More creativity: Architectural shoot in the City of London

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October 5, 2017

Although I specialise in interior design photography, I am always looking to increase my skills base. Part of this process is to challenge myself to carry out creative shoots which are designed to stretch my capabilities. One such shoot was carried out recently in the City of London, where my intention was to capture some atmospheric architectural images in black and white. London is a fantastic location for architectural shoots as it is filled with some of the most iconic buildings in the world, such as the Gherkin, the Walkie Talkie, Lloyds building and Batman building.

A major problem with carrying out photography in London is that, due to the current terrorist threat, you are viewed with suspicion when you start pointing your camera at buildings. Also most buildings are regarded as private property and some even deem to be copyrighted, so photography can draw unwelcome attention, especially if you have a large camera and – worse still – a tripod. I have witnessed a Japanese tourist being harassed by security at the London Eye as he had a small compact camera on top of the flimsiest tripods you could imagine. The security guard kept insisting that he was professional because of this. So I chose to carry out the shoot on a Sunday because it would be quiet and I would probably not get disturbed by prying security personnel, as they are generally rather lazy when there are no suits in the buildings. 

Architectural image from London

I started the shoot close to City Hall, where I had noticed a particularly interesting shaped building being constructed on a previous visit. The building was mostly glass with sweeping curves included as part of the design. I then crossed the river and meandered around the city itself, just following my nose and taking photos when I found something interesting. I was tending towards buildings with interesting shapes as well as picking out contrasts between the old and the new.

Once I had exhausted the City, I crossed the millennium bridge and visited the Tate Modern, where I had a very good idea what I was going to photograph and the style in which it was to be presented. I headed straight to the new extension previously known as the Switch House, but now named the Blavatnik Building after the Russian billionaire who funded the project. The building was designed by the Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron. I particularly liked the sweeping curve of the staircase and the smooth concrete it was constructed from. I had pre-visualised the final set of images to all have a consistent look and feel.

Staircase in Blavatnik Building, Tate Modern

Lady on stairs, Blavatnik Building, Tate Modern

Abstract view of the stairwell, Blavatnik Building, Tate Modern

This is something that is very important to me in my photography. I like to pre-visualise the look that I am after whilst actually carrying out the photography. This helps me to attempt to get the exposure right in camera so that post production is easier later on.

I was very satisfied with the results and the images have received some welcome attention in my Instagram feed.

© Andrew Boschier Photography 2017

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