Shooting London at night

April 24, 2019

These images were commissioned by the people from Chartis Insurance Group for a banner display in Reception and for use in a PR booklet.

The brief was to shoot a view from their office near St Pauls Cathedral overlooking the city of London. They wanted a shot in the afternoon and one at sunset, both of the same view.

Ideally when trying to shoot a view such as this gaining access to the roof or an outside space is the best option as windows can cause glare, reflection and all sorts of weird patterns. I have shot through windows which have had streaks of dirt running down them. Not a good idea but the only option open to me at that location.

As I suspected, gaining access to the roof was a non-starter for this project as the health and safety implications were too great. The only alternative was to find the best possible view and shoot from inside looking though a huge double glazed window. Reflections were bouncing all over the place particularly as the sun was shining directly towards the lens! This is not insurmountable however and was solved by the use of a huge black velvet sheet taped up to the window surrounding the camera, the tripod and me!

Starting around 3pm I set up the shot and continued to shoot every 10 minutes or so until sun down.

With several shot to trawl through I picked out several afternoon and evening shots to present to the client. As mentioned the sun was shining directly at me so some shots were unusable due to the restricted location.

As a photographer, I find I am constantly challenged in almost every shoot I do. It pays to have a practical head on your shoulders to solve some situations I find myself in. Experience helps too!

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