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A postcard from London

This is one of my favorite photos of London. Old-timers on this blog may remember it making an appearance twice already, processed in rather different fashion back then. Although it is not objectively a postcard-quality shot, it comes close enough.

Millennium Bridge and St Paul Cathedral, London


We are standing in front of Tate Modern on the South Bank of Thames. The Millennium Bridge, a pedestrian suspension walkway opened in the year 2000, links Bankside with the City of London. It provides a straight line from here seemingly right into St Paul’s Cathedral. That is a bit of an illusion brought around by lens compression. In fact, the distance between the northern end of the bridge and the cathedral is roughly equal to another width of the river.

This illusion – and the composition in general – might have been further enhanced if I stood closer to the line of the bridge but further from the river edge, and used an even longer focal distance. I have recently developed additional appreciation for photographs that allow me to learn compositional lessons, such as this one. If only I spent more time on getting the composition right when actually taking pictures! Alas, in 2009, when this picture was taken, such concerns crossed my mind even less than they do today. I suspect I stood as close to the water edge as possible, partially in order to ensure that nobody walks into the shot.

Nonetheless, it belongs among my better efforts of the time we lived in London – and a nice reminder of those years. We used to love strolling along the Thames Path between Westminster and Southwark Bridges. We may have crossed Millennium Bridge only once of twice on those walks, but we stood in roughly this same spot on at least a dozen occasions. It surely brings back good memories.