Friday, 26 November 2010

London Bankside by Night

Millennium Bridge by Night
Millennium Bridge

Last night I took a walk around the Bankside area of London. Bankside is one of my favourite parts of London and it stretches all the way from London Bridge to Blackfriars Bridge.  I’ve posted about the area immediately around London Bridge and Borough Market before but this is the first time in ages that I have wondered all the way up to the Tate Modern with a camera.

City of London as viewed from Bankside by night
City of London

The views from Bankside on the Southern Bank of the river Thames are quite exceptional.  You can see 30 St. Mary Axe (fondly known as ‘The Gherkin’) peeking out in the middle of the photo above.  You can also just make out Southwark Bridge and Cannon Street Railway Bridge at the far right of the photo.

City of London School and St Paul's Cathedral by night
City of London School and St Paul’s Cathedral

St Paul's Cathedral looks exquisite at night time and you really can’t help but stare at it!

London Bankside by Night 4
The City of London viewed over the Millennium Bridge

It is probably best that I confess how very, very cold it was outside last night!  These photos were only taken at about 5pm and as you can see, it was already completely dark in London.  The temperature at the time was about 2°c which equates to too-cold-to-be-outside-taking-photos in Fahrenheit. 

The Founders Arms London Bankside
The Founders Arms

I was wondering around because I was attending the London Travel Bloggers Meetup at the Founders Arms at 6pm and I had an hour to kill!  Behind me was the towering chimney of the old Bankside Power Station, now known as the Tate Modern.

Tate Modern Bankside
The Tate Modern

Behind the Tate Modern, there is an exciting new residential development called NEO Bankside.  Of course, not everyone shares my love of modern architecture but I think these are stunning.

NEO Bankside development 2

 NEO Bankside development 1NEO Bankside development 3NEO Bankside development 4
The NEO Bankside Development

I gratefully made it into the warm interior of the Tate Modern building and not a moment too soon.  I’d lost feeling in my toes!

Tate ModernThe Tate Modern

The Unilever Series Ai Weiwei Sunflower Seeds 2The Unilever Series Ai Weiwei Sunflower Seeds 3 The Unilever Series Ai Weiwei Sunflower Seeds 1 

I took a look at The Unilever Series: Ai Weiwei Sunflower Seeds exhibition which is strangely mesmerising.  I was almost overcome with an urge to touch the seeds (because we were told not to) and I was quite taken by the sea of handmade porcelain sunflower seed replicas.

I also saw two other photographic exhibitions in the Tate which I would highly recommend: Bruce Davidson's Subway series as well as the Photographic Typologies exhibition featuring Simryn Gill's Dalam series and Paul Graham’s Television Portraits.

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27 comments

  1. Great pictures Emm, you seem to have definitely gotten the hang of using a camera.

    I had chance to see the Sunflower Seeds myself recently, isn't it fantastic.

    There is also a good photography exhibition in The National Portrait Gallery. http://www.npg.org.uk:8080/photoprize/site10/index.php
    The Taylor Wessing Prize, especially liked Christopher Gascoigne's mother and daughter picture.

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  2. ohhh I am so glad you mentioned The Gherkin, since people don't talk about what happened to the old Victorian building (Baltic Exchange) that was based on London’s maritime trade and empire.

    Was it intelligent pulling down an old and venerable piece of architecture? Do you think from your wanders that the skyline of the city has improved?

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  3. beautiful! You are sure rocking with that new camera!

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  4. Congrats on the new camera! Were the shots above taken hand held? Great results.

    @Hels, the old Baltic Exchange had to come down. The cost of trying to rebuild it would have been ridiculously expensive, if it were even at all possible. Imagine spending a small fortune only to find that key parts of the structure weren't strong enough. Heritage is worth saving, but not at any cost.

    I remember the bomb that blew the facade off pretty well. I heard it go off from where I was a mile away.

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  5. Please delete - just subscribing to comments.

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  6. What wonderful pictures! But they make me really, really, REALLY miss London!

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  7. i've visited london but i never been to london. sigh... i need to go there again

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  8. I love how all the buildings are lit up. I bet thats quite the party haven isnt it. If not it should be!

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  9. Ai Weiwei's Sunflower Seeds is amazing. I can't believe the sheer numbers of seeds they created for this installation. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. Your photos of London are beautiful! I so want to visit your great city! Hubby and I talk of it plenty, but things keep getting in the way. When we go, I'll be sure to take the stroll you described...it looks so delightful!

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  11. Hi Emm - nice set of pics with your new camera. You seem to be getting to grips with it nicely. Hope you're having fun too.

    @Hels - I had lunch in the old Baltic Exchange building once with one of my bosses (I was picking up a prize for best marine law exam paper that year). It is an absolute tragedy what happened to the building and what it has been replace with now.

    Glen

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  12. Wow, that is dark for 5 pm. Brrrrr. Lovely photos!

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  13. Hi Emm! Fabulous night shots!! Mine are almost always blurred, so I can't be less than much impressed!!

    The old Thebes (Ouaset, The Powerful) is on Blogtrotter Two waiting for you!! Enjoy and have a great Sunday and week ahead!

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  14. What gorgeous photos, especially the one of St. Paul's! It really is eye-catching at night, the way it is all light and shadows. But you must have been absolutely freezing walking along the Southbank on Thursday night!!

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  15. I love the pics. My favourite time to wander along the River Thames is when its cold, dark and everyone is their nice warm houses. Saturday night I made my way from Festival Hall to Tower Bridge and the views of the buildings lit up and the reflections on the water was amazing.

    I was hoping to finally visit the Sunflower Seeds exhibition, but I spent too long looking at the World Press Photo Exhibition and got there too late.

    Wear thicker socks and your toes wont feel a thing, I had two pairs on and my feet were warm, if only I had enough sense to have worn my gloves...

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  16. I don't think I have ever seen London at night. Nicely done! So much more to consider taking night photos than during the day. I don't blame you for touching the sunflower seeds. I wonder how many are missing after the exhibit. :)

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  17. A lovely set of photos Emm and good practice with your new camera

    I love it around there too it has come up so much in the last 15 years

    My dad was brought up around there just behind the Anchor pub next to clink street

    Thanks for sharing Emm :-)

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  18. Beautiful photos Emm! Made me miss London, I'd love to do christmas-shopping there. :) Always bring me into x-mas mood.

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  19. What a wonderful tour Emm. St' Pauls is absolutely stunning at night and you captured it flawlessly. I also like the Millennium Bridge, it's so futuristic.

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  20. The lights by the water are marvelous. It must have been a great experience to have seen it in person.

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  21. One of my favourite places in London too. Didn't know about the travel bloggers group.

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  22. Stunning!!!! What camera is that again??

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  23. Juhuu!! So many wonderful photos! Great light and buildings. I like nr 1 best I think, beacause of the angle.
    Really great work:-)

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  24. your pictures make me miss London so much. thanks for the tour. when i was in London many years ago, i didn't manage to take great pictures due to the rainy gloomy weather.

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  25. Fabulous, spectacular lights frames and exquisite, a very good night shots.

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  26. @ Jason: Ha! My fingers were frozen and I was shivering but I do hope to get some practice when I go on holiday!

    @ Hels: I'm afraid I don't know much about London before the Gherkin as it has been there for as long as I've been familiar with this part of London. One of the reasons I started taking photos was to get myself to look and notice my surroundings more and it was for that reason - I just didn't notice before.

    @ Bridget: Thank you! Now I just need to learn to process them like you do.

    @ Gary: Yes! They were taken hand held, with shivering hands too! I hope to buy a tripod of sorts sooner rather than later.

    @ Kathy: Thank you! I love that feeling of getting out in London and would have done so again were it not for the snow.

    @ Lily: I don'tknow if that was a typo in what you wrote but I definitely know the feeling of having visited a city but not having seen enough of it!

    @ Tina: I don't know about that side of the river but behind me if the Bankside area and there are loads of pubs and restaurants.

    @ Erik: It was great to actually see it!

    @ Andrea: London is an incredible city and the more I discover of it, the more I love it. I hope you get to visit one day.

    @ Glen: It will take some time to get the hang of it but yes, it is a fabulous little camera!

    @ Elle: I know! And it is getting darker earlier now until December 21st!

    @ Trotter: I must say, this camera made the world of difference with its image stabilisation lense. I'd definitely recommend a Canon.

    @ Karen: It was ridiculously cold! Cold I can do though, slippery walkways and lethal ice and snow? Not so much.

    @ William: I've been taking your advice and wearing two massive, thick pairs of socks inside my wellies! Much better! Your walks are awesome that you take.

    @ AVCr8teur: Really? I'm going to take more London night shots just for you then.


    @ Steve: Really? I was admiring the Anchor pub too but did not yet feel safe enough to haul out my camera. I'll get used to the camera, I'm sure, but I'm still a little nervous.

    @ Øyvind: Thank you so much! I'm hoping to make my way up to your part of the world next year!

    @ Lauren: Thank you! I was so happy with these photos and that shot of the bridge too.

    @ flutietootie: Definitely! London can be very beautiful.

    @ Mo: Really? We meet once a month and I would really love it if you came along to a meeting.

    @ Ash: Canon 1000D. I highly recommend it.

    @ Spiderdama: I think that was my favourite one too and the point at which I realised that I might just like this new camera.

    @ Life Ramblings: I must agree, I find it hard to take photos in th rain and in gloomy weather!

    @ Leovi: Thank you so much! What a kind thing to say!

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  27. Spectacular night shots! Lights were pretty.

    Many thanks for your patience, and for visiting Norwich Daily Photo and leaving your comment. Come visit again tomorrow!

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