Why I Re-Shoot The Same Locations

A comment I often get is "Why do you keep on shooting the same locations?"

The answer is simple!
As a photographer I'm not always 100% satisfied with my captures and I'm always looking to improve on any shoot I do. Whilst it may not have been down to the fact that I just wasn't feeling the moment, it's very often down to the elements. Maybe the sky is overcast, it's raining, it's very windy or maybe all of these made that particular shoot not as good as it could have been.

So for this particular re-shoot of London's "Girl With A Dolphin" fountain was of a shoot that I'd organised for the photo club a year ago. Unfortunately the sky on that evening was terrible and because there were quite a few of us on the trip it was a case of pick your spot and shoot from there, and at that given time I thought I had picked the perfect angle but it turned out I'd probably picked out the worst.

The main difference in this shoot was that it was going to be done very early morning, as opposed to the one before that was late evening. Catching the first train out to London was essential and going out at 5:20am is not always easy for a photographer, but if you want to get that shot then you have to get up and get out early! But once I'm out, the shock dies, and I'm usually buzzing with excitement to get to the location and hopefully grab some great photos.

On arrival at the fountain I set my self up in almost an identical spot as before with the fountain statue in the middle of Tower bridge for I still thought it was the best place to shoot it from, only to realise after two shots that it wasn't. I shifted my position about 2 metres to the right so that the fountain statue no longer obscured the middle of the bridge and bingo I'd hit the jackpot! What I'd aimed for getting in the last photo shoot I nailed on the second time round. The moon was out along with slight breeze, a perfect sky with wispy clouds. The crains had gone from across the other side of the river and this time round the fountain was lit up and working. Almost perfect conditions!
So was it worth getting up that early at 5.20? Most definitely as I was back home by 8.30 getting warm and drinking a latte!

So this is the reason why I keep revisiting the same locations time and time again.

No doubt I'll be back again sometime to have another go... 

The Girl And The Dolphin

London Walkabout With Alan

Saturday arrives and I'm usually working until 1pm, but I'm always found around London in the afternoon as it's my getaway time. Today was no different except I'd asked my club mate Alan if he'd like to come along, and as Alan had a little project he wanted to fulfil, it was an ideal opportunity for me to drag him around London! Alan has been teaching me the art of Landscape photography, as this is an area I find my photography seriously lacking, so hopefully during my later blogs you'll see some improvement.

Today was just about chilling and grabbing a few interesting shots - so no pressure! First on the list was to find a Banksy graffiti street somewhere near the BT Tower, and after some wandering, chatting to a vicar, avoiding some unsavoury characters we found it and photographed it in its rapidly dilapidating state. Moving on we attempted to photograph the iconic BT Tower, an opportunity I had missed a year back to capture in nightshoot when some old buildings in front of the tower were demolished leaving a wide open photographic view. Today there are just multiple cranes and half finished buildings obstructing the tower and trying to get an interesting angle is very hard as it sits in such a built up area. We took a small side street that passes directly next to the tower to grab the best photographs we could get.

Below is a capture of the BT Tower.



Wandering aimlessly around Euston road, we headed back down towards Covent Garden where we witnessed a Beatboxing street performer doing Dub Step, and visited a few art and photography shops.
On arriving at the Embankment we took some shots across the Thames and city skyline and Alan's 'Red' project went into action... I myself was more interested in taking photos of p*ss stinking stairways from hell!

Below is the 'Stairway to hell'


Zigzagging across the Thames day ended up by the Southbank. This is where the street bikers and skateboarders hang out performing stunts and tricks. But trying to grab a capture one of the bikers in a mid-flight trick means a lot of waiting around and just hoping one of them will do something spectacular...
Sadly it never happened so we called it a day and headed home.

Long Daytime Exposure: The Millennium Bridge

I'm a prolific night photographer and photographing at night is technically the art of leaving the shutter open for a many seconds to capture a shot. Obviously doing this during the day would amount to severely overexposed shots that would leave you with just a plain white image. This is where an ND1000 filter comes into play, for an ND1000 is basically a 10 stop filter that allows very little light in to the camera unless the shutter is left open for a long time. Using one of these filters can make for amazing photos, for example, creating perfectly still water, making people disappear, fluffy waterfalls, for this list is endless only to your imagination. Some may recall October 2011 being rather warm, if I recall I was just wearing a T-shirt thinking "shouldn't winter be here soon!?" For this photoshoot I thought that I would visit the exact same spot as to where I usually do night shoots from, only this time it was daytime. I parked myself to the side of the Millennium bridge and with a shutter speed of 25 seconds I proceeded to shoot, and although the bridge was full of people as the final image show, it seems like it was empty...

Below is a sample of the days shoot.