photo walk update

The photo walk was great! We had an amazing time and I’m quite happy as it was me organising it.

Finally, we were only four people, but it was fine anyway, I’m glad that many showed up! We met at 5pm at the Tate, in London, and that was the first detail that made me realise I need to be more thorough when planning events well in advance: I hadn’t factored in the longer days! Of course, it was still day at 5pm yesterday!

We moved to the front of the Tate and set our tripods to start catching images of the sky at dusk. It was really pretty with all those reds and a few clouds adding depth to the sky. I have to say I need much more practise at night photography, but it’s fine, it was my first time anyway!

After managing to get everyone to the spot and despite one of the guys getting lost by confusing Millenium Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge, we finally started working. I took way too many images, but I’m glad I did, as I can see the small differences in the final image when I was changing settings. I need to work on my composition and my focus, though! Maybe one day I will get the subject I want focused, and not everything else around it!

We stayed there for a while, taking pictures of St. Paul’s dome from across the river, some of the front of the Tate, and then we moved onto the Millenium Bridge. I have some nice pictures of St. Paul’s from there, and some nice composition of the bridge itself, even none of those photographs are amazing.

After we crossed the river, we decided it was time for a break to recharge our batteries. It was really cold at that point (and being this close to the river didn’t help!) so we went in a pub to enjoy some nice food and drink. I had a massive burger and the guys had fish and chips, all washed down with cider and ale. We used that time to discuss what we learnt and show some pictures to each other before moving closer to the cathedral.

I was a bit disappointed by the lighting at the cathedral. I don’t know why, I expect it to be different, even though I don’t know how different. However, I managed to take a couple of nice shots there.

Unfortunately, the girl had run out of battery by then (it’s very important to check your gear well in advance to make sure you have plenty of battery and plenty of space in your memory card!) so she was just having a walk with us. I can imagine she got a bit bored by then, and it being cold, she decided to go home at that point.

The two guys had started practising panning and long exposure with moving lights and objects, and I decided to give a try to the latter (panning is still quite above my level, I’m afraid!). We managed to get some nice pictures of cars on the street, and there was a guy dancing the fire poi, and some of the images are really impressive (even if out of focus… again).

After this, we walked down to Blackfriars station and went to Embankment. We crossed the Jubilee Bridge (I believe that’s the name anyway) and went to take some pictures of the London Eye. Unfortunately, by the time we got there they had switched the lights off. Still, I got some pictures of the structure surrounded by the lighted up trees, which gives the area a pretty blue shade.

After the Eye, we went to Westminster Bridge (again, I believe that’s the name, but I might be wrong) and started taking pictures of the Houses of Parliament, playing with different shutter speeds and settings. We decided to stand still in some pictures and experiment with the lights. Let me tell you it’s awfully difficult to stand completely still for 20-30 seconds, not impossible though. What was impossible was to have 3 people standing still for that long. We had so much fun taking picture after picture, with people staring at us, but it was worth it, even if the images are not 100% good.

Overall, it was a great night. We had lots of fun and we all learnt a lot. We’re definitely going to meet up again for another night photography session, maybe once we have polished up our skills a bit more.

On a final note, they did light up the London Eye again once we were on Westminster Bridge…