Oh squiggly line on my camera lens, I see you there, lurking on the periphery of my photograph

9 Apr

As you know, I’ve been experimenting with photography, adjusting aperture and shutter speed and trying to take photos that aren’t the same photos every other tourist takes. I worried so much about the inner workings of my camera that I didn’t realize there was a smudge on my lens until I uploaded all of my photos from my friend’s visit.

DSLR lesson #17: A smudge on your lens won’t show up on your viewfinder so you probably shouldn’t wait until the end of your trip to look at your photos on the computer. Also, take care of your lenses and check for smudges often. Otherwise your nice photo will have an unintended focal point:

parliament smudge

That squiggly line made an appearance in the majority of my photos, some more noticeable than others. I couldn’t help but think of Stewie’s poem:

stewie oh squiggly line

I got tickets for my friend and I to go to a live taping of “Loose Women,” the UK’s version of “The View.” I’d seen the show once, but mostly just wanted to experience being in a live audience. But apparently they are serious when they say they overissue tickets, because they cut the queue right in front of us and turned us away. We weren’t too bummed because we didn’t recognize any of the guests, plus it gave us the opportunity to walk along the South Bank and take photos when it wasn’t raining.

london bank

london artsy

london eye photo

Squiggly line photobomb!

london red

The kids were amazed by this gold guy, but I’ve seen enough episodes of “Breaking the Magician’s Code” to guess how he does this. What I really want to see is how he sets up — what time does he have to arrive and leave so no one sees his secret?

london gold guy

Then we went to the Tower of London, the iconic tourist destination, although I cringe every time I hand over the equivalent of $30 for a ticket. They tack on an extra pound or so as a “donation” and make you explicitly state “without the donation” so you sound like an A-hole cheapo, but come on! The astronomical ticket price is already blatantly taking advantage of tourists, doesn’t some of that admission go towards upkeep anyway?

tower of london tour

We took the free beefeater tour, which is always a laugh and informative.

beefeater tour

The Tower ravens are slightly terrifying and look fake.

tower of london raven

london raven

Editing fun:

tower raven

london tower bridge

I like photos that contrast old and new — as the tallest building in London and western Europe, the Shard always looks out of place:

tower london shard

The Queen’s House (currently the home of the Resident Governor of the Tower of London):

queens house

A little cropping and editing turns it into a whole new photo:

queens house guard

I see you there, squiggly line…

shard black white

The Tower has some of the best views of Tower Bridge.

tower bridge

Those are my best photos from London — Paris I may have to split into multiple posts (which I will hopefully be able to post before my parents visit at the end of the month, and I have a whole new slew of photos to edit and upload!)

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