On Location Photographing London Day and Night

Regular readers of my blog will know that I often spend time in London taking photos but usually just a few hours at a time and normally before or after my day job and it is a lot less often I decide to spend an entire day dedicated to wandering around, photographing the city so I decided to get out for the day and see what I could capture.

I started the day capturing Tower Bridge at sunrise then over to Canary Wharf at sunset while in between I captured some images for a time-lapse compilation which you can see at the end of this post.

The first shot below is a photo of Tower Bridge during the Blue Hour which is the time between night and sunrise. If you look to the bottom right-hand side of the shot you can just see the first hints of sunrise just underneath the bridge.

Photo of Tower Bridge London in the Blue Hour by Trevor Sherwin

1.7 secs
f13

ISO200
18mm
Fujifilm X-T2
XF18-55mm

Looking east along the River Thames, the photo below captures St Katherine's docks with the towering buildings of Canary Wharf in the background. More shots of those later.

St Katherine's Dock during sunrise taken by Trevor Sherwin

0.6 secs
f13

ISO200
55mm
Fujifilm X-T2
XF18-55mm

Now on the other side of the river, this shot of the "Girl with a Dolphin" fountain in front of Tower Bridge is a pretty popular composition but I really like the timing here with the ambient light complimented by the artificial lights from the lamps and Tower Bridge. You can also see The Shard in the background.

Photo of Tower Bridge and the Girl with the Dolphin by Trevor Sherwin

0.9 secs
f13

ISO200
18mm
Fujifilm X-T2
XF18-55mm

Moving further away from Tower Bridge, below is a photo of the sundial at St Katherine's Docks. Although I would prefer more interest in the sky, the good thing about a cloudless sky is you often get to see the subtle pastel pinks and reds above the horizon just before the sun rises. It is rather beautiful and adds a touch of simplicity to the image.

Photo of the sundial at Tower Bridge at sunrise by Trevor Sherwin

1/8th sec
f13

ISO200
19mm
Fujifilm X-T2
XF18-55mm

At this point I wanted to try a composition I have already captured at sunset further east along St Katherines Docks but it turns out the gates to that stretch of the waterfront is closed at this time (so much for planning ahead, right?) so with the best light about to appear I had to think fast so I rushed back and captured the photo below with the warm glow from the sun lighting up Tower Bridge.

Photo of the Girl and the Dolphin at Tower Bridge by Trevor Sherwin

1/17th sec
f11

ISO200
18mm
Fujifilm X-T2
XF18-55mm

My last photo of the morning was from the other side of Tower Bridge, capturing the shot below of the sunburst underneath the bridge.

Photo of Tower Bridge at sunrise taken by Trevor Sherwin

1/100th sec
f20

ISO200
18mm
Fujifilm X-T2
XF18-55mm

So, that was the morning shoot. As mentioned before, I continued throughout the day to capture a few time-lapse sequences but luckily with the shorter winter days, there's not a long time to wait before the light starts to improve again as the sun starts to lower before sunset.

I captured the photo below of the Royal Naval College in Greenwich from across the river. With the longer exposure, I smoothed out the river, removing any distractions and keeping this symmetrical scene as simple as possible.

A long exposure photo of the greenwich naval college by trevor sherwin

30 secs
f9

ISO200
36mm
Fujifilm X-T2
XF18-55mm

My last image of the day was taken from just in front of the Millennium Dome which provides fantastic views of the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf on the Isle of Dogs. With the colours evolving in the sky as the sun was setting and the long exposure blending the changing light, I really like the tones in this final image.

A photo of Canary Wharf at sunset taken by Trevor Sherwin

345 secs
f9

ISO200
29mm
Fujifilm X-T2
XF18-55mm

I am still learning loads about time-lapse videos and have not created as many as I had hoped so far but below is the result of a day of capturing multiple smaller time-lapses and editing them all together to create the video below.