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  • Writer's picturePhilip Preston

Liverpool Central Library - Interior Architecture Photography

Firstly, a 'thank you' to Practical Photography magazine for using my Liverpool Central Library architecture photograph in their Spring 2020 edition.

Liverpool Central Library atrium feature in Practical Photography magazine by Philip Preston
Practical Photography magazine, Spring 2020 edition
Liverpool Central Library atrium, Merseyside, UK - Philip Preston photography
Liverpool Central Library Atrium

The photograph shows the central atrium within Liverpool's Central Library, located in the city of Liverpool, Merseyside, UK. The original photograph was taken in colour, but subsequently edited in Lightroom and Nik Silver Efex Pro2 for the monochrome conversion.

Parts of the original building were refurbished from July 2010 and upon completion featured a central atrium, with a series of open-plan floors, designed by Architects Austin-Smith:Lord. The atrium is topped with a glass dome, and the building has a roof terrace with views out over the city centre. It re-opened to the public in May 2013, and provides some excellent opportunities for modern architecture photography.

At the time of my visit in 2015 I had just purchased my first Fujifilm camera, the X-E1 with an 18-55mm lens, and was keen to try it out on some of the interesting architecture found within Liverpool. Perhaps surprisingly, there are over 2,500 listed buildings in the city, meaning they have special architectural, historical or cultural significance, and protected from being demolished, extended or altered, unless permission is granted by the relevant planning authorities.

After entering the building, I asked a member of staff if it was ok to take photographs, and was told I could. The atrium presents a number of interesting compositions, but the most obvious one, and the one seen most frequently, is a vertical composition from floor level up to the roof dome as in my image above. Being indoors, light levels at ground floor level were relatively low for photography, and as I was hand holding the camera, increased my camera's ISO setting to 1250, which gave me a shutter speed of 1/120 second and an aperture setting of F7.1, sufficiently fast to hand hold and give a sharp image. My zoom lens was set to 18mm (equivalent to 27mm on a 'full frame' camera) which was just wide enough to get the whole atrium in my viewfinder. A slightly wider lens would give a little more flexibility composition wise, but 18mm was adequate. Compositions using a horizontal format also work well, see image below, also taken with my Fujifilm X-E1 with the 18-55mm lens.

If you are either in Liverpool, or close by, and like modern architecture, then the Central Library is well worth a visit. Don't forget to take your camera!

The buildings address is : 1840 William Brown St, Liverpool, Merseyside, UK, L3 8EW

Prints of these images are available for purchase on my Fine Art America / Pixels website : browse and buy now.


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