Night in St. Paul’s

I still can’t believe I live so close to London.

It had rained most of the day so it was not the best night to take photos. I still liked how most of my shots turned out though, and I’ll be posting my twilight (or what’s supposed to be twilight) shots later on, including those of the Millennium bridge – a very challenging bridge to shoot because it moves all the time – it is in fact also nicknamed the Wobbly Bridge.

Meanwhile, here’s some night shots I’ve taken of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Light trails is a popular subject for night photographers, one that I love taking shots of as well. The exposure can be tricky at times, but with practice as with most everything else, it can be perfected. I think I have found my comfort zone as far as exposure time is concerned, but what I think makes a light trail image successful is perfect timing. Buses make nice light trails, but since their light streaks extend higher than regular cars, I try not to overwhelm the scene with the streaks and give ample window to still see the subject behind them, as what I did with these St. Paul’s images. It definitely takes some patience, and sometimes luck, but it’s always fun to do especially in London where double-deckers are all over the place – that’s twice the fun!

I was happy to see how the first image below turned out. It was my last shot of the day, and was talking on the phone while I took the shot – one hand on the trigger, one holding the phone – who say’s you can’t multi-task while doing long exposures? I especially liked the image when I realized that the bus with the trails is a number 26 bus, which incidentally is the same number of the bus I took a photo of while in Valencia, Spain earlier this year. Number 26 seems to be a fortuitous number for me, so now I’m looking forward to shooting more number 26 buses, by accident.

This was my last shot of the day. I took 10 shots of this scene, strategically positioned myself a few feet from the bus stop at the end of the curb. Not bad of a shot, I think, considering I was talking on the phone as I took this shot. I also liked how I was able to include another bus on the other side of the street, and nicely placed in the scene too! Sometimes you just get lucky. I just wished I had done this at blue hour, but that's for next time.

More light trails. Fun fact about St. Paul's Cathedral: Prince Charles married the late Princess Diana here, and more recently, the Queen celebrated the Golden Jubilee and her 80th birthday with thanksgiving services in this place of worship.

Almost wrapping it up after a shoot at the Millennium bridge, I stopped to take a shot before crossing this street to the cathedral. I think it's pretty cool how I got both red and green crossing lights in one exposure.


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