A few days ago we were commissioned to photograph a conference in central London this enabled us to get to the top of City Hall opposite Tower Bridge.
We were able, from this fantastic vantage point to photograph a variety of the beautifully illuminated buildings surrounding City Hall. Our main restriction was that we were ill-equipped is such a night photography we did not have very bright lenses having only 2.8 short zooms, also we didn’t have tripods and we were further handicapped by an extremely cold wind which was blowing freezing and high speed over the outside of the building making any foray into the night air quite painful, we had to limit ourselves to 2 to 3 minutes photograph at a time. Nevertheless without coats and primes we set out to photograph the beautiful view and without too much trouble managed to return some absolutely stunning photographs of the London nightscape.
We simply positioned our cameras onto the balcony rail which was circular in circumference, with a little bit of gaffer tape and some freezing cold fingers managed to hold them still enough to make the 30th and down to about an eighth of a second exposures. The images were not always 100% shop but we simply photographed each shot several times to be short getting at least one frame that was perfectly crisp. This old method of getting sharpness by simply repeating the frame many times works extremely well.
I’ve used it many times I have a rough rule of thumb for doing this: if the picture is at a 30th of a second I’ll take three frames, if I need to take something of 15th of a second I’ll do about six, for something and eighth of a second I’ll do about 12, and for half a second about 15 frames and a one second exposure with just my elbows locked or something to lean against, I try about 30 frames to be sure of getting one which was reasonably sharp, you have to have realistic expectations of handheld one second exposure by have sure stuff which is perfectly shop I guess under any circumstances you know eventually you’ll hold the thing still enough to get a decent decently sharp frame. The camera can make a big difference here if you’re using a DSLR are then you’re going to have to deal with a certain amount of body shake caused by the mirror moving up-and-down things get a lot easier if you’re using a compact although strangely enough the size and mass of the larger camera can help you can get it locked in and gives a slightly better stability platform.
Enjoy these images I’m sorry that we have to watermark them unfortunately other photography sites keeps stealing our shots and using them on their own websites which is very depressing especially if they don’t credit us and claim the work as their own, anyway here they are: