A city break with a camera – in retrospect #4

As promised in my last post we begin with a visit to the Burlington Arcade in London’s Piccadilly. I wasn’t there to shop, the prices are well above my pension scale, but the arcade was pretty, especially decorated as it was for the Christmas period.

I didn’t stay long in the Burlington Arcade, but crossed the road to take the photograph above of the Piccadilly Arcade – similarly expensive but also decorated for Christmas just gone.

Timing is everything in photography – well, that and light of course. This was my first visit in eleven years to the capital and the view of the Houses of Parliament across the Thames at Westminster was, this time, marred by Big Ben’s clock tower being shrouded for refurbishment.

This was clearly not going to be my day. My next stop on my schedule was Buckingham Palace. I hadn’t expected to see the Queen; I knew that I’d be too late for the Changing of the Guard; and I knew that there would be lots of people about. I hadn’t, though, been prepared for the crash barriers – presumably an anti-terrorist precaution, however flimsy. Anyway, they ruined any chance of a picturesque photograph.

I turned around and noticed the Victoria Memorial statue at the end of The Mall in front of the Palace. I waited for a clear view but when there weren’t coaches dropping off tourists or other traffic, the best shot I could get, from any direction, was blocked by a taxi that drew up and parked just as my ten-second timer was counting down. I gave up. Time to head back to Westminster.

At last, a decent view! Birdcage Walk provided a reasonable composition with its converging perspective, as I walked towards Westminster Bridge.

My final shot of the afternoon – the London Eye from Westminster Bridge. I decided that this subject would be worth returning to in the evening – after I’d had something to eat.

As darkness fell I had a stroll, initially to the Millennium Bridge again, to get a night shot across the bridge to the Cathedral but the vibrations set up, even by the few people still using the bridge, led to ghosting. The low-light required longer shutter exposure times – and even with a tripod, a wide open aperture and high ISO the shutter time was too long to freeze the movement. So I crossed the bridge again to the North of the river and walked back along Embankment towards Westminster Bridge. The image above shows ghosting as it turned, but that was welcome.

I took the photograph above from somewhere around the centre of Westminster Bridge to get a different angle.

I preferred this final shot of the London Eye, from a similar position to my afternoon shot, to the daytime version. A longer shutter time calmed any wave motion and provided some nice reflections from the evenings illuminated surroundings.

I left Westminster Bridge to walk along the South Bank, and, at the Millennium Bridge, I took the Featured Photo for today. The photograph above is from Lovat Lane, near London Bridge, looking down towards the Shard on the far side of the river.

EXIF data were: I used my Pentax K-1, 24 MP, full-framed sensor, dslr camera coupled with a Pentax 15-30 mm f/2.8 lens. Shutter speed 30 secs @ f/7.1 and 30 mm. ISO 100. Shot taken using a tripod.

Author: writingandphotography0531

I am a retired local government officer. At that time, I was an IT manager and had associated responsibilities for training. I have previously been involved, in various organisations, with aspects of industrial training and management development. My hobby is photography and, until recently, hillwalking in Snowdonia. I have just written my first novel, Persephone and the Photographer, published as a Kindle eBook.

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