Blurry Eye - an experiment with the London Eye

Like any city, London has its fair share of iconic locations/buildings and views, all of which are photographed from every possible angle on a daily basis.

As an example of this, think of any iconic building in your nearest big city.  Now think of the different images you've seen of it.  Now challenge yourself to shoot a truly original view or interpretation of this building.

The point, you may agree, is that it's actually very hard to come up with a fresh view of a much-photographed icon

So what to do?  We can't all hire a helicopter or crash a posh apartment-with-a-view in the pursuit of a fresh take. Well, I can't anyway - good for you if you already have a helicopter or a posh apartment-with-a-view!

The underlying theme here is that I challenged myself to take a fresh perspective on the London Eye.  Along with Big Ben and Tower Bridge, the Eye is an iconic structure that has been photographed to death over the years.

Here was my solution:

There's nothing original about my viewpoint here - on any day, you'll see tourists and photogrpahers a-plenty on London's North Bank snapping this very view.

Where I tried to be different was go abstract, and present the London Eye in abstract form.

To do this, I deliberately 'de-focussed' the shot, playing around with different amounts of blur, in order to emphasise the overall form of the Eye and its surroundings in 'bokeh' form. 

Bokeh is photographer-speak for "out of focus" - it's that ethereal, delicate circular blur effect and is often present in the backgrounds of portraits.  Here, I just made the bokeh the main feature of the image.

So no, nothing is in focus - deliberately so, as I wanted to create an abstract image with colourful blur.

So that was my London Eye/Bokeh experiment.  I wouldn't do this for every view, landmark or building that I come across but I like it in this form, and hope that you do too.

Please feel free to share your thoughts.

This is available as a print, as are all my London and Places images.  Please contact me to discuss print/canvass options.

Have a great weekend and thanks for reading!

Mo

A Room with a View

So where does one go to find the best views of London (or any other city?).

Well, often to the highest places one can get to.  Towers, bridges and hills can all offer great views and in this case, I went up to the Shangri-La hotel in London's Shard skyscraper.  It's easily the highest tower in London and the observation deck has stunning views.

The lobby of the Shangri-La is over 30 stories up in The Shard and while the best views are from the various restaurants, the hotel lobby itself offers this lovely view.

Initially I took the shot looking over St Paul's Cathedral from the window itself and then realised that it would be great to have the view framed by the lobby furniture.

I'm pretty happy with this image and hope to get back up there for sunset soon.

In the meantime, I hope you like this image - like all my London and Places images, it's available as a print.  Please get in touch via the Contact page for more details.

Thanks for reading, Mo

Christmas Lights

One of the signature aspects of the Holiday Season is of course, the chance to experience the beautiful Christmas Lights wherever you happen to be.

Like many cities, London has an annual Winter Wonderland and that means lots of beautiful Christmas lights to photograph.  So the next challenge is how to capture the lights in a slightly unique way?  Here's how I chose to do it - in an abstract way that highlighted the points of light.

 

 

In fact, I chose to go so abtract that the large Ferris wheel and the various points of light seem almost impressionistic.  The lights appear as "bokeh" in photography speak - that's the ethereal, circular effect on the lights and bokeh appears usually as background to a sharp person or other subject.

Here though, I chose not to have a foreground subject and to get this effect, I deliberately blurred the focus. 

i know I know, all photographs should be as sharp as possible at all times shouldn't they?  Well, no - occasionally, to get the creative effect you need, it's worth breaking the rules.

A huge thank you to the London4All Instagram Group who selected this as the winner of their Christmas Lights theme.  Given the high standard of the other entries, I'm especially delighted that this was selected.

As with all my London and Places images, this is available as a print or canvass.  Please email me on mo@mobaigimages.co.uk to discuss the options.

Thanks for reading, Mo

London at Christmas

Which great city DOESN'T look great at Christmas - especially at night?

London's no exception and I have to say, it's looking especially pretty this year.

Here's the annual Christmas Market at More London, with The Shard looming over the scene.

 

To get this image, I used a wide angle lens (Tokina 11-20mm) with the camera set on a tripod at a very low height - that's what gives the dramatic angle looking up at the modern buildings in the background.

You can make out very faint blurs of passers-by as they move along.  The 1.3 second exposure causes them to blur out.

A big thank you to Visit London for featuring this image on Twitter:

I hope you like the image - like all my London images, it's available as a print.  Please contact me for sizing and pricing info.

Thanks for reading, Mo

Always look around

I'd headed to Victoria Embankment to take a couple of shots of the London Eye but wasn't excited by the lighting- it was one of those windy, cloudy days where bright sunshine and murky grey alternated every couple of minutes.

Heading back to Westminster Bridge, I happened to glance up and was struck by the shadow cast by the Underground sign, with Big Ben in the background.  Along with the old-fashioned lamp post, I love the grouping of London's iconic symbols.

So - plan A didn't work out but the impromptu plan B was even better!  All that remained was to wait for the shadows to be at their strongest to get the contrast I wanted.

Like all my London and Places shots, this is available as a print and canvass - please get in touch via the contact me page and we'll discuss options.

Thanks for reading, Mo

 

Foggy London

Sometimes the weather doesn't let you do what you really want to.  I'd found a fabulous vantage point and was aiming to get some nice shots of Westminster at sunset.  So what happens?  As soon as I get up there and set up, the fog rolls in......and what a stroke of luck that turned out to be!

I may not have got the shots I wanted but what I did get was far, far better -  the wonderful sight of dense fog engulfing one of London's great landmarks.  Thank you weather!

Sunsets happen every day, but such atmospheric conditions happen only rarely and I feel fortunate to have captured this and other striking images.  London' famous 'pea souper' fogs don't actually happen very often but it's still a famous image dating back to Victorian times.

A big thank you to Visit London for featuring this image on their Facebook page.

As with all my London and Places images, this is available as a print or canvass - please get in touch via the Contact Me page to discuss options.

Thanks for reading,

Mo

Autumn Sunset

You may have guessed that I get a particular kick out of my cityscape photography and that sunset/twilight is my favourite time to shoot.

Why sunset?  Well.....the colours!  The light from the setting sun bouncing off the clouds gives a range of wonderfully deep colours while it's just dark enough to help city lights really stand out.

So here's a new addition to my London Gallery: the city enjoying a gorgeous Autumn/Fall sunset, as viewed from Tower Bridge. 

I used a slow shutter speed (25 seconds) to capture the movement of the clouds and turn the motion of the River Thames into a smooth blur.

From left, the landmarks are City Hall, The Shard and on the right of the image, the Walkie Talkie building.

As with all my London and Places shots, this is available as a print/canvass - please get in touch to discuss sizing & pricing options.

And a huge thank you to All About London for featuring this on their Facebook - I'm always grateful to those who help increase the audience for my images.

Thank you for reading and I hope you like the image.

Thanks, Mo

 

 

Location Couple Shoots

As well as shooting weddings and portraits, I also offer location pre-wedding shoots for couples about to get married - or for those that are already married!

Here's an image from one of my more recent shoots at the stunning Royal Holloway University in Surrey.  It's absolutely one of my favourite locations as it oozes history and has the most gorgeous architecture.  The fabulous setting provides many opportunities for interesting shots with great backdrops.

The location also helps colours really pop in images, especially with intricate Asian outfits.  Here, we tried to get a sense of motion as the recently-married bride twirls for the camera.

For more information on couple shoots, please get in touch via the Contact page and we can discuss the packages and locations which are right for you.

Thanks, Mo

The photo that keeps giving

I posted this image a couple of weeks ago and wrote about it's background and it's selection as a featured image on Instagram and well, it turns out that it's even more popular that I first believed.

This week alone, I've had several people enquire to see if it's availanble as a print and in the last 3 days, it's been selected by no less than three more Instagram groups as a Competition Winner or Featured Image.

A big thank you to the mayLDNer, shutup_london and IG_Street groups for the accolades and recognition.  All the groups have large memberships and very high standard of photography so I'm especially grateful to have been selected.

And yes, of course it's available as a print - please contact me for more info from the contact page.

Thanks, Mo

 

Westminster Gothic - featured by Mayor of London's Office

I've just added a dramatic new image of Parliament and Big Ben to my London Gallery

I took this shot whilst trying out a new wide angle lens a few days ago - and where better to test the lens than around Westminster and the London Eye?  Great views in every direction and ample opportunity to get creative.

I always look for a fresh take on London's landmarks and the sun illuminating the historic lamp post added the colour I wanted and helped throw Parliament's outline into a dramatic silhouette, giving the image the imposing look I wanted.

Since I posted this on twitter, it's been featured and reposted by amongst others, The Mayor of London's office, Visit London, Visit Parliament and many others.  A big thank you to all of them for the exposure.

Like all my London and Places images, this is available as a print and canvass.  Please contact me for more details.

Thank you for reading, Mo

Wedding Shoot at the historic Great Fosters

I'm lucky to be able to shoot weddings at some beautiful venues and one of my favourites is the beautiful Great Fosters in Surrey.  Once a hunting lodge for King Henry VIII, this is now a wonderful hotel, the historic buildings set amongst acres of beautiful grounds.

In this case, the weather was kind and I couldn't wait to take advantage of the grounds.  Many thanks to the gorgeous bride who was more than happy to go along with my ideas.

For more wedding images, please see my Weddings-Western and Weddings-Asian galleries.

I am of course, available for weddings bookings - please get in touch through my Contact page and let's have a discussion to see how I can help.

Thanks, Mo

 

The Appearing Room Fountains, South Bank, London

I'm typing this on a grey, murky, wet August Bank Holiday Monday and it really does seem like the Summer is passing.  Which got me thinking: which shot would sum up my photographic summer?

It has to be this one - taken at the Appearing Rooms Fountain on London's South Bank.

Trying to be creative, I got right down to ground level and shot with the sun facing me through the water - this enabled a fast shutter speed to 'freeze' the water.  I also waited for a few people to pass between me and the Fountains - I wanted their silhouettes to add some foreground interest.

The image is now in my London gallery

I hope you like the image- like all my London and Places images, it's available as a print and for licensing - please contact me to find out more.

Thanks for reading, Mo

 

Leap - featured Image on Visit London

Here's a shot I'd been wanting take for ages but could never seem to be at the right place at the right time.

The right place is the skatepark on London's South Bank and the right time was a late summer evening when the light hits the arena and skateboarders in a very particular way.  Well. I finally got the shot that was in my mind's eye.

The key thing for me was not just to capture the leaping skateboarder, but also to get his shadow on the graffiti behind him. The technical challenge was to keep as much in focus as possible whilst also "freezing" the skateboarder in mid-air. The late evening golden light was the perfect illumination and also helps frame the skateboarder very nicely.

A big thank you to Visit London and for tweeting out this image to their followers

This is now up in my London gallery and available as a print or canvass.

Thanks for reading, Mo

 

Trafalgar Square in Silhouette

The latest addition to my London Gallery is up - Traflagar Square in Silhouette.

Taken on a gloriously sunny afternoon, the silhouettes of Nelson's Column and the George IV statue really jumped out at me.

Trafalgar Square in Silhouette

If you like it, please contact me as (like all my London and places images) it's available as a print.

I would love your feedback and thank you for reading.

Mo

A Random Monday London Photowalk

A day off? More to the point, a sunny day off?  Time to get into London with a camera.  

Covered a lot of ground today - South Bank, Borough Market, The Shard, several spots in the city and St Pauls.  

I'll be sharing some of the images in the galleries soon but in the meantime, here's a couple of images taken with my iPhone.  

Thanks, as always, for visiting my site. 

Mo

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Graffiti, Leake Street

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The Shard