Photo of the Week: London Parliament Sky

For those of you who have picked up the latest issue of my travel magazine, you’ve already seen this image. For those of you who have delayed, well, I’ll be nice to you an post it here as well.

While I wasn’t thrilled with London, it was a great place to do photography. Of all the places in the UK I think there are more major photo ops in London than anywhere else. From the London Eye, to the great museums, to Buckingham Palace, to the Parliament buildings and Big Ben pictured below, there seems like there’s a good chance at a shot around every corner. At the end of the day, shots like this make it worth struggling through the crowds of people to get the images. ┬áThere will be a London photo essay coming up sometime next week.

London, England, Parliament, Big Ben

How I got this Shot

This an 11-photo HDR image, but the key isn’t really how I processed it, but how I shot it. I had been following the sun’s path waiting for sunset and as I saw that it was swinging the way it was I ran across the bridge to find a place to set up. I set up my tripod on the ledge and waited for the sun to hit the spot in the corner of the building.

I shot this image at a very large aperture of f/16 to give the star effect. To explain the star effect I always tell people to look at a light and open your eyes wide, that’s how the light will look at f/5.6. Now, look at that same light and squint. You’ll see the light’s center point shrink and a star effect take place. That’s how the light will look on f/16.

By shooting 11 exposures (I took shots at -5,-4…..+5) I managed to capture more light than the human eye can see and made sure all the good light was exposed properly giving plenty of detail to both the structure and the sky. I processed using photomatix pro.


Author: Brendan van Son

Author: Brendan van Son is a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. He has visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than he has the desire to count. Check out his profile on . for a little bit more about him.

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