Adam Perfect

Natural History Museum by night

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 32.0mm, 1/50s, f/4.0, ISO 2500

Here’s a real oldie, but one I don’t think I’ve ever properly shared. All the way back in May 2010, I went to one of the Natural History Museum ‘Night Safaris’—where you get to tour the museum after closing time with guides and experts in each section showing artefacts not normally on display.

The evening was fascinating but I also couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a few photos in the mostly-empty museum, and have always particularly liked this one.

Shot hand-held at ISO 2500 on the Canon 5D Mark II, it’s never going to be the sharpest image although holds up remarkably well 10 years later I think. The lighting within the main atrium of the museum was fantastic and the woman leaning over the balcony, taking in the view, works well.

Timing with the various groups touring the museum restricted opportunities and there was no avoiding the little glimpses of people milling around on the ground floor, but they’re not too obvious or intrusive. The contrast of the blue light through the windows with the orange lights within works really well.

The architecture of the museum is the real star though, and quite hard to take a bad photograph of, so it’s really the emptiness that helps this image compared to the usual scrum of tourists in the hall and throughout the building on a normal day.

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