I spent a weekend in London recently, and stayed in Southwark. The main architectural feature of that area is The Shard, which is over 1000 feet high. At present it’s the tallest building in the European Union, and the fourth-highest building in Europe.
It stands well away from other very tall buildings, so it tends to dominate the view of the area. As I was there for a few days I was able to see it lit from different directions and also at night.
The viewing platform on top of the new extension to Tate Modern has a very good view of The Shard. I did not have a tripod with me, and the hand rail has an annoying curve which makes resting a camera on it in a stable way a bit hard. I persevered, and managed to get a sharp image with a shutter speed of 0.8 seconds.
One morning, whilst the sun was at quite a low angle, The Shard was almost silhouetted against a moody sky. There was just a sliver of brightness from the glass panels on each side. It really did look like a bit of broken glass.
The following morning was very different! The clouds were very low and for a while the top of The Shard was hidden in them. I did have to apply a bit positive exposure compensation to stop everything being grey. I did feel for those poor people who had paid millions for a flat with a view of London…
As I said, it really does dominate the area and it’s reflected in everything, even puddles. This was a windy day and I had to wait till the wind had dropped a bit otherwise The Shard came out a bit too abstract.
One building; lots of variations. It’s nice to have had the time to see how things change.