Tag Archives: thames
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.
I wonder exactly what is hidden in Thames?
For the most part when you simply see a flow of water. Take your time to examine that closely and you’ll realise just how brown that water is. Sometimes you may also see items floating down it, a shoe, an umbrella, a beer keg.
Peel back that layer of water, however, and I wonder just what you would find? It’s not uncommon to see something such as a shopping trolley, and at times there are old bits of music equipment, and in this case a nice old iron gate; I can’t imagine what else lies beneath the murky water.
Of course it’s only exposed for a short amount of time due to the tides. Before long this iron gate would return to it’s watery grave away from human eye.
I really liked this scene when I saw it; the gate was a natural focal point and it’s always nice to get the Tate modern and Shard in the image, but I also quite liked the sign about cleaning the river you can see in the middle of the Thames.
Even with the snow around on Saturday, there were quite a few people who had gathered on the south side of Westminster Bridge with cameras waiting for the lights to be switched off at the Houses of Parliament in support of Earth Hour. Surprisingly everyone seemed to be on the stairs from the bridge and not at my favourite spot which is by the steps leading down to the river itself, so I was able to take up my usual position when shooting here.
I had just got myself into position and composed the shot when the lights went out, which meant I had to try and focus in the dark – not the easiest thing to do when I normally use the clockface as my focus point. I was also shooting with the 14mm so this image was superwide when taken, I think the resulting crop is around 1/3 of the size of the original. It’s a single exposure that had a little sharpening and was then run through OnOne’s Perfect Effects.
I had a couple of different images from this spot but it was so dark I opted to use the one with the boat trails in it just to add a little bit of extra interest to the image.
It’s amazing what items you can find on the banks of the Thames. Whether this trolley was pushed over the edge and on to the bank below (or perhaps it jumped?), or whether it was swept down the river from some other place is unknown.
Of course, it’s rare that you find anything good. I’m not saying a shopping trolley is an every day find, and it’s certainly more interesting than a shoe. However it does lack the wow factor of…oh I don’t know…a mermaid.
Wait…perhaps there are mermaids in the Thames and one had been shopping, using this trolley; but it had a wonky wheel and she couldn’t quite navigate it in a straight line and, before you know it, she was stuck on a mound of sand as the sun was coming up.
That could explain why we only ever find individual shoes as well.
In unrelated news I’m high on Lemsip and cough syrup.
A little break from the gorgeous NYC today to bring things back home to London.
Anyone who pictures the Thames as a beautiful blue river that runs through London is in for a shock when they see it in person, as it’s really a very murky brown colour. What is actually in the water I wouldn’t wish to know.
This shot was taken over by Butler’s Wharf, a little further east from Tower Bridge, over the Jubilee weekend. I would not like to be stuck down in that mud!
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.
Swing the camera left by 120 degrees or so from where I took yesterday’s shot and you get this view of Battersea Power Station.
What this image does is remind me how much I love shooting with wide angle glass, and when attempting to get both the moon in the sky and the reflection in the water, my 24mm (as was used here) does not cut it at times. If anyone wants to give me a loan of their 14mm I would be very happy to take care of it for you; it’s not as if I have a history of dropping expensive items or anything.
Not much to say about this shot otherwise; it’s an iconic building that has been shot many times – mostly from this location. I don’t get tired of looking at it, and hate it when I see the development plans saying they’re going to get rid of the chimney stacks…though I think the latest plans for this location keep those in place.
I was up and out of the house reasonably early for a Saturday morning last week, around 7am, and my first destination was the Southbank. It’s normally teaming with tourists, but I had eggs to find so wanted to do so while it was quiet and early morning seemed to be the best choice (I returned later in the day to get a few indoor eggs once locations had opened and it was indeed busy busy busy).
Enjoying the solitude I took a walk past the London Eye/Millennium Wheel, slowly following this guy and his dog as they walked along. It’s likely due to the dog, but for some reason I thought they looked a little French to me. If it wasn’t for the landmarks I could easily have believed I was in Paris walking down the Seine.
It wasn’t too long before they presented me with this photo opportunity; the guy leaning to get all of the wheel in his shot of the Thames, and the dog adopting this pose so that the leash didn’t pull too tightly.
I loved how it turned out.
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
The Millennium Dome in London was built for the Millennium Experience, a year long series of exhibitions to commemorate the year 2000. I think it was mocked by most leading up to the launch, and certainly didn’t do as well as it was expected to. Nowadays it’s the O2 Arena and is used for gigs and other events throughout the year.
Regardless of the intention of the building or what it’s used for now, there is no denying it is a pretty unique structure and one that is often photographed by those who see it.
This is my first posted shot that was taken with the shiny new 5d Mark II – a superb camera that I am really enjoying getting to grips with. I say shiny, it’s already showing a little war paint as I have managed to drop it from chest height already. 36 hours in before that little gem happened. I thought I had it safely locked into the tripod, which has become pretty fussy lately with the RC plate locking in. I was wrong, and it plummeted to the concrete ground. Originally I thought it had nothing more than a little scratch on the corner which had taken the impact, however upon further investigation the next morning I noted there is a crack in the frame. It still works perfectly well, and the camera itself along with the glass that was attached are in perfect working order…just a bit annoying what with it being so fresh. I feel I took it very well though.
It could have been worse, of course. At least it only fell from chest height onto the floor at my feet…it could easily have fallen over the opposite side of the wall I was placing my tripod on, coming to a swift end 48 floors below.
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.
I took and processed this shot several months ago, but was never really happy with it, but couldn’t put my finger on why. Looking back at it this morning I thought it was alright, actually.
Opinions change for a variety of reasons on images, and it could be the mood you’re in, coming back from having a break and seeing it afresh, or just that it somehow grows on you over time.
Of course it could also be that I’ve had no time for processing over the past week or so and I was looking back over my previously processed shots when I saw this, immediately thinking ‘that’ll do’.
Hopefully I’ll have time to sit and process this weekend. I hope you have a great time yourself…what are you up to?
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.
Another shot from my helicopter ride a few months ago.
This scene needs no real introduction as I’m sure everyone will recognise the Houses of Parliament with ‘Big Ben’ and the London Eye with the river Thames snaking between them.
Here’s a few facts about the former:
– The tower which has the clock and chimes is not called Big Ben, it’s called the Clock Tower.
– Big Ben II is the name of the bell that chimes; the original Big Ben was cracked beyond repair shortly after it was put in place.
– The current bell is also visibly cracked, but still usable.
– Clock Tower is leaning slightly…not as much as the tower at Pisa, but a little bit.
– I’ve stood beside Big Ben as it’s being struck, watching the hammer hit it – it’s pretty loud.
I was recently on a boat which was making it’s way up and down the Thames a few times, and one of the spots we kept passing was the Millennium Bridge. This shot was taken looking up at the bridge from the boat, and is a single hand held shot which was then processed.
When I cross the bridge on foot I get a little annoyed at times by the number of people who are there, often dawdling. Of course my double standards kick in when it’s myself dawdling…but even more so when I’m looking on at the scene and am actually quite appreciative that these people happened to be stood at this location, looking down upon my boat at the time I was passing.
I hope you all have a great weekend, see you next week.
This is one of the views on offer from the Golden Gallery, a viewing platform at the top of the dome on St Paul’s Cathedral. The two towers you see are part of the cathedral itself with Ludgate Hill running away from it and into Fleet Street in the distance.
The Thames runs down the left hand side, with the Millennium Wheel and BT Tower two of the visible iconic buildings in the frame.
I’ve made a couple of trips up here over the past month or two and look forward to returning again as winter sets in. It’s pretty busy up on the small Golden Gallery, so I’m hoping the coldness of winter will keep people away and allow me to take some shots as day turns to night, not possible just now with the early closing hours. I’m also thinking this may be a nice place to try and get a timelapse video done.
Today I am pleased to be sharing some excellent news with you.
St Paul’s Cathedral, who regular readers will know is one of my favourite buildings in London to photograph, recently completed a 15 year, £40m restoration project which aligns with their 300th year anniversary. To celebrate this they held a photo contest for amateur and professional photographers to submit their shots of St Paul’s.
I’m pleased to be able to let you know that one of my shots, Sunny St Paul’s, was included in the top 10 images and will be on digital display in the crypt of the Cathedral during the Oculus: an eye into St Paul’s experience.
But there’s even better news!
Another of my images, St Paul’s – World AIDS Day, was chosen as the overall contest winner!
I’m obviously pleased as punch by this good fortune and my first contest win (out of 3 entered, I think). You can view the competition page and the rest of the winners on the St Paul’s Cathedral website.
Here is my winning image, and the other which is in the top 10 finishers:
St Paul’s – World AIDS Day (winning image) – view original blog post
Sunny St Paul’s – view original blog post
And now back to today’s post. After shooting at the BT Tower on Monday I headed out to do a little bit of early evening and night photography with John (Happy Birthday John!). The light was pretty good by the time we had dinner and walked over the Millennium Bridge to the south side, and I had wanted a new St Paul’s image to go up on the blog along with today’s news – the shots I took from the helicopter on Sunday and the BT Tower on Monday didn’t really have any good, usable ones of the cathedral.
John suggest that I stand on one of the side support structures to try and get a unique shot, which I did indeed try. I then got higher and higher trying to find a better angle until I realised the only way I was going to be happy with the lines in the shot was to actually sit on the four metal rods that are the side support for the bridge (probably not the term the architect would have used on the original plans) and work my camera in between them.
The shots I took came out quite well, and I was pretty happy processing this one in colour, especially as it’s an angle I don’t think I’ve ever seen previously, and when you’re at a location that is so heavily photographer a unique shot is often hard to come by. Recently Vulture Labs has been producing some excellent work, in particular the B&W Toned series of shots, and that inspired me to go for this one in B&W, and I’m glad I did – this is certainly my favourite shot that I’ve taken from this location to date.
First up, a big thank you to Mike Olbinski who featured me as a guest blogger yesterday as part of his new ‘OneQuestion‘ guest series. It was an honour to be asked and invited, and I’m really looking forward to seeing who else is part of this series. Thanks Mike!
Some of you will recognise this image as I used a cropped version for a recent Microsoft Bing contest – although I didn’t progress to the final stages I don’t mind that as it was nice to get a shot such as this out there. One of the conditions of the contest was not to have the image submitted already posted on social networking sites, and as I usually put my daily photoblog images on Flickr and Tumblr I held back on posting this one here also.
This one is 33 floors up in the heart of London, looking down on the OXO Tower which is hidden by me standing there on the edge. The red lit building over on the left is the National Theatre, with Waterloo Bridge spanning the river Thames beside it. The Millennium Wheel/London Eye and Big Ben are just off the shot on the left. In the distance ahead of me you can see the BT Tower lit up in red and blue. The tripod is extended as far it it would go and is on a block of concrete. I put it on a 10 second timer so that I could get in position at the edge of the building and steady myself against the strong wind.
This trip was an unplanned one, as we had intended on hitting a different, much smaller building, nearby. A workman sat in a truck prevented us from accessing it when we wanted to though, so we decided to try this location which had been locked up for ages, I had been checking in on it since last November, and so we were surprised and delighted to find out we could access it on this night.
The 33 flights of stairs are pretty tiring, and on the way down we found the lift was actually still in working order. With 5 of us crammed in there it was squeaking and creaking all the way down, and as I had to try and get home, sleep for a few hours and then head to the airport to catch a flight to San Francisco I was a little worried in case it decided to give in on us.
It didn’t though, luckily, and I walked away after spending a few hours at what’s probably the best location in London.
The title of this post refers to the two buildings which feature prominently. The ugly building at the far right is Guy’s Hospital. The tall pretty building being developed beside it is the Shard. The latter was designed by Italian Architect Renzo Piano. Also in the shot is Canary Wharf, the cluster of buildings at the back – and just in front of these is Tower Bridge.
I was browsing through my unprocessed images this weekend with little inspiration as to what I wanted to process. I have so many from abandoned buildings and rooftops that didn’t quite make the cut in the original ‘back from a shoot, let’s see what we’ve got’ phase that I’m a little bored of seeing them again and again when digging into my shoebox.
I headed back to shots from this location knowing I had a few in there that were definitely usable, I’m just sorry that it’s very similar to the Morning Shard image I’ve posted recently. I loved that last image, but now I think I’m liking this one a little bit more.
So I certainly need to find the time to get out there and shoot more, and I think I need to start shooting lots of different things so that I have more variety to go back to and process depending on my mood.
Of course yesterday I went out there and shot from an abandoned location…but soon I’ll get to the variety!
In other news, over the weekend I just went over 100,000 views on HDRSpotting.com. It’s a nice site that serves to promote your HDR work, and I look forward to seeing the changes that the staff have coming up there in the near future. 87% of the 100,000 views were for my urbex piano image, The Day The Music Died.
I have a few spare invites for the site, so if someone wishes to join drop me a note on Twitter to @murphyz, and it would be nice to have a link to some of your work also.