Coastal Trip: Recluver

An afternoon coastal photo shoot with Alan Parkinson. Arriving at Reculver around 6pm the sun was breaking through the clouds over the sea. I call these 'Jacobs Ladders' some call call them 'God Lights'. But unfortunately without a big stopper it's pretty much pointless trying to capture this to get a good result. As the sun started to get low I was hoping for a nice coloured sunset, sadly it did not materialise as i'd have liked, but as the photo shows, it wasn't that bad. This was probably the best shot of the day

Below is a capture of Reculver at Sunset.

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Club Photo Trip: Greenwich

Greenwich park is one of London's iconic places that you can go time after time and never get bored of, and the photographic club had arranged an evening / night photo trip to the park, along the river front and up to the Cutty Sark.We started out about 7.30pm grabbing shots over the Queen's House, Greenwich, and a distant Canary Wharf from the 'General Wolfe Statue' view point. We then made our way down though the park to the river front where we watch the sun set over the Thames, photographing along the way.

It was not long it was dark and the moment had arrived that I'd been waiting for... To get that shot I'd visualised weeks earlier on a Greenwich day trip of the Thames Tunnel 'Entry Building' and the Cutty Sark.

Below is those visualisations captured.

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Club Photo Trip: Canary Wharf

It was a cold night and it looked like rain, the clouds were overcast and the sky looked dull...Unfortunately this neither here nor there as the club had official permits to photograph for the night so this was a no win situation.

    So what makes a good night photo?

As an experienced night time photographer there are certain characteristics that can make or break a good long exposure night photograph, the main one being, apart from the weather, is the sky... No cloud in the sky means no cloud movement in the long exposure. So now I have to make a what could be a reasonably good shot into an amazing shot! As I'd made a pre-planed reiki the week before, the location shoot began.

Below are a few samples from the night.

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Stealth Shooting At Canary Wharf

It was New Year's Day and I had to get out and make the most of the early evenings for night photography. Canary wharf is my favourite location to shoot in London at night, I can never get enough shots of this area as there is always another angle or view to take a picture from.Arriving at about 5.30pm it was already dark and tonight's mission was to shoot a few buildings I had not yet photographed. The first location was to photograph the Marriott hotel, this building has a unique curvature to it, but captured from the right spot right you can also get the other iconic buildings that make up Canary Wharf in shot too.

So I made my way from Canary Wharf DLR over to the far corner to where the floating church called St. Peter's barge is and proceeded to set my equipment up. As it was New Year's Day there were not many people about so my shoot was going to be relatively easy and quick, I think I was there for around about 10 minutes!

I next walked around past the moored boats and grabbed a few shots from the waters end, narrowly avoided getting caught by a security guard. But it wasn't long before I was to be rumbled! For I walked into a covered walkway that had view across West India Millwall Docks. This walkway had a zillion cameras in it, but there were pockets that had a great view out across the dock and out of sight of the prying cameras, and this is where I grabbed a few more shots. I had just finished photographing and was about to put my gear back in the bag when a security guard appeared and said to me in a strong Italian accent "You hava da permit please?" Responding like I couldn't understand a word he said, he again announced "Please-a don't take-a da photo, you needa da permit. If you hava no permit, you cani take a da photo". And with this said, he just walked off, and I packed my gear and left for the next location.

Below is one of the night's captures.

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Next on the list was to photograph the Pan Peninsular that is located by The South Quay DLR station. The original idea for this shot was to take it from the Peppers street foot bridge at the end of Millwall inner dock capturing the Lotus Floating and the Pan Peninsular in one shot. Unfortunately the view was a little uninspiring so I wandered round to the front where there was a metal girding foot path above the water. So balancing my camera in a very narrow metal walkway with my tripod locked into the gaps in the floor, camera strap wrapped tightly to my wrist, and with only a matter of inches between it and the water, I proceed to photograph with extreme caution... Once slip and my gear was in the drink!

Below is a shot of the Lotus Floating and Pan Peninsular

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I packed my gear up and was calling time on another nights successful shoot. Well, that was until I passed some shops that had a walkway with a view to the waters on the opposite side. My night eyes suddenly awoke and within a minute another photoshoot was in progress. I pitched my spot in a far corner of a covered walkway and a few more great photos were in the bag! After a quick 2 hour shoot I was back on the DLR and returning home thinking and looking around on what to shoot next...

Below is a shot of the Pan Peninsular

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UK Trip: Day 5

Day 5: Liverpool Day 2. Liverpool: I woke up early after the previous nights shooting around the dock until 1pm, I've never slept good, and I went down for a full breakfast before a days photography began. Starting out straight after breakfast I walked around Liverpool's Albert dock as the sun was rising, it was a race to try and capture something good, but rather disappointing due to the amount of construction work going on in and around the dock. Later that day we took a trip into Liverpool, but unfortunately I was extremely tired so cut this short for an early afternoons hotel kip!

Crosby Beach - Shoot 2: Around 3pm it was decided to return back to Crosby Beach for another sunset shoot over the sea with the beach statues. Again the sky did not let us down and it was another beautiful sunset.

Below is a sunset capture of a Crosby beach statue.

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When we were finished shooting at Crosby beach it was time to battle the rush hour traffic and head back to Albert dock. It was decided to possibly grab a few evening / night shots before eating and a night out on the town camera free! As I'd failed to capture anything inspiring of the docks amusement wheel from the hotel side of the dock the evening before, when exited the multi story car park, directly to the left side was the Liverpool Echo and straight in front was the wheel. Instantly I knew this was the shot I needed to get in the bag!

Below is the Liverpool Echo and the Albert Dock wheel.

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O2 Arena At Midnight

I've made many photographic trips to and around Canary Wharf, and this night was no different except for when I was done I decided to move on and try to find a new location along the river front to photograph the O2 Arena. On arriving at the chosen location, I noticed that due to the lack of wind the Thames was like a reflective glass sheet with the waters only ever being broken by the disco and river tour boats returning to be moored up after a night travelling up and down the Thames. The O2 looked amazing against beautiful clear night sky that had an eerie glow with a bright full moon above... You could say that the conditions were perfect! I stayed until about 1.30pm in the morning.

Below is just one of the many stunning captures of the night.

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