Long exposure

It's night time in London!

Two more of my favorite photos from my trip to London. Today's favorites were both taken at about the same time in almost the same place... The first is a long exposure taken on the Westminster Bridge of Big Ben. I took a similar picture on the Tower Bridge the last time I was here, but I've always wanted to take one with the famous clock in the background.  I love this city and this location, so this shot was a goal of mine on this trip.  I took a ton of photos at this location trying to get the lights on the cars just right. I wanted the light streaks at different levels, so I waited for busses, cars, bikes... anything with a light! It seemed like every time there were the right cars, there were no busses, and every time there were buses, there were no cars.  I really need the busses and the cars in order to get the right amount of lights at the right nights.  It took about 25 minutes to get the shot I was looking for.  You'd be surprised how hard it is to get the cars and busses to cooperate.  There was actually a shot where everything was coming together, but since I was taking 30 second exposures, there was a lot of time for something to go wrong.  I almost had it when a tourist with him iPad camera stopped right in front of me to take the same shot I was taking!!  He literally stood there for at least 20 seconds before he realized that he was standing RIGHT IN MY SHOT!  He offered an apology and moved on, but I still punched him in his face. ;)  I guess I couldn't fault him as I thought this was a pretty perfect spot.  The image below was taken at 25 sec at f/18, ISO 100.

How are these hats for souvenirs?  Best money I've ever spent... except for the sticky toffee pudding we had for dessert!

How are these hats for souvenirs?  Best money I've ever spent... except for the sticky toffee pudding we had for dessert!

The second was taken just about 100 feet away from the bridge, down the street, facing across the river at the London Eye. I literally walked off the bridge and about 100 feet down the bank of the river.  This spot looks magical at night and this photo really captured the area for me. Getting the boat lights to streak by just added to the magic look. The photo below was taken at 30 sec at f/14, ISO 100.  Since I was standing on the edge of the river, at least no tourists could stand in front of me, but again I had to wait for the boats to come by.  You think it was hard to wait for cars and busses... boats are way harder.  Hardly any come at night, so there was a lot of waiting.  Although, I guess if you have to wait for a shot, the banks of the Thames is a pretty good place to wait... My friends and I even managed to find a souvenir while we were waiting. 

My final shot of the London Eye with the streaks of lights from the passing boats.  Once everything came together, I really liked the shot.