shots of the centre of London during one afternoon stroll in Regent Street while pushing the baby-buggy at the same time. This one is at Piccadilly square. Also in the frame, the new London double-decker bus. These buses have two staircases to reach the second floor, one at the front and one at the back. A definite improvement as those that have lived in London will certainly justify.

The Eros statue (just on the right but not visible in this photo) has been encased in a big plastic ball to protect it from vandalism.
The Eros statue (just on the right but not visible in this photo) has been encased in a big plastic ball to protect it from vandalism.
Nikon D7100 with Nikkor 18-105mm lens. 1/60 sec at f/3.5. ISO 800

  Regent Street is decorated with lights and big billboards of children’s movies (as far as I could tell).

Regent Street looking north towards Oxford circus.
Regent Street looking north towards Oxford circus.
Nikon D7100 with Nikkor 18-105mm lens. 1/60 sec at f/5.3. ISO 1250

I am not sure which building this is, but I liked it, so here it is.

On the east side of Regent Street.
On the east side of Regent Street.
Nikon D7100 with Nikkor 18-105mm lens. 1/30 sec at f/3.5. ISO 1600

This restaurant is situated in a small road off Regent Street. I liked the arched windows and the light coming out so I took a photograph and then desaturated everything else but the windows to make them stand out more. The London taxi in front was semi-intentional. I would have preferred an unobstructed view of the restaurant, but there was a traffic light just on the right and there were always stopped cars in front of the restaurant. I waited for a couple of minutes until a taxi was in the frame instead of just any car and took the photo.

Also quite expensive from what I hear. No, we didn't get to eat there.
Also quite expensive from what I hear. No, we didn’t get to eat there.
Nikon D7100 with Nikkor 18-105mm lens. 1/20 sec at f/4.2. ISO 3200

The next photo is from Sloane square. The square has a lot of trees, which were decorated with blue lights. I liked the effect and took a couple of photos from across the street. I have darkened the lower part of the image a bit to draw attention away from it.

There were several people on the square with cameras and tripods photographing the trees.
There were several people on the square with cameras and tripods photographing the trees.
Nikon D7100 with Nikkor 18-105mm lens. 1/40 sec at f/4.8. ISO 3200

Last but not least: The Gayke!

Tastes like bubblegum!
Tastes like bubblegum!
Nikon D7100 with Nikkor 18-105mm lens. 1/160 sec at f/8. ISO 1600

We saw this in a cupcakes shop in south Kensington. My friend immediately thought “Gayke!” due to the obvious resemblance to the gay community flag and the name stuck. We couldn’t resist buying a piece and tasting it.

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5 Comments

    1. Hi Liz.
      Thanks for reading.
      The camera is new (I have it since the beginning of October) but all in all I am happy with it. The body is solid, every feature a serious amateur is going to need is present, the metering is usually spot on and the dynamic range according to tests is particularly high for a cropped frame camera. These were my first hand held night shots and you can see the results yourself. At high ISO (1600 and over) the noise if you zoom in is clearly evident. The quality can be improved easily with Lightroom noise correction or any other similar tool (as I have done here). I am not particularly excited with the kit lens (Nikkor 18-105 mm) that comes with it, which is neither too fast or too sharp, but I knew what I was getting when I bought it.
      Hope this helps,
      Notis.

      P.S. Nice blog you’ve got there!

      1. Thanks for the detailed response! I would buy body only as I already have some nice lenses for my Nikon d3200. I am a little torn between this and the Nikon d610! I would prefer to buy the Nikon d7100 as its cheaper and I have DX lenses mostly, but I do want low light performance that is better than my current cameras.

        It’s a tricky choice!

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