Planning a Photograph

Sometimes I like to come up with ideas for specific photographs and formulate a plan to execute them.

I am a member of the excellent DPChallenge site where you can view my portfolio of entries. The image below was created for a weekly photography challenge with the theme of 'Spinning'

Canon 5D and Canon 17-40mm Lens
Shutter speed of 81 seconds

I worked in York Road, London at the time and had a good view of the London Eye from my office window. I wanted to keep some light in the sky to add some color so I timed my photograph at twilight.

This photograph was taken in March which is a good time of the year for this composition.

  • The trees that frame the wheel are bare of leaves and the LED lights are visible.
  • The sun sets close to in-line with the avenue of trees that frame the wheel.
  • Twilight corresponds to a convenient time after office hours

 Challenges

There are always a large number of tourists at this location around sunset and I experimented with extending the exposure to over 80 seconds to help ensure that they blurred into nothing as they walked past.

There will always be those who will stop to frame a photo of their own or take a selfie which can potentially ruin a shot. It is generally possible to 'tidy up' a shot and photoshop out any stray people but the fun of the competitions on DPChallenge is that often the competition rules will outlaw that level of processing. Getting it 'right' in camera becomes a necessity :)

A section of lights were out on the wheel on this night adding to the challenges

An additional and un-foreseen challenge on this night was that not all of the wheel was being lit around the edges. This meant that the blurred border of the wheel had a large gap. The only option was to time the shot so that the gap was hidden from view behind the building on the left of frame.

 

Given that the wheel rotates once every 30 minutes. There are not a lot of opportunities to get the shot with the gap hidden and no stray (stationary) tourist.

I did enter the shot into the 'Spinning' challenge and was lucky enough to score a first place which made the planning and execution worth while.