Movement in the city

I sometimes like to set myself photographic challenges… a theme and a lens … and get out there and take photos..!! So, yesterday, I took my Canon 7D in to London to try to capture movement. I fitted my Canon 10-22mm ultra wide angle lens and set off.
First port of call was Canary Wharf. This is the new business district of London, a few miles to the east of the city itself. It has a cavernous underground station and I took some shots of the morning commuters making their way to work.

Taking photographs down there can be difficult because of the range of tones. I am not a big fan of HDR but, just by using the sliders on Lightroom, I managed to even-out the contrast and bring some incredible details back into the shadows. Shooting in RAW is a must.

I then made my way to London’s west end – to Picadilly Circus and, on the way, took photos of people passing by on a moving walk-way.

It was an overcast afternoon and I thought the lights of the billboards would create some nice effects. As it happened all my shots were a bit boring so I concentrated on capturing the motion of cyclists sweeping around the busy road junction there. I tried to pan the camera to follow cyclists, having set the lens on a very small aperture and with low ISO setting, making the camera use a long-ish exposure time, thereby creating a blur.

Recently in London a scheme has been set up where people can borrow bicycles to get around the city. These bikes are named either after the corporate sponsor (Barclay’s Bikes) or the mayor of London who introduced them (Boris Bikes). These bikes are bright blue and normally have riders who are inexperienced and without safety helmets. I tried to capture the speed and proximity of busses and taxis whizzing by these novices…. I personally would not like to do it!

The great thing about taking photos in a big city like London is that no-one notices or cares…if I stood on a street corner taking photos of passers-by in the small town where I live I think I would get some strange looks. Having said that, the cyclists whose photos I took probably didn’t even notice me….they were busy avoiding busses and taxis and keeping alive!


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