Isolating a subject with light

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St Paul’s Cathedral : Canon 5D : EF 17-40mm (21mm) : 60 sec : f22 : Cokin Nuances ND10 and ND 3 Grad filter

Anyone who has ever seen the famous image of St Paul’s cathedral caught in the crossfire of the blitz during world war II, cannot help but marvel at its architectural splendour. St Paul’s is one of the most inspiring buildings to photograph in London, with so ways to capture it against the capital’s skyline.

The Millenium Bridge makes a great lead-in but has in truth become somewhat of a cliched addition to many photographs of St Pauls. With this shot, I tried to take a slightly different approach. Shot in mid-day with broken cloud cover, I positioned my tripod down by the riverside, looking up at the underside of the bridge with St Paul’s just to its right. My intention was to create a moody shot turning the sky dark in post-production and creating a soft water foreground of the Thames using a long exposure. Both neutral density and graduated density filters were used to create this effect.

This particular shot was helped by a lucky break in the clouds which allowed the sunlight to fall just on St Paul’s giving it an uncanny resemblance to those images taken during the blitz and the ensuring St Paul’s rightly dominated the final image.