Tag Archives: city
I decided to break out the black glass over the weekend and do a couple of long exposures…the grey clouds over London have to be good for something, right?
I use the B&W 10 Stop, and it’s a great piece of kit, but I hate the fact you have to remove it and reattach it everytime you need to recompose; it can be tricky to thread when the camera is in some particular angles. Someone on one of my photocrawls this weekend suggested that manufacturers should use a magnetic version where the glass can just snap into place. It’s an awesome idea, though I wonder if that would lead to instances of the glass popping off by accident. I drop it enough times simply trying to thread it, I imagine I’ll drop it twice as many times if magnetic. It would be a time saver though.
Not sure where this image was taken…I saw it somewhere in London.
This shot has only recently become available to me, and that’s because I now have the 14mm glass which sits on my camera 90% of the time.
I was in the middle of a photocrawl and had just had a few pints in a pub that you can just see in this shot; it’s the little black sign in the distance behind the telephone box. Before continuing on to Waterloo Bridge I backtracked a little to grab this image.
It was pretty quiet with little pedestrian traffic so I was able to take an uninterrupted shot with ease. The fact it had been snowing on and off helped this image a lot, I think, as the shot wouldn’t be quite as nice if the ground wasn’t wet.
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.
When it comes to St Paul’s Cathedral there are many protected views which are likely to be a bit of a headache for urban planners when attempting to build a new structure. They need to consider that the public need to see the cathedral from several public viewing spaces. I believe it’s because of these that the Shard is shaped like it is.
The fact you can see this building from pretty much anywhere is one of the reasons I like it so much, and is certainly something I seek out in the skyline when on a rooftop.
It also means that from the top you get to see…um…lots of public spaces that have protected views.
You also get to see more, or course, so I suggest you head up there when in London to take a look at the awesome view for yourself.
Here’s another shot from Jose Rizal bridge in Seattle where I was shooting with Scott Wood last month. At night and with a long exposure it’s hard to get an shot of the cars on the highway that conveys movement but don’t have all of the headlights blown out. At least, it’s something I found difficult; I think this is why I went for a processing approach that dialled down most of the colours.
I haven’t had the chance to process many images lately…or at least, I’ve been too lazy to do so on the times that I do have spare. I’m going away this weekend so that will involve a few train journeys of length, so I may end up processing on some of those – or I’ll just end up watching movies…one or the other.
As part of the Open House weekend I finally managed to make it into 30 St Mary Axe, informally known as the Gherkin.
This is by far the most popular building of the event, but only because it is one of the non-balloted buildings with a view. The only reason I can see why people queue for entry (and believe me, they queue) is to see the 360 degree views of London that you get from the top. I gather that the people who run this feel that visitors only care about the view also, as there was nothing by way of information on the actual architecture, not even a simple fact sheet with details on the building. The volunteers helping knew nothing of the number of people who work in the building, or why we had to change lifts 34 floors up as we were heading to the 39th floor (the fact the bar is on the top floor and allows 360 views is because the lift mechanics are not stored there as they would be in most buildings. Instead, there is a regular lift to the 34th floor, and then from there upwards there is a ‘push’ lift where all of the mechanics are at the bottom of the lift rather than above).
I arrived at this location at 8am, knowing that there may be a slight queue to get in. Two and a half hours later I was finally in, just as the rain came down. Was it worth the wait? No.
Perhaps I’ve been spoilt by views of London in the past, but this one was somewhat lacking. Having stood on the roof of neighbouring Heron Tower, and the likes of King’s Reach, I very much expect a view to be as unobstructed as possible. I get there is to be glass, but I want to be able to push up against that to shoot through it – not possible with this building. The design of the building meant that attempting to shoot away from the glass always had the window frames in view, plus the angle of the glass along with rain meant the light wasn’t quite hitting it as I wanted. In short, yes there are great views to be had from the top – but it’s purely an experience and if you want to go there for photography I feel there are simply better places to go. Added to this is that they certainly rushed you in and out, understandable with so many people waiting to get it, but only 5 minutes at the top is not worth the wait to get in there…for me anyway.
I don’t think I would consider going here again in future years unless they turned it to a ballot entry and actually gave you both time and information about the place, there are much better buildings to spend your time on otherwise.
So the image above is from the very top – 40 floors up, and is looking up towards the dome. Not as interesting as looking up at, say, the British Museum roof, but nice enough anyway.
This is one of the many escalators to be found within the Lloyd’s of London building, my first stop during Open House weekend. Arriving at 9am for a 10am opening I waited in the queue with John, Ollie and Jay for a while, the doors opened early and we were in. It’s a pretty cool building, both interior and exterior, and I admit this shot does not do it justice – I’ll write up a bit more about the building in a future post. This is one of the many escalators that run through the interior of the building linking the open plan underwriting floors. There are also a nice set of glass lifts which take you between the floors and offer a great view out on London; something Conor had pleasure in watching us do from his spot in the queue which was still outside .
This image is an individual exposure taken with the Sony NEX-7. I ran it through a few filters in both Perfect Effects by OnOneSoftware and ColorEfex by NikSoftware, yet did so in a way that eliminates pretty much all of the colour from it. Though the escalator was moving it was not in use, cordoned off with rope, which allowed me to get this image without causing a pile-up of Open House visitors.
There are plenty of classic London views that are already out there. Houses of Parliament from the south side of Westminster Bridge or London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral from the Millennium Bridge, British Museum from their viewing window, City Hall from the Scoop – etc etc.
Well, here’s another one that can be added to the list as I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot of it over the next few years.
The Emirates Air Line is a new cable car service which runs from North Greenwich Peninsula to Royal Victoria Docks – so essentially from the O2 arena to the ExCeL Center. For the time it takes and the cost involved it is essentially a tourist attraction, though they are selling it as a viable form of commute.
This Sunday I took the opportunity to head out there and check it out for myself; and it was a pretty cool ride with some nice views…it’s one of the only cable cars I think I would want to be stuck in…assuming it stopped at the top of the ride with the clear view across.
If you’re making just one journey and you want to ensure there are no cable cars going in between you and the city view, then travel from the South of the river to the North. If you want the opportunity to include other cable cars in your view, then travel North to South.
I can’t tell you what this building is, or exactly where it is located other than I was in New York when I took it. I do remember having to navigate around some scaffold to get a decent central viewing angle for the shot, shooting over the top of a row of cars that were between myself an the structure. I think it was shortly after coming out of Central Park on the Southside, perhaps somewhere around the 5th or 6th Avenue kind of mark.
The building was, as you can likely already guess, not bending at all like this – perhaps I need to buy a tilt-shift lens…
Friday again, and also yet another month has rolled around with us now about to enter July. I must be having fun…
I thought I would post this shot today with the new that tickets for the View from the Shard are going to go on sale next Friday at 9am. Get up there quick before the windows get dirty!
The main features in this shot are the Gherkin peeking it’s head into the image, the lovely Shard, a slight glimpse of Tower Bridge, the Strata Tower and also the large new building being built which is commonly called the Walkie Talkie and which has now topped out.
I reformatted my PC last night so it’s running a little quicker, and things such as OnOne and NIK Software open and run on a first attempt and without having to wait 15 minutes per action – hurrah! (though I doubt that will last long, must start thinking of building a new one)
Enjoy your weekend everyone.
This wonderful block in the heart of London is currently offices, but plans are afoot to make it residential.
On a residential note, today is moving day and I have a lot to do before I’m ready, so I can’t stay and chat – have a good day all.
Square light passing through the square windows and viewed through a square in the ceiling, with a square crop of course.
It took me ages to think of an appropriate title for the post!
Thanks everyone for their well wishes yesterday, I’m very pleased to have won and look forward to visiting the exhibit this weekend to see my winning shot and also to pick up my prize.
I’m moving soon, plus have a trip to the US so the next few weeks are going to be pretty busy for me. I also haven’t been out with my camera lately so I need to try and get some processing done, and blog posts written, to cover any periods where I have no internet or am away from home.
Hump day though – hurrah!
I am so looking forward to this weekend. I think this is the last pre-processed shot I have so really need to get some more done, and go out and take more shots.
It was a really sunny day when I took this, and I did so pretty much shooting into the sun which was then cropped out a little. I quite like the feel of the image though.
Roll on 5.30! Have a good weekend all.
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
After a stupidly long week at work I managed to head out for a few hours on a very cold Sunday hoping for a nice sunset. Conor, John, Peter (our guest from overseas) and I headed to Greenwich and stood by the Royal Observatory to try and catch a few nice shots. The wind picked up making it pretty darn chilly, and though the sky looked like it may offer some interesting light, nothing much came of it.
I left thinking I may have taken the best shot of the evening on my iPhone (below), however upon checking the images out at home I found a couple that were salvageable, this one in particular I liked.
It was particularly ‘misty’ that evening, though we felt it was due to the London smog rather than some natural element. The most noticeable buildings from left to right are The Shard, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Gherkin.
Here’s an iPhone shot of the scene to add a little context.
This is an extract of the new concourse that has opened at King’s Cross station. Designed by John McAslan and Partners this 500m area is going to be the first impression that many people get of London when they arrive via train, and I must say I rather like it.
Before now they were faced with an exit onto a seedy street which is frequented by hookers late at night, and the only part of the station that really gathered any interest was a haphazard sign for Platform 9 3/4. Now, however, they are faced with a Foster-esque piece of architecture that fits in well with this city.
Not that they need my seal of approval of course, but they have it anyway.
On Sunday I rose my bed in a hungover state to get down to Australia House by stupid o’ clock. There was nothing special on, but I wanted to try and take a daylight shot of it without any traffic, and a Sunday seemed perfect. I grabbed a few shots from each side and made use of the middle of the road due to a lack of traffic, but within the hour I was back in bed again where I remained for most of the day.
The interior of building was used for Gringotts Bank in Harry Potter.
It’s nice to be able to take a shot from high up in this area, but a pity that I’m not square on against these lovely buildings as the angles makes me dislike this image a little more than I should. I’ve sat on it a while and my opinion isn’t changing, but thought I would offer it out to the blog anyway to get other views on it – plus being I’m pretty snowed under at work so haven’t had any processing time lately.
In that light, apologies for the lack of communication in your own photoblogs and on twitter etc; I hope to find a little time this weekend to catch up.
Battersea Power Station as taken from the BT Tower sometime last year.
A few photographers including Conor, Jay and John took a trip up there in the name of some charity we have likely forgotten the name of because, yes, it does need awareness and funds, but really we just wanted to get a nice vantage point over London.
That doesn’t mean that I dismissed the champagne reception, of course, as it’s perfectly possible to both hold a champagne glass and take photographs. At least, it is when the glasses can be refilled for free and you don’t mind smelling a little bit of alcohol of the rest of the day after spillage.
The glass up there is horrid. Double paned and dirty to boot, so taking decent shots was actually pretty difficult at times; I still came out with a few usable ones though.
London is fortunate enough to be hosting the Olympic Games this year. There are several negative sides to this, namely the increase in people and the effect it may have on our infrastructure, and also the fact that the area where I live is going to be the Media Hub for the games and will see 5,000 press people coming in to stay; this inevitably means I’ll be facing long queues at Waitrose.
Otherwise, I’m looking forward to the atmosphere and cash it will bring to this wonderful city.
A few weeks ago I took a walk up to the site of the Olympics to see how they were getting on, and here’s a shot from pretty much as close to it that you can get with regular public access. The large structure on the right, which looks like leftover metal from a roller coaster, is ‘Orbit’ by Anish Kapoor which will act as a monument and a viewing platform once the games have gone.
It was a horrible day with rain pouring pretty much non-stop so I didn’t get to take too many photos that day.
It feels like a lifetime since we went to Canary Wharf to take some night shots, although all too recent that I dropped my shiny new camera – so when looking at this image, which was taken that night, I can’t decide if it feels like it was taken last year or last week.
I quite liked this building on the left, which is the hotel in my Curtain Call shot from the same night.
There are a few figures in the image; some of these are just people in the area, however there are also two photographers. Dylan is closest to the camera standing with tripod, and John is crouched in the distance. Over to my right was Jay taking this shot.
This was a handheld bracket shot from the HMS Liverpool out in Canary Wharf earlier this year. It wasn’t the nicest weather but I noticed the buildings were reflecting pretty well in the water and decided to snap away. On another trip, when I’m not aboard a battleship, I would like to redo one from here using a tripod to smooth out the water somewhat and see if I can get a cleaner reflection.
As with yesterday I made heavy use of the Urban Sickness filter, a part of Phototools by OnOne Software. Seeing as how that’s two in a row I’m tempted to do a week of shots that use this filter…not sure that’ll happen though as I’m a little too busy to process lots of new images at the moment and am relying on the ones in my completed shoebox.
Friday already, and I thought I would end the week with a shot of Canary Wharf taken a few weeks ago while I was out with Dylan, James and John. As I was taking these exposures a boat
drove wandered sailed past and left a nice light streak across the bottom third of the image; I would have liked it to be a little closer to leave the trails slightly lower, but am happy enough with what they add to the shot.
It was a pretty cold night and we had contemplated walking to Greenwich from here, around 2 miles, and back up through the foot tunnel to Canary Wharf. Instead we jumped back on the tube to go back a stop, and a few shots later ended up in the pub. This was followed by a brief trip to London Bridge and another stop in the pub.
I’m officially going to stop calling them photowalks and refer to them by the appropriate title of pubcrawls very soon.
Last week I celebrated one year of this photoblog and posted a few of my favourite shots from the previous year. Thanks to everyone who voted for their personal favourites out of this batch, I’m pleased to announce that your preferred shot was The Day The Music Died
An obvious title for a shot taken from Waterloo Bridge at sunset.
It was bitterly cold on the bridge on this day and I was hoping to have a nicer sunset to view, however the one on offer did allow for a few nice colours in the sky so I at least walked away with something.
I’m sure the focal points within the shot are obvious but just to make sure everyone knows we have the London Eye/Millennium Wheel on the left, Houses of Parliament (where Big Ben is) on the right, and a boat in the middle. The boat isn’t famous, that I know of, but perhaps one day I might be and then the boat could be famous by association…we’ll see.
I’m fighting off a stomach bug at the moment and haven’t really eaten anything of real substance for the last 60 hours or so, plus my head hurts and body aches all over. Hopefully it’ll disappear by the weekend so I can get out and take more photos
Yesterday, after a rather long journey back to London in lovely snowy conditions, the last thing I wanted to do was go back out into the cold and wet and stand around taking photos; however I opted to do so and had a lovely time, even though I was falling asleep throughout.
It was a nice short trip out, starting at the Greenwich foot tunnel which is what you can see in this shot, albeit with a little photoshop work to get give it a darker edge. We then walked around Greenwich a little bit taking in the views and watching a rather lacklustre firework show, finishing off in the pub for a quick bite and pint before going home.
I hope everyone had a nice weekend.