The Kiwi House: best view to shoot the London skyline

by Stewart Marsden


 

The High Commission of New Zealand in London is the diplomatic mission of New Zealand in the United Kingdom.  It is housed in a skyscraper known as New Zealand House on the corner of Hay-market and Pall Mall in London.  As well as containing the offices of the High Commissioner, the building also hosts the New Zealand consulate in London and the military attaché.  Since 1995, it has been a Grade II Listed Building which I find interesting as it is an utterly hideous building which ironically boasts perhaps the best view of the London skyline; but only to those fortunate enough to be granted access to the Prestigious Penthouse with its very own 360 degree balcony.

Like the Millennium Bridge Project  you should never shy away from something because you have shot it before.  Photography is a learned process.  No one will ever know everything there is to know about it.  Today you know more than you did yesterday and tomorrow you will know more than you did today.  Experience teaches us a lot in photography.  I look back on old images I shot, and wish that I had the knowledge and skills I have today when I shot them all those years ago.  Returning to a place or subject gives us the chance to create something better and different, because we are better and different than we were when we first shot it.   I have been fortunate enough to have had many opportunities to photograph the fabulous vista available from The Penthouse, and I always look for a new twist that I can put on my photography when I am there.  Day or night, rain or clear skies there is always something to capture there are so many selective choices to make as a photographer when shooting cityscapes.  Do we shoot wide or tight? How interesting is the sky? What time of day is it? What’s the centre of interest? What are we trying to capture? Who are you trying to reach? The composition of the shapes on the skyline are as important as what lenses you decide to use. 


"Sunset after the rain"


There are many things to remember when shooting cityscapes.  But the best most high end gear is not one of them.  “No photographer is better than the simplest of cameras” Edward Western.    I have taken many cameras and a wide range of lenses and tripods to Kiwi House. Shift lenses, zoom lenses, prime lenses, pan heads, ball heads for the tripod. DLSR cameras, bridge cameras, range finder cameras, and point and shoot cameras. As point of fact, my favourite shot of the skyline from this vantage point I got using the Ricoh GRii  a point and shoot camera that I rested on the balcony railings. 

 


“Favourite”


I also like to shoot large scale panoramas like these, I have a guide to how these are made here. 




“450 Megapixels panorama”

Projects like this are great fun and reveal so much of whatever you are shooting, that previously went unnoticed.

Something else you can try is Long exposures.  Shot just as Twilight / Blue hour started this 37 minute exposure was shot using a ND10 stop filter.


"LONG EXPOSURE"

Or perhaps your friend would like a souvenir picture of their visit


“FOR A FRIEND”

But regardless of what camera you have, or what level of skill you possess, get your camera out and shoot.

Cheers,
Stewart Marsden

 

 

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