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One recent cold and windy night we found ourselves in London Bridge station waiting for someone. We had about forty minutes to kill so we walked out onto nearby London Bridge. After photographing the big blocky office building on the nearby south bank we walked out onto the bridge itself. It was freezing! Definitely not the weather you'd choose for photography.
The temperature was low and the wind speed high making it colder and harder to hold a camera steady. And yet, there on the bridge, besides the usual tourists taking photographs with their phones, were a few hardy photography enthusiasts, some with tripods, some without. I joined their ranks, tripodless, and started to take a few shots of the illuminated Tower Bridge, nearby HMS Belfast and the lit buildings along the shore. It quickly became apparent that a bright lens and a reasonable focal length were required. I happened to have my current portrait lens with me, the Olympus 45mm 1.8, since I'd been photographing my grand-daughter earlier in the day. It proved ideal for the job. Reasonably sharp wide open and image stabilised by the camera body.
As I took my photographs I reflected on the time when I used Four Thirds cameras without stabilisation, and without the high ISO performance of current cameras. The quality that was possible today simply with my unsupported camera body and lens was impossible only a few short years ago. The metering too has improved in leaps and bounds and it took minimal effort to achieve what I consider to be the very satisfactory result in today's photograph.
photograph and text © Tony Boughen
Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 45mm (90mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f1.8
Shutter Speed: 1/100 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On