Monday, November 05, 2012

The Shard, viewed and eclipsed

click photo to enlarge
If I take my camera with the 70-300mm lens mounted on it, lean out from the balcony in Rotherhithe where I often stay, brace myself against the metal work and point it upstream towards the centre of London, I can take this photograph of The Shard. I've taken quite a few shots in this way during the construction of the building, some of which I've posted on the blog.

As well as showing the glass spike itself this view also features Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital - the tall building on the left. This utilitarian, concrete structure has sprouted what looks like scaffolding, an indication, perhaps, that it is being spruced up to be a more presentable neighbour for the new tower. A segment of the big wheel that is called the London Eye can be seen immediately to the right of The Shard. To the right of that is one of the pointed roofs of Tower Bridge visible between the two cranes. The buildings in the lower half of the photograph are the converted warehouses and new-build riverside flats along the Thames. The river itself is in the foreground.

The Shard's moment of fame as Europe's tallest building was brief. Apparently its height of 1,016 feet (310 metres) was recently eclipsed by Mercury City Tower in Moscow. It is though, by a big margin, the tallest building in the United Kingdom, though not the tallest structure. That honour belongs to the Emley Moor transmitting station, a telecommunications mast at 1,084 feet (330 metres) that was built in 1969-71 in Yorkshire. I mentioned in a recent post that I must buy a ticket to access the viewing gallery near the top of The Shard and in writing this piece I came across the fact that tickets are already on sale for the opening in February. I think I'll wait for the rush to die down before I buy one. If, that is, it does ever die down.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 228mm
F No: f5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/60
ISO: 3200
Exposure Compensation:  -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On