The Bridge to St Paul's

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

St Paul's Cathedral 300th Anniversary contest winner

Sunny St Paul’sview original blog post

Sunny St Paul's

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.

37 thoughts on “The Bridge to St Paul’s”

  1. Congrats Mike, great shot and definitely a winner! Love the new one too! I think the sunny one you got when I was out with you, yes? Anyways, congrats and well done!!

    1. Cheers Jim – the sunny shot certainly was the one taken when we met up – I had shot the whole garden we were at also but ended up cropping all of that out of the final image.

  2. The Bridge to St Paul[] [] [] []
    Thanks very much 🙂

    Thank you – this is indeed HDR, from 3 exposures.

    Thanks for your comment, and especially for your critique – appreciated. I put the brightness on this up and down for ages before settling on one I was happy with. At work it’s too dark for my monitor, but at home it’s just right for my liking. I think the problem may be that I process at night in a dark room so things appear brighter then than they may actually be. Thanks for your suggestion 🙂

  3. The Bridge to St PaulInteresting to read the background … congrats on the winning award!
    You’re much more into processing than I am as I just use an old Corel program 10 years old and recently since buying a Canon 60D the processing from RAW that came with it, but a rule I tend to stick by is getting detail in the darkest parts of a shot as a basic point, then working around that. Your bridge shot has such wonderful detail of the structural engineering parts of the bridge and maybe they’re lost a bit in the darkness. Reducing level equaliser at the dark end, or squeezing up the lower end of tone curve might bring out this detail … I’d love to see it! Just an amateur’s suggestion!

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