Thursday, July 26, 2012

One last trip into downtown London before the games begin

Here it is, the day before Opening Ceremonies at the Olympics, and there was time for just one more trip into downtown London before the hectic pace of the next 3 weeks. Here is the last "tour of London" before all the Olympic blogs begin.

We saw this cool area with tons of graffiti, located right in the heart of the tourist area.

A view of Tower Bridge (not to be confused with The London Bridge). This was taken from atop one of those double-decker tourist buses.

I love the contrast of new and old buildings here in London.

The Parliament building is just amazing. (I know what you are thinking. You are thinking that this is "Big Ben", right? I been told here, Big Ben is actually the bell inside the tower, so the tower itself is not technically called Big Ben. The things you learn over here!)

The London Eye out in the distance.

We stopped by Buckingham Palace to visit the Queen but she was not home (you can tell by which flags are flying over the palace at the time). I was bummed, because I was sure that my Olympics Press Credentials would get me an unscheduled meeting with the Royal Family. What's up with that?

When waling around the city, we came across these people in front of the National Geographic store. At first I just walked by and looked, and then turned back and asked for this shot. I love the colors and the expressions.

Two of my new friends in London.  I saw these two police officers standing with the tower in the background and asked if I could take their photo. Unlike many officers in the U.S., the officers here are usually willing to have their photos taken.

Tower bridge sporting the Olympic Rings.

A police boat in pursuit of something. This guy went flying by us on the river. (There is a ton of security in London now, as you might expect. Our place is right on the Thames river and we see police and military boats and helicopters every 10 minutes.)

As we went by the London Eye early in the evening, I was drawn to shadows cast onto the nearby buildings.

As you might know, my favorite time to take photos is at night. My only goal for this particular evening was to get a really nice image of Tower Bridge with the Olympic Rings. We went to many different vantage points, but this was one of my favorites.

Remembering a shot I had taken in Vancouver (for the Winter Olympics), I wanted to try the same technique, rolling the zoom lens during the exposure. It was not as clean as I hoped, but I thought I would include it here for everyone to see anyways.

After getting the Tower Bridge shots, we walked further down the banks of the Thames River and I saw this shot. 

It was almost midnight when we were waiting for our boat back to the condo, and all of a sudden the Tower Bridge opened. This does not happen very often so I did my best to set up the tripod and get a shot (which was a little tough since we were on a moving dock at the time). Just as I was shooting one image, they started a practice fireworks display for the Opening Ceremonies on Friday. Very cool!

And so...let the Games begin!

1 comment:

Betsy said...

Love the images of the bridge. The last one is so awesome and unique. Enjoy every minute of it!!