Isolating a subject with light

St Paul’s Cathedral : Canon 5D : EF 17-40mm (21mm) : 60 sec : f22 : Cokin Nuances ND10 and ND 3 Grad filter

Anyone who has ever seen the famous image of St Pauls caught in the crossfire of the blitz during world war II, cannot help but marvel at its longevity and architectural splendour. For me, a wonderful building we have in grace the London skyline. It is also without a doubt, one of the most pleasurable buildings to photograph, with so many different ways of capturing it set against the London skyline.

The Millenium Bridge makes a great lead-in but has in truth become somewhat of a cliched addition to many photographs of St Pauls. With this shot, I tried to take a slightly different approach. Shot in mid-day with broken cloud cover, I positioned my tripod down by the riverside, looking up at the underside of the bridge with St Paul’s just to its right. My intention was to create a moody shot turning the sky dark in post-production and creating a soft water foreground of the Thames using a long exposure. Both neutral density and graduated density filters were used to create this effect.

This particular shot was helped by a lucky break in the clouds which allowed the sunlight to fall just on St Paul’s giving it an uncanny resemblance to those images taken during the blitz and the ensuring St Paul’s rightly dominated the final image.