No People!

Alan Goldberg

This is the interior of the Natural History Museum in London. All of the museums in this city are free, and that means they are constantly crowded. So, how did Jim get a picture like this with no people? He arrived at the ticket office one hour before they opened when no one was there. By opening time at 10 am, there were probably 200 people in line behind him. As soon as the gate opened, he went through a brief security check (because he had a camera backpack) and then rushed to the vantage point you see here. Jim had scouted the museum the day before, so he knew exactly the location from where he wanted to shoot. No tripods are allowed in the museum, of course, so he rested his camera and 14 mm lens between the two railings you see in the foreground. He had to use a small lens to prevent the railings from becoming distractingly out of focus. Jim used the 2-second self-timer in lieu of a cable release. This is a 3-frame HDR composite. Within 5 or 6 minutes of taking this shot, two or three people were standing on the balcony at the bottom of the stairs. Within 10 to 12 minutes, there were probably 10 people on that balcony, making further photography impossible. His settings were 1/5 seconds, f/22, 800 ISO.

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