One recent job I had the pleasure to shoot was the balcony of the Executive Lounge at the London Hilton Tower Bridge. The world famous Shard casts an imposing sight from the balcony of the lounge, but posed a real headache to shoot. It was vital to get all of the Shard in the shot, but also to capture the tables and chairs as well. One of the Hilton requirements is that images must be in landscape and not portrait. So the image below was out of the question, which was a shame with such a great sky and mood to it. But as you can see the Shard is so tall as it is so close to the hotel to get a landscape shot wasn't easy. Unfortunately the space is quite small and so getting further back was difficult.
I had a 17mm tilt and shift lens with me, but the perspective and distortion of nearby objects made the scene look unreal. So I got back as far as was possible and used a 24mm tilt and shift lens. This enabled me to "just about" get the whole of the top of the Shard in the shot but also some of the seating area. I wanted a dusk time shot so that the Shard would be lit up, but the lighting on the balcony was very subdued and did not really show the seating area well in a "one shot" hit. The answer was to light the area myself. Coupled with a great sky, you can see the result below.
Finally I also needed a daytime shot. I could have opted for the same set up as the dusk time shot above, but wanted to provide a slightly different angle, and also see more of the seating area. Once again I used the 24mm tilt and shift, but this time I turned the lens (a tilt and shift feature) so I could slide the lens up and down. Ensuring that the lens was turned all of the way down I shot the balcony area. I also lit the seating area to give it a bit more "punch". I then wound the lens up to the top and shot the Shard. The two images were then joined together in Photoshop. The advantage of using the tilt and shift to create a composite was that I was able to maintain verticals vertical, and also maintain the angle and perspective of the Shard. Below is the final result.
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