Using a Ricoh GRD III and a Nikon DSLR to photograph streets, people, architecture and anything else that catches my eye.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

River Thames - North Bank

One of my favourite destinations in London for photography is the River Thames.  It is one of those great rivers that is steeped in history, with hundreds of famous places, buildings and landmarks along its banks; as well as hundreds of smaller secrets and surprising hidden gems to discover.  Generally, on any given weekend, the South Bank is amassed with thousands of people, as it has quite a few major tourist destinations, as well as being a very pleasent place to stroll. 

The North Bank, known as The Embankment, is less of a touristy type of walk, and is basically a busy main road along the river. There is less to look at and visit for tourists (not counting the Tower of London of course).  To the city-end of the embankment, however,  there is a mixture of 1960s 70s & 80s architecture, with some brand new developments forever appearing.  Take a stroll away from the actual river edge, towards the side roads of the city, good opportunities can be found for photography.  St. Pauls is nearby, which is a mixture of city office workers and tourism.

These are some of the first images I took with my Nikon D80 in London, around 2007. Not beautiful buildings for sure, but a mixture of architecture which ended up on my SD card.  The ugly Guys hospital building, would now of course be dwarfed by the new Shard tower, which is currently rapidly rising next to it.  I often include footbridges, street lamps, staircases etc in my photography, because I just happen to like them.  I design steelwork and architectural metalwork as part of my work, and I have always liked slicing architectural images with some good old metal hardware.


Michael Gatton said...

After reading Ghost Map a while back (, whenever I think of the Thames I can't help but think of how it was once both a source of drinking water and a receptacle for raw sewage - hence the cholera epidemics. I'm, sure that's true of most waterways in major cities, but the book really drives the point. Great book if you haven't read it.

Anyway, wonderful images, I particularly like the one with the footbridge, but they're all nice.

Bill Wellham said...

That book looks interesting. I may take a look at that; I love city history books. A few years ago I read about the Victorian engineer who designed and oversaw the construction of the great London underground sewer system. (Joseph Bazalgette). This was all built due to the 'great stink' and the cholera epidemics. Up to then, the Thames was just a huge sewer. (mmmmmm nice).

Gerry's Blog said...

These are amazing shots BIll .... I think of Walker Evens when I see these images... out standing... I love your high contrast shots !!!!

Bill Wellham said...

Thanks Gerry. I love high contrast. On some of these shots I wanted the background to be pale, but the black objects in the foreground to be very black.

Speaking of W. Evens, I think there is a photo by him, of a wooden white house, with an old Model T outside. I remember it in a book I had about 30s US. I always loved that photo, but I have never seen it since.