Architectural photography in the City of London

Background

Although I specialise in interior design photography, I am always looking to increase my skills base. Part of this process is to challenge myself. This time I have focussed on architectural photography

I like to carry out creative shoots,  designed to stretch my capabilities. One such shoot was carried out recently in the City of London. My intention was to capture some atmospheric architectural images in black and white.

London is a fantastic location for architectural photography shoots. This is because it is filled with some of the most iconic buildings in the world. Examples include the Gherkin, the Walkie Talkie, Lloyds and Batman building.

A black and white architectural image of a building with curved glass in London

Issues relating to London

A major problem with carrying out architectural photography in London is that, due to the current terrorist threat, you are viewed with suspicion. Most buildings are regarded as private property and some are even deemed to be copyrighted.

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. He only 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. I would probably not get disturbed by prying security personnel. They are generally rather lazy when there are no suits in the buildings.

A modern building from an unusual viewpoint with the camera pointing towards the blue sky.

The shoot

The shoot was started close to City Hall, where I had noticed a particularly interesting shaped building. 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. I just following my nose and taking photos when I found something interesting. I was tending towards buildings with interesting shapes. I was also picking out contrasts between the old and the new.

An overhead view of the concrete staircase in the Blavatnik Building in the Tate Modern. A young woman is halfway up the stairs

Once I had exhausted the City, I crossed the millennium bridge and visited the Tate Modern. 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. This is 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.

A sepia toned image of the stairwell in the Blavatnik Building. Tate Modern

© Andrew Boschier Photography 2017

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