Tower Traffic

Tower Bridge London

I love Tower Bridge. Since visiting as a child, I’ve always been attracted to the combination of the Victorian engineering and Gothic style. At night, it becomes quite magical, although it’s such an icon, it’s hard to find something original to photograph. I decided to try to get a sense of the amazing lines of the bridge, and wondered if capturing the lights of the traffic might add something to it. A passing London bus added a few more interesting red lights…

Perspective

Natural-History-Museum
One of the most beautiful buildings in London, and free to enter! The view from the top floor of the Natural History Museum is amazing. It was very busy when I visited on a Sunday afternoon, but I set up the camera and took a series of photos over around 5 minutes. Then I layered them and blended them selectively. From each frame, I used the section of the stairs that had no people in it. After doing that for each frame, I was able to slowly remove all the people from the stairs and the ground floor. Each frame was exposed at f22 and 1/3 of a second, at 100 ISO. Because of the longer shutter speed, I used the timer and my new Manfrotto Pocket Tripod.
http://www.manfrotto.com/manfrotto-pocket-series
Absolutely great, as the Museum doesn’t allow tripods…

Under Westminster Bridge

Thames-Westminster-London

It’s always important to keep an open mind and learn from other photographers. While in London, I took a walk along the South Bank and noticed another photographer crouched in the passageway under Westminster Bridge. He had found the perfect angle for the situation and I took over his spot after he left. The low winter sun bouncing off the warm stone gave a lovely glow and the view of the Palace of Westminster through the archway was very nice. I didn’t have my tripod, so this was a handheld shot at 100 ISO and f6.7, with a shutter speed of 1/90. Usually that is too slow, but I braced myself on the wall behind and tried to hold my breath as I took the shot. To my surprise, it turned out reasonably well. I tried to bring out the warm tones a little in LR and overall, I really like the end result.

Misty Morning

Westminster-Morning

The Thames is at its best on a misty December morning. This section of the river has always attracted me for some reason. I don’t know what it is about it, but perhaps it’s something to do with the contrast between the vibrancy of the South bank and the pomp of the North.
Anyway, I was lucky enough to have some free time on a business trip to London so I took the Tube to Piccadilly and walked through Soho and down through Trafalgar Square looking for inspiration. Although it was after 10, I noticed that there was still quite a lot of mist around so I headed down towards the Thames and found a good spot on the Golden Jubilee Bridge on the Westminster side of Hungerford Bridge. There was still quite a lot of cloud around but the sun was starting to break through. I quickly got a few shots before the light changed. This one was taken on Aperture Priority at f11 and 100 ISO to try to keep the noise down, which gave me a shutter speed of 1/500. The light and mist seemed to evoke memories of Victorian London, and so I tried to bring out those slightly sepia tones in Lightroom.