When I knew I was going to be staying in London for a few days, the top thing to photograph was the iconic Tower Bridge. Wanting to capture it at twilight, I knew that there would be a lot of boats on the water in the evening. After location scouting for a whole day, to look at the bridge from all angles. I settled on the classic view shown here. This was taken from the south side of the River Thames in front of City Hall. From the opposite side to the Tower of London. In front of the HMS Belfast looking east towards Canary Wharf in the background. This was captured at about 5:30am on an April morning. The tide was pretty low which is unfortunate as we see some of the river bank on the lower right corner of the frame. It was a nice clear morning even though it was a little foggy. The lights of the bridge have improved over the years since I was last here. You can tell this is a long exposure by the blurred movement of the flags on the bridge. It was a 20 second exposure time to blur the water and capture as much detail as possible as the sun had yet to rise. It would have been nice to have the river a little higher. Next time I’d pay more attention to the tides. It was also great to have little to no traffic going across the bridge at that time of day. This would have led to distracting light trails.
Red London Eye at night
The London Eye is one of the icons of the city and one of my favourite things to photograph in the centre of London. As the wheel moves almost constantly at half a mile an hour. One rotation takes around 30 minutes. This means that The London Eye rarely stops moving. A longer exposure time of more than a few seconds at night results in this blur of the wheel. After taking a shorter length exposure. It started moving and I set the camera to a 30 second exposer to get this photograph. The red light of the wheel appears as one continuous ring, as the lights on the 32 capsules almost blur together. The lights of the County Hall building to the right, are lit up in blue light which contrasts well next to the red. One of the issues I had with such a long exposure time is there are boats moving up and down the river. They leave long light trails which can distract your eye from the focal point of the image. The two barges in the foreground move from the motion of the river, even though they’re tied up to the bank. I tried to capture this whilst the boats were as still as possible.
Blue whale Skeleton in Natural History Museum
One of the largest and most impressive specimens in London’s Natural History museum is this blue whale skeleton, nicknamed Hope. Installed in 2018, it is 82 feet (25 metres) long and weighs about 4.5 tonnes. Having been to London half a dozen times I am embarrassed to say this year was the first time I’ve visited this museum. Which is free and well worth a visit. I had planned to grab the shot of the whale and move onto my next location but once I had my picture I explored. I ended up spending a few hours exploring the museum and it is incredible. The museum has been there since 1881. There is more than a days worth of things to see and explore. This photograph was taken from the second floor. I like the way the morning sun was shining through the glass ceiling and the stained glass window. The white statue at the back of the main hall is of Charles Darwin.
Girl with a Dolphin Fountain
This photograph shows a fountain called Girl with a Dolphin by British sculptor David Wynne. It’s a beautiful sculpture but it is a shame we can’t see the girls face from this angle. I would have had to be on the other side of the fountain and not see the bridge to capture the face of the girl. I had previously taken a photograph of the sculpture in the day time. While waiting for a nearby coffee shop to open after a dawn photoshoot. I came back to try to capture the movement of the water in the fountain. Using a tripod even though the sun was rising at this point. Framing the fountain to be as dominant in the photograph as the bridge. I was attempting to avoid the Shrad skyscraper in the background. In the end I chose to include it rather than hide it behind the bridge. It doesn’t matter too much as the Shard and sky are similar colours and the bridge and fountain are so dominant in the frame.