S o today’s shoot started by getting the tube to Westminster. I wanted to get some shots of Big Ben and the London Eye, two of London’s most iconic and famous places. These two landmarks were a must for my London project.
I was joined by one of my friends who also does a lot of photography. He’s been in London a lot longer than I have, so he wasn’t too fussed on photographing the touristy things, in fact he judged me for it as a typical Londoner would! He was more into the abstract and interesting things that are usually missed when your focussing on the popular and obvious photo subjects. This was quite different for me as he was able to point out a lot of things that I would usually miss, so I got photos of things I usually wouldn’t. I guess this is one of the many benefits of having friends that have been in London for a while.
We started out taking photos of Big Ben from the Westminster side of the river before crossing Westminster Bridge and getting some photos from the banks of the Thames opposite the Palace of Westminster. It was a really overcast day but some of the clouds were quite dark in places which added some mood to the photos. Post processing would allow me to emphasise this a little bit.
From this location I was also able to get a few shots of the London Eye. There are some great street lamps all the Way along Westminster Bridge which make a great foreground subject with the Eye in the background. I tried to use these to frame the shots a little, playing around with the focus to add some depth of field.
We then headed up towards the eye and got some lunch along the Southbank. It was a nice place to sit down and just watch everyone around us. I love people watching and this was the perfect place to do it. One of the busiest places in London on a Saturday.
We carried on heading North up to the Tate modern. I wanted to try and get a photo of St Paul’s from somewhere high up and had seen a balcony on the Tate Modern that I thought might have been the perfect vantage point.
We managed to get up there, but the view wasn’t quite what I expected, and I didn’t manage to get the shot I wanted. I wanted to be somewhere that was directly in line with the bridge, but there didn’t seem to be anywhere you could go to get this. The Millennium Bridge was pretty busy as well which wasn’t really what I was after. Still it was a great view and the walk up there was really nice, theres so much to see along the way.
We carried on following the river round to the East, past the Globe Theatre and came across a tunnel which was covered with hundreds of coloured lights. The tunnel itself made for a perfect shelter from the rain which had now come over and the lights made for some great photos.
Manually bringing the lights slightly out of focus increased the size of the lights themselves making them fill much more of the photo. This meant they stood out much more than just small dots against a black background. I can’t take credit for this idea, it was all down to my boss.
Another benefit to going out
taking photos with someone
else, you can steal their good
There was also some rectangular strips that didn’t have any lights on at all which added something different to the shots. I’m not sure if this was intentionally done or if they just needed replacing.
In and around the bridge there was a few pieces of weird and interesting graffiti which we stopped to get a few photos of, again something I wouldn’t usually pay much attention to, but that’s the sort of thing my friend goes out looking for , and some of it actually looked really cool.
We spent a while walking around the streets in that area looking for more before stopping at a nearby restaurant for what I think was a well deserved glass of Pinot, obviously to shelter from the rain….