In this article we will share with you iconic locations and photography tips in order to experience London like never before, not to mention helping you level up your Instagram game.
The Tower Bridge
One of the most iconic locations in London is the Tower Bridge.
However, up close this iconic bridge is quite tricky to capture in a photograph. If you want to take pictures whilst on the bridge, you either must have a wide-angle lens or the patience to take a panorama either by stitching the photos manually on Photoshop or by letting your smartphone-camera do the job.
I would suggest finding the spot you want to shoot just before sunset and during the blue hour. There will almost always be clouds in the sky, adding to the dramatic effect and providing contrast to your images, but you would have to keep still when you are taking pictures after sunset, if you could bother carry a small tripod even better.
There are some places that you can try, one of them is the Girl and the dolphin statue, the other one is just before Hays galleria. On both of them you can see the full length of the tower bridge and add the wonderful statues in the foreground.
Saint Paul’s cathedral is a majestic building on it’s own but if you add the Millennium Bridge’s leading lines it becomes so much more appealing and photograph worthy.
It is worth investing in a tripod and maybe a polarized filter to average out the people because the bridge is almost always really crowded, especially during sunset and the blue hour.
You can be creative and try to approach a different style of photography. On the bridge you will find performers, mimes and musicians creating interesting subjects. Alternatively, you could try the more conventional approach of standing at the end of the millennium bridge shooting straight through the bridge and have Saint Paul’s Cathedral as the background.
The Shard, previously known as London Bridge tower, is the highest building in the UK, standing at an impressive 310 meters. When you are outdoors you can see the shard almost from everywhere in London, and this provides opportunity for you to be creative and find an interesting foreground imagery to support your photograph, maybe some striking lights from cars and Buses passing by, or maybe some people giving the sense of scale for the image.
The ideal time to photograph this place would be just after the sunset so the lights on the top of the shard would be switched on.
Plot twist: you can try a totally different approach and photograph London’s Landscape from inside the Shard as it is the ideal vantage point. It would be a lifetime experience and something you could combine with some drinks or food so everybody would have a great time (plus you will earn a couple of minutes before everybody realises that you are taking pictures… again!), just don’t forget that you will be photographing through a window so choose the cleanest one. Don’t forget to observe the light reflections on the window, you have to try to minimize the glare, if this is not possible try to place the reflections in a part that there is only sky and get rid of them later in post-processing either by Photoshop, Lightroom etc or by the free mobile/tablet app called Snapseed using the spot removal tool.
If you need to…
If you need to have the best photos of the group you will have to use some basic techniques like stitching your panoramas manually, lens correction, (especially when there is architecture involved, you must have the lines perfectly straight), manually merging your HDR shots and stack photos to create smooth-dreamy rivers or to average out people from your shots.
While we don’t teach photography, LVC London school of English offers half and full day excursions to all these places with big groups of students so everybody can have fun, learn and enjoy.
There will be a part 2 of Photography made easy at London’s Attractions in the near future!
(the stars of the show will be Big Ben, London’s Eye, Waterloo bridge and much more).
If you need to know how to do proper post-processing or retouching an image, just let us know on our social media and we will happily create a step by step guide.
Why not share some of your best pictures with us so we can compare, just use the #LVC_photography to join us!
Don’t forget, we are looking forward to your responses and your pictures!