Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A prospect of London

click photo to enlarge
Over the past eight years I've taken a number of photographs of this view of London and the River Thames seen from Rotherhithe. It's the panorama that I survey from my son's windows, and it is an ever-changing prospect. Not only does the river traffic vary considerably - liners, warships, catamaran ferries, pleasure boats, Thames sailing barges, yachts, kayaks and more can be seen - but the skyline itself has been regularly added to as well.

When I first gazed upon this view the bullet-shaped City tower at 30 St Mary Axe (affectionately known as "The Gherkin") wasn't built. At that position on the horizon was what was then London's tallest building, Tower 42 (formerly the Natwest Tower). This can still be (just) seen, its shape adding angular protrusions to the top right of The Gherkin. Nor was the tower behind the needle-spired church built, and a couple more of the nondescript blocks are also recent constructions. However, the biggest addition to the London skyline (from wherever you view it) , "The Shard", is slowly climbing towards what will be its final height of 1,017 feet (310 metres), though it is out of this particular view, to the left.

But, river traffic and skyscrapers notwithstanding, the most significant effects on this prospect are actually the weather, the time of day, and especially, the sky. Today's photographs illustrate this. The larger image was taken for the beauty of the November afternoon sky and the way the filtered sun lit up both the buildings and the clouds. The smaller image, taken with a wide angle lens, shows the clouds and the river illuminated by the city's lights. Of course, some of those clouds could be smoke because the shot was taken on Bonfire Night (November 5th)!

photographs and text (c) T. Boughen

Photograph 1 (2)
Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 70mm (17mm)
F No: f4
Shutter Speed: 1/640 (1/4)
ISO: 100 (3200)
Exposure Compensation: 0 EV
Image Stabilisation: On