Last month at this time I was gearing up for my trip to London. A month later I am still sorting the photos out! For the most part, I visited the Westminster Bridge area and photographed Big Ben every day or night. I saw many sites while in England, but this was near my hotel and made for some convenient shooting opportunities.
Big Ben Photography
I shot the mighty clock before and after sunrise and also before and after sunsets. And of course everything in between. I was even treated to a special event when the hands on the clock tower change for daylight savings time. For a good 15 minutes, the clock settled at midnight. To see the hands also move fast and forward that one hour was a sight to behold.
On the image up top, as you can see it was 6:15 am. There was a bit of light in the sky, and the scene was starting to brighten up. I liked the color shot, but I felt once it was in black and white, it came to life. I captured this shot with a wide angle lens.
On the shot below I used my macro lens, which I love for shooting long distances. I used my trusted Sigma 150mm dedicated macro lens, and I was able to catch the details on the clock face itself with ease. All the way from across the river.
A Long Exposure
Next up? What would a trip be for me without some night time long exposures? And in such an iconic world spot? How could I not capture the London traffic passing by the area with a 25-second exposure and some light trails? As you can see Big Ben photography comes in many, many moods. It’s practically limitless when you factor in weather, lighting, creativity, equipment and techniques!
Same Morning, Different Visualizations
Up top, you saw a shot in b/w, but just after sunrise, the sky can show some great colors. This photograph was about 10 minutes after sunrise time. The colors didn’t last long, so I made the most of it.
As always, visualize your end results whenever you can, even before you are set up to shoot! With the mood on this early morning, I was already picturing a very dark edit as my final. In post processing, I added some grain to the shot with a strong vignette. I also made sure no cars were passing along the bridge for this capture because I felt it help give an old time charm without seeing any vehicles.
So if you are heading to the London area, be sure to squeeze in some time for photographing Big Ben! It truly is a fascinating subject, which should be easy for you to throw your touches on a final piece! I hope you got some ideas from this blog!