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The Shard – Photographing London

Introduction

The Shard is a building which is relatively recent amongst the London Architecture.

It is a beautiful building and has been dubbed one of the tallest in the world.

The view from up in the Shard is stunning and I would highly recommend anyone to pop up there and check it out on a good clear day around sunset.

Equipment Used

Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod

Sony RX10 II

SanDisk 64Gb SD U3

The Shoot

Shooting the building itself however is always a little tricky as its position around a densely populated area, right by Borough Market, with other buildings surrounding it so it’s pretty hard to get a clear shots of the Shard.

You can of course shoot ultra wide whilst standing next to the building, however with ultra wide angle shots you get a lot of distortion and you lose all it’s context to where in relation it is with regards to height.

This is not necessarily the best angle for the Shard, but I’ve found this to be one of the best angles to capture the Shard along with the sunset considering the sun always sets in the west.

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With only my trusted Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod and a borrowed Sony RX10 II, I managed to grab this photo

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I set the camera up on the ledge, set to Aperture Priority and f/4 ISO100 and fired off 3 shots +/- 2EV.

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Sony RX10M2 @ F/4, ISO100, 1/30sec

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Sony RX10M2 @ F/4, ISO100, 1/125sec

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Sony RX10M2 @ F/4, ISO100, 1/8sec

The 3 Bracketed Exposures were then blended within Lightrooms HDR Merge function and then all the perspective lines were corrected.

There is enough dynamic range to push and pull within one frame, however I chose to bracket purely to get a cleaner file. However, the one-shot edited file is pretty clean in itself and by no means is anything to be disregarded.

Conclusion

The location allows you to shoot at a more flattering perspective for the architecture. Likewise it enables you to capture the sunet as well as a more interesting foreground with the River Thames.

I would have liked to have time blended this photo, however for this method it is best to be setup on a Tripod and have a remote shutter to ensure all frames are perfectly aligned ready for post-processing.

However, for this particular shots, I’m quite happy with the results and how the sunset turned out.

If you do choose to visit this location, please do post your results below.

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