London Photo Walks: Bridges 1 - Hammersmith Bridge

I did this walk recently to capture the first image in my Autumnal London Bridges collection. The weather has started to turn here in London, and the days are frequently cloudy. Moody clouds are just what I want for the collection, so I went late one afternoon to capture one of my favourite bridges.

The walk along the Thames from Bishop's Park north to Hammersmith provides great views of the river. The park itself is beautiful, with a striking pond and lengthy riverside paths with overhanging trees which create a tunnel effect. If you have time, wander around the walled garden inside Fulham Palace. It's free and always has a wonderful array of plants (go in the spring for the wisteria). The river is always interesting, with boats chugging up and down, lots of rowers from the club houses opposite the park, and interesting river birds.

I know this area well and walk this route often, but as I wanted to photograph Hammersmith Bridge I spent a lot of time around that area looking for good angles. I ended up choosing an angle from the east bank of the river (or north bank), partly because the angle worked well to show how imposing and grand the bridge is, and partly because it had less foliage. It was a windy day and I was using my 10-stop filter to even out the water in the river, so moving foliage would have been annoying. It is fixable, but the foliage around the bridge wasn't interesting/beautiful enough to make it worth it. (This angle is Bridge View 3 on the map below)

The final image is only a 6-second exposure. The longer exposures blurred the clouds so much that they lost their drama. I also like that the river retains some of its texture at 6 seconds.

Final image:

Canon 5d Mk iii, Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

ISO 100, f/11, 6 seconds