Cobbles at night…

Cobbled Street, Spitalfields

Text and picture World © Geoff Wilkinson – All rights reserved.

One picture that I really wanted to include in the Spitalfield series was of a cobbled street. Strangely enough there aren’t that many left. In my mind I see horse drawn Hanson cabs clattering over cobbles. Of course the reality is that Spitalfields is now a vibrant, busy, modern community with a road system to match.

The cobble picture eluded me for some time. I tried different streets, lenses and angles, at one point, in desperation, I poured a large bottle of well known French mineral water on them to see the effect but whatever I did it just wasn’t what I saw in my mind.

I changed my thinking and thought I would try my luck at night. So with my Nikon and Manfrotto tripod I headed to Blossom Street, dark, cobbled and with an old warehouse building running along one side it was perfect. I found a spot with an old Victorian style street lamp opposite me where I could see the reflection from the light in the cobbles and then, as I often do I waited.The ever patient person that I am, it usually pays off and it certainly did in this case. As the taxi entered Blossom Street from the other end it’s headlights swept over the cobbles, I just waited until it entered the frame to complete the picture. I deliberately used a slow shutter speed to get some movement in the taxi, I expect I had twenty or so tries before it all came together, well worth the wait.

I think I can hear a Hansom cab on cobbles…….

Technical info: Nikon D80 camera on a Manfrotto tripod with a 50mm f1.4 lens, the camera set in manual mode. The shutter speed was 1/4 of a second with an aperture of f3.2 and an ISO of 200.

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