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Originally the HOTEL RUSSELL, Great Russell Street, London


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Hotel Russell, on the corner of Great Russell Street, London, was designed and built by Charles Fitzroy Doll in 1897/98 and opened in 1900. The lavishly decorated Portland Stone exterior is so "over the top" that its architecture was described as "all dolled up" – hence the well know expression describing smartly turned out people etc. The Grade II listed building is now known as the Kimpton Fitzroy Hotel.  

Leica CL / TL 11-23mm. 

BW, dunk 

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Great photograph. ( as always) A remarkable structure with astounding attention to detail. I suppose buildings listed Grade I have to be reserved for places like the  Houses of Parliament. Thanks for posting, enjoyable.

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

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Another view of Hotel Russell, Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London – now known as the Kimpton Fitzroy Hotel.

Designed / built in 1898 by the architect Charles Fitzroy Doll and opened in 1900, Its distinctive un thé-au-lait ("tea with milk") terracotta cladding is based on the Château de Madrid near the Bois de Boulogne, Paris. The elaborate facade and architect's name, resulted in the eponymous expression, "All dolled up!"  

Leica CL / TL 11-23mm,  ISO 200, 12mm (17mm FF equiv) 1/1600 / f4.5, Sunday 19 May 2024

BW, dunk 

 

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1 hour ago, Pyrogallol said:

We used to stay there for one night at a time when attending meetings in London in the 80's. I don't remember it looking this big and imposing.  

It's "all dolled up" .... exterior facade thus appears bigger 

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Posted (edited)

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On 5/20/2024 at 7:45 PM, war said:

Great photograph. ( as always) A remarkable structure with astounding attention to detail. I suppose buildings listed Grade I have to be reserved for places like the  Houses of Parliament. Thanks for posting, enjoyable.

It’s actually Grade II* - so nearly there…

https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1246152?section=official-list-entry

Edited by NigelG
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There's something slightly unreal about the corrected verticals in your first photo. I assume that this has been software corrected? Somewhere there is an 'unnatural' distortion to me with the balcony's feeling wider as you go up. Just an observation because I find such corrections grate somewhat. Nice image though.

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Posted (edited)
54 minutes ago, pgk said:

There's something slightly unreal about the corrected verticals in your first photo. I assume that this has been software corrected? Somewhere there is an 'unnatural' distortion to me with the balcony's feeling wider as you go up. Just an observation because I find such corrections grate somewhat. Nice image though.

I think the issue might be that the leading corner appears to “reverse tombstone” while the far left corner is vertical - it feels like the  façade in between these points is slightly warped in a way that it is not in the second photo (nor obviously in reality)

Thanks anyway for a reminder of this interesting building that unfortunately like most I pass in traffic and never really appreciate.

Edited by NigelG
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1 hour ago, pgk said:

There's something slightly unreal about the corrected verticals in your first photo. I assume that this has been software corrected? Somewhere there is an 'unnatural' distortion to me with the balcony's feeling wider as you go up. Just an observation because I find such corrections grate somewhat. Nice image though.

Agree it's not the best perspective in first photo . I experimented with different camera positions . Used 11-23mm lens at 12mm = 18mm FF equiv.  ... the only lens with me and did not intend photographing the hotel which 'presented itself' when returning from Photographica. I have several shift lenses but on 19 May was 'travelling light' and with no intention of attempting architectural photos. BW, dunk 

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Thanks dunk. I downloaded it and had a quick look. The horizontal is leaning so slightly up at the right (a degreeish) and the correction is marginally over and the result is very slight tombstoning as NigelG says. The eye/brain can be very discerning although finding out what is causing unease can be tricky. I've walked past the building many times in my student days!

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Posted (edited)

I haven’t downloaded it or put a grid on it but to me (if) the far left and right ends are set vertical (thought the left might lean “in” a tad) the primary corner of the elevation seems to lean to the left and that gives a “twist” to the image that distorts the facades particularly to the left of the image. 

I don’t know what correction software you used but to my eye something is definitely “off” that doesn’t present so much with the second image (still looks a bit artificially “adjusted” and not a natural perspective of a building)  but maybe as an Architect I’m a bit more sensitive to distortion…

(I wonder what the first image would look like if the leading corner of the building was set as a true vertical)

Edited by NigelG
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Posted (edited)

Thank you for the critiques Paul and Nigel. Next attempt will be with a shift lens of longer focal length. Would much prefer to use a much longer lens from a greater distance for a more natural perspective but not sure if would be possible. Also planning a trip to Ally Pally where can use eg 800mm lens to photograph City tower blocks etc with compressed perspective ... à la Feininger. 

BW, dunk 

Edited by dkCambridgeshire
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dk

FWIW I wasn’t trying to criticize your images per se - I struggle all the time to capture views of buildings that I can “see” in my head but never manage to capture.

I was wondering more perhaps  if the perspective control tools now available in post processing don’t necessarily “work” if you’re sensitive to introduced corrections.

I think this is a “minor” in the new era  of AI image correction but I could be just in the minority…

I’ll probably get the chance to stand in that street corner in the next week so I’ll look up and see what I see - whether I can capture that view is obviously a harder question.

ps Thanks for the etymology of “dolled-up” - every day is a school day!

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When I used to use my 28/2.8 PC Super Angulon R lens, I used to be ruthlessly accurate to get the camera horizontal on the tripod, using a geared head and a spirit level on the hot-shoe. I sometimes felt that the images looked a bit nicer if, fortuitously, the converging verticals turned out to be very slightly under-corrected, as if my brain expected a slight amount of convergence from its own observational experience.  Now I use the Perspective Correction facility in my SL2's firmware, which is just marvellous; it uses the camera's own built in "spirit-level", together with knowledge of the focal length of the lens, to calculate what a true horizontal and vertical should have been in the image, and applies the necessary geometric transformation based on this information.

 

 

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After reading and even partly understanding the critiques above. I still think the photograph is first-rate. You are one of few photographers that post in the Forum that consistently produces photographs that are meticulously perspective corrected. I wish more would at least give it a try.

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