The London Chrome Project

I have been trying out Fuji's film simulations recently and I have surprised myself how much I like Classic Chrome. I had previously decided to start a series of posts around the use of the different simulations Fuji offers but found myself always drawn to the Classic Chrome look so, in need of a new project, I had a think about what I could do here.

I could set the camera to JPG, stick with the Classic Chrome simulation and head out but I felt this would leave me wanting somewhat. I do actually enjoy post-processing my images and didn't want to give too much of this up by shooting straight to JPG which would leave me with limited processing opportunities. I decided to stick with raw. There. Decision made.

Next, I thought about how I could go about processing my images. I decided I would create my own Lightroom presets which would allow me to create the look I like but build out additional presets depending on the light, subject composition whilst retaining a chrome-like style in the images providing some consistency throughout. An important point to remember is that presets are a starting point and as every image will differ in colour, brightness and contrast in the ever-changing light, once the preset is applied to the image, some fine tuning is almost always needed.

For my first post, I am showing images from a photo walk during an evening in May. I started around the Albert Bridge area in West London, walking along the River Thames, towards Westminster. Here at Chelsea Creek along the Thames, although subtle, the composition leads to the recognisable skyline in the east. Amongst others, you can see the London Eye and The Shard in the distance.

London Chrome Chelsea Creek photo by Trevor Sherwin

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The next few images all have The Albert Bridge featured in some way. The jogger below just stepping into the light creates a nice focal point in the shot.

London Chrome photo of a man jogging near Albert Bridge by Trevor Sherwin

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The architecture of Albert Bridge is quite attractive. As I passed by, this central composition caught my eye. I found it hard to create a pleasing image with the traffic in the shot so I decided to try to capture the image without any vehicles, although it was even harder to find a long enough gap in the traffic during rush hour.

London Chrome photo of Albert Bridge by Trevor Sherwin

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A classic bridge composition, leading the eye across the water. Sticking with the 35mm, I couldn't quite get the entire bridge in the frame. 

London Chrome photo of Albert Bridge by Trevor Sherwin

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After walking away from the bridge along the southern side of the river, I turned back and spotted some fantastic light piercing through the clouds just above the bridge. I didn't really have a great composition here but the scene was pleasing enough to record along my journey.

London Chrome photo of Albert Bridge at sunset by Trevor Sherwin

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A Southern train crossing the river after recently departing from London Victoria station. I like the balance created between the horizontal train and the vertical tower over at St Georges Wharf. The light wasn't great here so it was more about composition at this point.

London Chrome photo of a Southern Train crossing the Thames by Trevor Sherwin

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Battersea Power Station is undergoing a total refurb as the area is regenerated with retail giants such as Apple looking to take up residence once the work is completed. You can't help but notice the number of cranes that surround the building which creates a rather cluttered scene. I can't wait to get back here when the work completes to see how it all turns out.

London Chrome photo of Battersea Power Station by Trevor Sherwin

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Before I took the above image of Battersea Power Station I had crossed back across the river to the north bank. This is the best place to view the power station and St George Wharf below. This is an award-winning structure and looks stunning on the edge of the river. 

London Chrome photo of St Georges Wharf by Trevor Sherwin

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To the right of St George Wharf is this pretty spectacular 50 story residential tower called Vauxhall Tower. With the 35mm lens, I only just managed to fit it in the frame!

London Chrome photo of St Georges Wharf Tower by Trevor Sherwin

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I finished my walk at Westminster and just as the sun had set, I captured this image of The London Eye from the bridge. I love the ornate lamps that run along the bridge and have mentioned them before in a previous post.

London Chrome photo of Westminster Bridge and the London Eye by Trevor Sherwin

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I'm not sure if the London Chrome project will be a long one, only time will tell but at time of writing, I have been out with the camera a few times and I'm really enjoying freedom of being uncoupled from a tripod and adding some diversity to my London photography. For too long I have focused on the perfect uncluttered image of London and although this remains my primary photographic focus, capturing London is this way is pretty exhilarating and a fantastic way to keep my photographic eye sharp!