19 Sep 2011

Photo Opportunities in Canary Wharf

I worked for nearly two years in Canary Wharf; in fact, working there was what first made me carry a point-and-shoot camera around in my handbag with me everywhere (with the hope that one day I'd see the tops of the skyscrapers peaking above fog from my 35th floor view - it never happened, although we were hidden in fog on a number of occasions). I also began to walk part of the way along the River Thames, as far as Westminster, every morning, and was always stopping to photograph Battersea Power Station or the pretty lines of lamp-posts. Some of my favourite shots came from that walk, on a couple of foggy days last November.

Anyway, back to Canary Wharf. I used to take photos with my point-and-shoot while I was working up there on the 35th floor of one of those skyscrapers - the view of the sunsets was incredible (not so great for photographs, as there was always some reflection from the lights inside, even if I tried to squeeze myself behind a pillar). Sometimes it even made working late all worthwhile, although my colleagues thought I was a bit strange! I stopped working there at the end of May, but revisited recently, taking the Canon 60D and wide-angle lens with me (no access to level 35 this time, so all from the street). The sky was almost playing ball - with a few clouds to give it some interest, but not so many that the skies were washed out.
It's a great place to just stop and look up. Some of the architecture is quite beautiful. You just have to make sure that there are no security guards around, as it's a private estate, and they can be funny about you taking photos - officially it's not allowed. It's a huge estate, though, so it's not too hard to find a quiet spot. There are also some stunning sculptures, some a little hidden away. This is one of my favourites, just down the steps from the First Edition bar on the west side.
I really like looking up at the top of the buildings. The wide-angle lens distorts them even more than the eye does, but I still like the effect - it's pretty dramatic.
I'm off to the City tomorrow, so if it's not too rainy I may get some shots of the new skyscrapers that have popped up in the last couple of years (eg. the Heron Building). Check out my website for a few more shots, in the London gallery.

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