On Location in Southwark from Dawn to Dark

A long day along the Thames with my Fuji X-T10 camera started with capturing the sunrise at the Millennium Bridge and ended with a few night shots along Bankside.

On a cold February morning, I started my day on the north bank at around 7am. The sun was starting to appear providing the warmer colours to the east of the city and I spotted this composition as I approached the Millennium Bridge so I grabbed my 10-24mm wide angle lens and set up. Apart from the obvious lead-in line the bridge provides and the famous Tate Modern power station, there were two other reasons why I chose to take this shot. First, as I approached the bridge, the Shard started to be unveiled underneath leaving it and the rising sun nicely framed. Secondly, as the sun was only just rising, the shot appears to be in two halves. Dawn on the left and night on the right which I thought added another dimension to the final image.

A photo of the Millennium Bridge and Tate Modern in London at sunrise by Trevor Sherwin

0.9 secs
f13

ISO200
10mm
Fujifilm X-T10
XF10-24mm

I then walked west along the Thames towards Blackfriars. Looking over my shoulder I noticed how the clouds were pulling the eye back towards the sunrise creating an interesting composition, so with a quick set up framing the image with the lamp to add a bit of foreground interest, I grabbed this shot. Not a portfolio shot but interesting all the same.

A picture of the River Thames and The Shard in London at sunrise by Trevor Sherwin

1/3rd sec
f13

ISO200
10mm
Fujifilm X-T10
XF10-24mm

I then arrived at the location I had originally intended that morning. From the newly built Blackfriars Pier, I had seen this composition before while scouting the area. As you study the image your eye will likely be lead to the Shard but down in the right-hand side of the image is the understated but arguably equal star of the show. Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.

Although a reconstruction of the Elizabethan playhouse, the Globe Theatre is considered a close interpretation of the original. I love the idea that over 400 years ago that pretty little theatre would have held some 3000 theatregoers (yes, 3000 in that modestly sized building!) entertained by one of the most famous playwrights in history.

As with many of my London cityscapes, I used the 10 stop ND filter allowing the longer exposure to smooth out the clouds and water to allow the area of contrast and main focus to be the architecture along the Bankside. I particularly like the way the rising sun is reflecting off the building's glass facades creating other areas of light within the image.

A picture of the River Thames and The Shard in London at sunrise by Trevor Sherwin

28 secs
f8
ISO200
20mm

Fujifilm X-T10
XF10-24mm

Now fast forward 10 or so hours (with a bit of the day job in between) it is now after dark and I am back at the Millennium Bridge but this time looking back the other way towards St Paul's Cathedral and boy does the city look different at night. With the wide angle lens back on the camera, the dark triangle on the bridge and the lights along the edge lead the eye towards St Paul's Dome perfectly. Additionally, the long exposure allows the moving clouds to compliment this symmetrical composition nicely.

Photo of the Millennium Bridge at night taken by Trevor Sherwin

20 secs
f14
ISO200
10mm
Fujifilm X-T10
XF10-24mm

While I was heading to my final location of the night I grabbed this classic composition of the bridge and cathedral across the river. Well it's popular for a reason, right? Again, not a portfolio shot but certainly blog-worthy.

A Photo of the Millennium Bridge at night taken by Trevor Sherwin

15 secs
f11
ISO200
18mm
Fujifilm X-T10
XF10-24mm

With a general lack of interest in the sky and city lights sometimes causing too much clutter in the scene I do tend to get closer to the subjects on cloudy night time shoots.

So, this is where I finished the night. The OXO Tower. When I purchased my wide angle lens, I already had this shot in mind to try so with only a short walk from the Millennium Bridge I wandered over. Another central composition, I am stood at the end of a jetty over the River Thames with the wooden walkway and side railings leading the eye into the image.

Photo of the Oxo Tower at night taken by Trevor Sherwin

10 secs
f7.1
ISO200
10mm
Fujifilm X-T10
XF10-24mm

So after a long day of both work and photography, I captured a few good shots of London's Southwark area along the Thames and had a good play with the new 10-24mm wide angle lens along the way.