Friday, August 26, 2011

A fiery London sunset

click photo to enlarge
Sometimes the colours and beauty of a sunset are quite overwhelming. Such was the case on a recent evening when I happened to look out of my balcony in London. I'm used to getting great views and interesting shots from this location when I stay in the city. And I've seen and photographed quite a few good sunsets. But I was unprepared for the colours and the definition of the scene that greeted me when I went to see which boat I could hear passing by. That happened to be nothing more than one of the Thames Clippers catamarans that regularly race up and down the Thames in their role as water buses, and on this occasion its engine sound had fooled me because it was going much slower than usual: perhaps it was finished for the night. I made a quick bee-line for my camera and started firing off shots intent on capturing the sight.

The ND8 graduated neutral density filter happened to be on the camera so my first few shots (of which this is one) were modified by that. However, apart from it darkening of the upper sky, possibly emphasising the blues a touch and giving more faithful delineation of the cloud, the image is what came out of the camera and involves no post processing. I don't recall seeing a better sunset than this one for a couple of decades, if at all. The people in some neighbouring flats were equally impressed because they too were out on their balconies with cameras. I took some photographs without the filter too, but this one, with the foregound interest of the passing boat, is the one I like best.

For an idea of what this section of the Thames from this vantage point looks like during the day see here and here.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 45mm
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/50
ISO: 800
Exposure Compensation:  -0.67 EV
Image Stabilisation: O
Filter: Graduated ND8