The light fantastic at Westminister


Light Trails on Westminster Bridge.

On a very cold and frosty Saturday evening , this weekend I was very fortunate to be able to spend some time with my camera at Westminster in London. My wife was extremely tolerant despite it being bitterly cold and incredibly busy.

At 4.30 pm we arrived at Parliament Square where I set up my camera kit. It was crazy busy with people everywhere and the streets were rammed with cars, buses and the infamous tuk tuks that convey tourists around with Christmas music blasting out.

Setting up a tripod in this chaos was quite challenging but we managed to find a relatively quiet spot out of the way of the ravening hordes. I am so glad I had my wife with me who acted as both my minder and look out. The main problem to watch out for was people walking into the tripod oblivious to me taking photographs. 

My kit for this session was my Nikon Z6 with the Nikkor S lens and Monfrotto compact tripod.

Before our arrival I already had something in mind in terms of what type of pictures I was aiming to get. I planned to to do some slow shutter speed photography and capture some light trails if possible.

Parliament Square

I found in practice that I was very much experimenting with settings and improvising as went along. In the above picture one of the colourful tul tuks rode past and created the light trails. When you expose at 30 second shutter speed times its amazing how people almost disappear from the pictures.
The pink and purple glow was caused by the London Eye and the County Hall which you will notice in my later pictures were positively super brightly illuminated.

On this visit to Big Ben it was nice to see it without any scaffolding. After a few more attempts I was getting quite flat pictures of light trails and not quite what I had envisaged or really wanted. The numbers of people turning up were now going exponential and it was time to move on and try somewhere else.

We walked down Victoria Embankment and just passed the Battle of Britain memorial. Now we had an absolutely tremendous view across the River Thames of the London Eye and London County Hall.

The London Eye and London County Hall.

Close up of the London Eye - pretty in fuscia pink

The London Eye has been lit up pink at night because it is now sponsored by
Next door to it  London County Hall was illuminated in a kaleidoscope of colours. The reflections across the rivers waters looked amazing.

London County Hall

The view from the bridge

It was too cold to linger for too long and so it was time to try my luck and convince Mrs Jones that walking across  Westminster Bridge would be a very good idea.

I got lucky and so under the close supervision of my little minder we waded through a jam packed bridge to find another location for me to set up. I found a spot in the about the middle of the bridge and set the camera kit back up. This time things worked out well and a big London Transport bus drove over the bridge just as I hit the shutter button. That resulted in the lead photograph I used for this blog post.
Standing in this place for long was going to be impossible because of the crowds so we moved on to the other side of the river.

On this bank of the river I took some more photographs. Underneath Westminster Bridge it was lit up a cool green colour and the scene just cried out for a photograph.

Westminster Bridge

Our final photo spot was the other side of the road with our backs to the National Covid Memorial. the view of the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Bridge and Big Ben was breath taking.  My hands were freezing and both of us had frozen feet.

I took a lot of photographs using my Iphone which proved to be really effective and a number of these I have published elsewhere on my Facebook and Instagram sites.

Big Thanks to Mrs J for being my minder on the streets of London :)


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