I took this picture in November 2011, it seems to have stuck with me, I can’t shake it off. I used it on the front page of the website I had before this blog, it was very popular and received some good comments. I know
it hangs in at least one home in Wanstead and when the Leica Store Soho in New York saw it they also sent me a nice message.
It was part of a series of photographs that I was commissioned to do to illustrate the exterior of a restaurant, shown on the right hand side of the picture. The location was Great Eastern Street in London, I have to say arriving in the afternoon it looked less than promising, a dark building on a not very exciting, busy road.
Taking a couple of shots I looked at the screen on the back of the Nikon, no good, and went for a coffee. I decided to wait for the ‘golden hour’, that magic time around dusk when the lights in the buildings are brighter than the light outside, it seems to make buildings ‘glow’. Sure enough as the sun went down and the lights came on everything seemed to come alive. The windows of the shops and offices as well as my restaurant shone out, the headlights of the traffic lit up the streets.
I chose a slow shutter speed to capture the movement of the buses and cars as they took people home, a dull afternoon had been transformed into a vibrant colourful evening full of the sort of life and movement you would expect to see during the rush hour. When you look at the picture you know it can only be London.
Technical info: Nikon D80 handheld, but balanced on a waste bin, with a Nikon 10/24mmm zoom lens at 10mm. The exposure was 1/3rd of a second and the aperture was f4.5. The ISO was 320.