Category Archives: Rooftopping
On Saturday night I headed over to Canary Wharf with Conor and Jay to try and grab a sunset…though that was a bit of a non-event on this occasion. We then repaired to a bar for a little relaxation before Jay and I continued to a lovely building currently being built. If I had forgotten how unfit I was during my recent bout of illness this was quickly brought back to mind as I ascended 28 flights of stairs…slowly.
The views were pretty good, and it was certainly nice to see this area from such a vantage point, but the better views were to be had at the top of one of the cranes, which is where this image was taken.
It was a long and late night as I arrived home at around 4am, but a fun one.
Hope you all had a nice weekend.
A very quick post today before I check out of the hotel I’m staying in up in Edinburgh. I’ve had a lovely weekend with friends and booze aplenty, I hope all of my readers have had similar.
This image was taken a couple of weeks ago from a rooftop in London when out with Jay and John. I still feel that the spotlights on St Paul’s Cathedral are way too bright, but then around 1am they turn these off so then it’s too dark.
I’m never happy me…a little bit like Goldilocks
It’s still amazing to me what you can see from a relative low rooftop in London.
Sure, the foreground of this image has the lovely Southwark Cathedral and a train about to enter London Bridge station, but check out what you can see towards the horizon. You’ve got recognizable features such as Battersea Power Station, Houses of Parliament and the London Eye; you also have a couple of interesting focal points, which are unknown items to me, that are the glow of a white light in the distance and, to the left of that, some sort of light motion which has been captured. If I were closer to it I would suggest it’s a jet of steam coming from the top of the building, but at that distance and with that luminosity I’m not so sure.
Also, this was the ‘boring’ side of the rooftop, with lovely views offered from the other vantage points.
Here’s the Shard from a nearby rooftop on a particularly windy night.
The cloud cover was great, and they were moving at some speed in what I believe went up to 30mph winds. However, this did mean that it was a little too windy to get any decent shots from the rooftop (this was taken from a lower level where we were sheltered slightly), plus is was pretty darn cold.
3 months from now I’ll be stood up there taking photos…probably thinking ‘wow – I wish it wasn’t so grey and cloudy…and cold…and that some of this rain would go away’. You never know though, it may be a nice clear day.
Hope everyone had a nice weekend; mine was pretty lazy to be honest.
Boy did I cringe writing that title.
I thought I would end the week with a fun image which I took earlier on this year. I only had my 500d and fisheye in the office so grabbed these after a few drinks in the local and headed upwards to get a view of the city from a pretty darn low angle.
It’s hard to stand still for 30 seconds on a windy night, but I think it didn’t come out too bad and dig the clouds rolling over me in the background.
I also thought I would end the week with the makings of a cold. I have a bit of a headache and can feel that something is attacking me; and as usual it ties in nicely with work trips coming up next week which really does suck. I often get a cold in the lead up to work travel…and have no idea why. I think the stress leading up to such things does something to my body.
Have a good weekend all.
This isn’t one of the best dawn shots I’ve taken in London, but it is one of the very few ones I’ve taken.
In a city that never sleeps (a term that I dislike as that implies a pub may be open past midnight, which is rarely the case) I find that dawn is the quietest of times, and the one that I get to see very rarely. Like most other people I’m usually lying in bed at that time, sound asleep or perhaps waking momentarily to look at the clock before turning over with a contented smile safe in the knowledge I have hours to go before getting up.
It’s unfortunate, therefore, that one of those ‘magic’ hours you hear photographers talk of is at that time in the morning. It’s a little rude of it to be honest.
Generally I am okay at going up for a sunrise only when I’m on a photography holiday. I think then I expect to make the most of each location by being there at the best times of day to catch the light, and sleeping through them would be pretty wasteful. I don’t think I take it for granted when in London, that there will always be another sunrise tomorrow – but perhaps I do. I think it’s more due to the fact I have a life to be getting on with, a full time job during the week and a need to rest a little during the weekend, so I don’t make the exceptions of getting up early to get somewhere for it to then be dawn.
Plus the weather here sucks most of the time.
Today is the last day that I’m super busy at work so I’m very much looking forward to having a bit more time to relax and also get out there with my camera.
In the mean time I’m digging into my archives a little to put up today’s shot, which you should all know by now is the Shard. This one is taken during a sunrise sometime last year. Like my workload, I’m looking forward to this being finished
Here we are on Friday once more, but to be honest the days are merging in to each other so it could be a Tuesday as far as I’m concerned. Work deadlines of 12th April are looming ever closer, and though that means the next 6 days will be pretty darn busy I’m looking forward to this time next week when I can relax a little.
Well, when I can’t start looking for a new place to live at least.
This was a trip up a new rooftop towards the end of last year. Entry was a little cheeky, with it being from the main road of a busy junction in a very popular part of London, but it was a good night as this was building two of three. You can see the mist coming in and that’s what put an end to play after our third stop which was of a reasonable height but with nothing we were really able to see.
Have a good weekend everyone.
This was a fun shot to do. The building in the image is the HM Revenue and Customs on the north side of Waterloo bridge.
A few of us had just watched a firework show form the top of KRT (for those familiar with my work you will have seen lots of images from that location, which is shown in this image at the top right. It’s the silhouette behind the bit of red, which is the OXO tower) and after being escorted out of there, our last successful trip up to date, it was a little early to head home. Thus, we found ourselves here before moving on to a third location.
The stream of passing cars below were a great bit of added interest, and the fisheye essential to be able to get all of the required features fully composed.
Thanks to everyone for their comments, retweets and so on over the past few weeks. Life is a little hectic just now with long hours at work, needing to find a new flat and so on – as a result my online interaction is minimal. I hope to be back into the flow after April 12th.
This seat has one of the best views in London. Millennium Wheel on one side, as you can see, and the Shard to the other – plus plenty of views in between. If you’ve been a regular follower of my work over the past year you would have seen what I mean.
My Head in the Clouds image was taken from this spot, just on a different night, and so this image will give you a better idea of how it was achieved.
Have a good weekend everyone.
Here we are. It’s been a year now and I have uploaded a new blog post every weekday without fail, and a few on the weekends too. Come public holidays, vacations, illness or a hangover the posts have been going up daily and I’ve managed to maintain a level of passion for this wonderful hobby that I feared may not last, and which has no signs of slowing down.
Whether it’s happy birthday or happy anniversary I don’t know, but I’m thankful for everyone who has stuck with me along the way and given me the motivation to continue to post my images and work hard to try and get unique shots. This one’s for you, and for the year ahead.
To celebrate this occasion it was suggested by @foolhandy and @andthesewalls that I post my top ten images and have you lovely readers vote on which of them is your personal favorite. Finding 10 is a tough task, and my recent New Year run down was only made easier because I had to choose one from each month of the year, which is not the case here.
So below you will find 10 images which I either class as my favourite or which mean something to me for one reason or the other, and I would appreciate it if you could take a moment to look through them and then vote for your personal favourite using the polls –
I’ve placed the poll before and after the images for convenience, but you can only vote once I’ve removed the bottom poll as it doesn’t appear to work too well. Thanks again for all of your support, and have a great weekend.
Which is your favourite photo?
- 3. The Day The Music Died (36%, 12 Votes)
- 10. Shard Sunrise (15%, 5 Votes)
- 4. Cell 3 (12%, 4 Votes)
- 8. Alone (12%, 4 Votes)
- 6. St Paul’s – World AIDS Day (12%, 4 Votes)
- 5. London's Burning (6%, 2 Votes)
- 2. Staircase (3%, 1 Votes)
- 9. The Bridge to St Paul’s (3%, 1 Votes)
- 1. Inferno (Dante) (0%, 0 Votes)
- 7. Double Tap (1%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 33
1. Inferno (Dante) – One of my earliest and most successful attempts at spinning wire wool.
2. Staircase – My favourite black and white shot.
3. The Day The Music Died – An image which turned out far better than I had conceived when composing the shot.
4. Cell 3 – The one shot I wanted from this urbex location, and I was pleased with it when I got it.
5. London’s Burning – Revisiting this popular spot after learning a lot more about HDR made it clear to me how I had improved.
6. St Paul’s – World AIDS Day – This shot won me 1st place in the competition held by St Paul’s Cathedral.
7. Double Tap – One of the rare shots that turn out exactly as I had conceived when setting it up.
8. Alone – This location in the far north of Scotland was awesome, and had me running barefoot through the sea to get several shots.
9. The Bridge to St Paul’s – One of the first images where I appreciated how much other people enjoy my work.
10. Shard Sunrise – My favourite view from my favourite location during a great sunrise.
So this is the last post before Christmas, which seems to have rolled around once more with the stealth of a ninja, and what better way to celebrate than by providing a shot for Santa to guide his way through the London skyline by way of a panoramic. Be sure to check out the larger view for all of the detailed goodness.
I love the skyline of this magnificent city, though must admit the Shard is an issue. Yes, it’s one of my favourite buildings at the moment and I try and shoot it whenever I get high up…but it does mean that I have to have a lot of sky in the shot above the other buildings, just to give the Shard room to breathe. Luckily this shot was taken as the sun was coming up and there were some nice clouds in the sky so it at least offered a bit of focal interest throughout the shot.
I hope you all have a lovely Christmas, whatever you may be up to. Happy holidays, and happy shooting.
A view straight down from the best rooftop in London; she will be missed.
Had the work Christmas party last night, which was good fun, and have opted to take the day off. Sensible Mike remembers the last Christmas party that was held on a weeknight and decided it was safer to have a day off rather than risk working in a horrid state. In the bar after the meal, where the second round ordered were tequilas, I was thinking I had certainly made the right choice – though I feel alright this morning.
I should use this time productively to do something like Christmas shopping (it’s still ages away….right?) but know that I’ll only end up buying stuff for myself if I attempted that.
Stood high up on the corner of a building, watching as the city moves quietly below is a great sensation, and a huge contrast to the regular daytime where you are pushing your way through the hoards of people fighting for space on the streets or public transport.
It’s peaceful up there, alone with your thoughts and the heightened senses that comes with standing in a location where you know in your mind you should be safe, it is just standing still after all – something you do every day, but with the knowledge that if something were to happen it would not end well.
I fainted on the tube once, many years ago. I wasn’t sick, hand’t been drinking the night before, and was just on my way to work. It wasn’t blistering heat or anything like that…for some reason I just fainted. One minute standing up, the next feeling I was in bed and trapped in my duvet, and the next realising I was on the tube. I was sick for three days after that but the doctors didn’t find anything wrong with me.
It’s that thought I come back to often when stood on the edge. I’m confident in my ability to stand, to hold, to climb. I’m not confident that the sudden blackness that I encountered many years ago won’t return for some unknown reason.
On this particular trip, as I stood on a similar outcropping section of an incomplete building, concentrating on standing, willing myself to breathe and with my thoughts on that day that I fainted I was suddenly brought back to reality by a shout of ‘Oi…Police’ and the shining of a torch in my eyes. Not the best place to be stood when someone startles you. Unable to see anything but the torchlight on one side and a 20 storey drop to the other I walked sheepishly towards the light, happy that there wasn’t a bounding police dog to go with that shout, but sad that this particular trip should end so soon after it started.
First up, a very happy birthday to Steve who has just hit the mid-30s range of the life scale.
Second, we have a rooftop, a multiplicity of the hooded character and a London skyline – what more do you want on a Friday? If the hooded guy has 9 lives it looks like he’s already lost 2 of them somewhere along with way – hopefully this weekend won’t see any more disappearing
Have a great one everybody.
A friend and I have been discussing the possibility of taking a skydiving holiday next year to get a week of sun, sights and a little bit of craziness from jumping out of planes. If anyone has taken one of these trips somewhere in Europe, please drop me a note with details of who you used to arrange it with. I’ve never skydived before and don’t wish to simply do a static line jump, so any trip that offers a tandem followed by supervised jumping would be ideal. Thanks.
The nights are closing in earlier and earlier just now as we make our rapid descent into winter. Sure, I get to see a few less sunsets and golden hours while I’m sat behind a desk working, but at least it means I can start doing a little urbex at a reasonable time and not have to wait until it’s very late before we head up somewhere under the cover of darkness. Hopefully the mist that stopped play on Saturday night doesn’t last too long…there’s no point going up 30 storeys to find you can’t see a thing.
I hope everyone had a nice weekend, do anything nice?
One of the great things about sitting up high on a crane of rooftop is that you get to watch the world go by below you. Sure, you come for the view of the city, but it’s the buzz generated by those getting on with their lives that makes you feel like you’re watching over the wonderful capital as a guardian; you feel connected to the city, yet detached at the same time – a little like when you’re playing Sims and you know that the characters within it are under your watch, but without the godlike power of being able to remove the doors to their homes so that they die alone after a few days.
I was never any good at the Sims.
It’s not easy to take a long exposure from the top of a crane when you don’t have a tripod of any sort with you, however on this trip I managed to do so by getting a little creative with my BlackRapid strap which I wrapped around both the camera and the small metal railing that was at the top of the crane in order to hold it steady for the duration required.
By now my readers will not need an introduction to the building which is shown here towering above the rest. I normally take shot of the Shard from the West looking East, so it’s good to be able to get one here which is from the North looking South instead. The bridge you see at the right with the red light running across it is London Bridge.
Ladies and Gentlemen – this is my 200th photoblog post on this site. A huge thank you to everyone that has commented, shared and connected with me throughout this year, and who have motivated me to maintain a post and photo every weekday up until now – you guys and gals are awesome!
As this is my 200th post I feel it’s quite special, so I’m sharing an image that I find fitting for the occasion. Does it feature London? Yes. Does it feature the Shard? Yes. Is it taken from up high on an urbex trip? Yes. Does it feature a sunrise? Well, yes it does!
We had come up to this rooftop around 7 hours before this shot was taken; after spending a bit of time taking night shots of London we retreated a couple of floors into this abandoned shell to try and sleep for a few hours on the cold empty floor. I got little sleep to be honest, especially with the knowledge that my own bed which was warm and comfortable was just a 30 minute walk from this location. But we were there for the sunrise, and that meant a late entry and early rise.
The sky was wonderful this bank holiday morning…we were so lucky with it. As I was waiting for the brackets to finish I knew that this shot was going to be the one I would take away from the morning, and so quickly snapped a picture of it with my dodgy iPhone:
I was amazed how the sky was showing the blue hour, the golden sunlight and the red dawn all at the same time, all with the added interest of clouds. Not only this but the buildings all seemed to have their lights on which added to the interest of the scene.
Thanks to everyone who has supported me throughout the last 200 shots, and welcome to those who are visiting me just for today – you’re all welcome and appreciated. Plus it’s Friday…so raise your glasses to the next 200 shots, and to the weekend ahead.
As an aside, and as mentioned on Monday, I haven’t been out with the camera for a few weeks as work has been so busy, and so I’m heading out there on Sunday for a nice photowalk. I’m starting off the day with a little Urbex trip, followed by a photowalk by the Thames and then a ‘do your own thing’ in the evening (I’ll be climbing a building ;o). If you fancy heading out there with me and a few friends then the starting point will be 3pm in Spitalfields market beside the goat statue. I look forward to seeing you there.
View murphyzPhotowalk in a larger map
On a recent Urbex trip we decided to make the most of the high building we were on and stay overnight to watch the sun coming up over London – and my word it was a very nice sunrise. I’ll be sharing other photos with you in the future which shows the lovely reds and blues that were in the sky that morning, but for now here’s one with a lot of the golden colours that were showing.
The main cluster of buildings in the image is know as Canary Wharf. and you can see the o2 Arena (previously known as the Millennium Dome) sneaking a peek through the buildings. In the foreground you can also see Tower Bridge.
I don’t often see dawn, and usually not in London when I do, so this was a nice morning for me.
I often have my head in the clouds, but not so literally as in this image.
I encourage others to do things only with which they are comfortable with. The majority of people I go on an urbex trip with don’t so much like the edges of tall buildings, or the edging out to somewhere a little more precarious. Others would do things that I wouldn’t feel comfortable with, but if they are happy to do it then so be it. If you’re not comfortable doing it, then don’t – it’s that simple. If you know the risks and are confident in yourself and the situation around you then by all means push yourself that little bit further.
I’ve been in far more dangerous spots that you see here, however, as this image is pretty deceptive. I’m sat on top of some window cleaning apparatus here, and sure it may be 30 storeys up, but the apparatus is firmly on the roof and so I would only fall to the rooftop below me – it will be painful and I may break a bone, but it’s not really a fatal drop, and certainly not as high as the image suggests. By cropping out the rooftop that the camera sits on the illusion of my sitting high above London like a crazy fool is complete.
Last week I featured an image called Gherkin – Sunrise which was taken as the sun was rising over London; I was around 30 floors up at the time, but quite far away.
Today’s image was taken as the sun was setting over London on Friday night, this time I was much closer and 32 floors high. However, unlike that cold morning, this one had me sat in a nice bar called the Sky Lounge, with a beer beside me and nothing but my nifty 50 to use. Of course this also meant I had to shoot through the glass, so I no doubt confused other people in the bar as I huddled under my jacket with my nose pressed to the window.
Sky Lounge is a pop-up bar and I understand they’re on location until April – hopefully they will be successful enough to make it a permanent residence, though I also hope the glass doesn’t get too smudged or scratched to spoil the view a little. There are a couple of cool doors in the walls that look as if they drop away to nothing, but they are purely for ventilation and, upon opening one of them – hoping to have a nice doorway which stood 32 floors up with nothing but the ground below – I was disappointed to find that it wasn’t a potentially fatal design flaw, but a door that acted as an air conditioning. Sure, it opened, but a piece of slatted metal in place let a bit of air in, but nothing for me to peer out of enough to take shots without glass in the way.
Still, I was pretty happy with how this shot turned out, it certainly was one of the best shots of the night. I then went to a club and tried to take some shots, but even at ISO 3200 and f/1.8 I had many issues with lighting and blurring…any tips for nightclub shots, please let me know.
And finally, fellow London photographer James Murray has just started a new blog which I hope to see continuously updated with excellent images from London and afar. James specialises in HDR and is one of the first people I started following when I was learning. I urge you to make the time to visit his blog at Think James Photo and check out his work, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
Another day, another sunrise.
As mentioned yesterday, I was hoping to be up high on a central London rooftop for the sunrise yesterday as it was a bank holiday Monday – what better thing to do when you have a day off?
This is one of the shots I took from there, but it doesn’t do the sunrise justice. I’ve only seen a couple of sunrises from London rooftops in the past, but this is the first one that has simply been amazing with great light, some nice cloud coverage and an overall sense of awe.
I was pretty tired when I got home though, and slept through most of the day yesterday which leaves me with some funky sleep patterns for the remainder of the week.