Parliament Square on a winter’s evening

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I’ve not had a huge amount of time to dedicate to photography this week. I did, however, find myself in Parliament Square in Central London early on Tuesday evening and that’s where I took this image.

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A photograph of Parliament Square in London taken using a 25 second exposure.

This is the latest in my experiments with long-exposure photography. It’s such a classic location I couldn’t resist going for it.

Parliament Square is in the foreground just over the road and then in the top left corner you can see some of the pods of the London Eye above Portcullis House, to the right of that is Big Ben wrapped in scaffolding and the rest of the Palace of Westminster. Further to the right you can see some of Westminster Abbey.

I didn’t have my tripod with me so I had my camera perched on a pole by a zebra crossing. As you can see, lots of traffic was passing as it was rush hour and many buses were among the cars and vans, hence why so many of the lights seem to be in the sky.

If you blow the image up, the lights of the traffic are in incredible detail. Speaking of detail, the streets were heaving with people and yet I can only see one person on the right on the image. I can only assume she (I think it’s a woman!) was stood still for the whole 25 seconds.

To get serious for just a moment, I was in the area because I’d been to the Palace of Westminster for the launch of a report examining how bereaved parents and their dependent children are treated following a death. I wrote a blog post about it and while an uncomfortable subject, I’d recommend having a read as bereaved families have to tolerate shocking treatment.

36 thoughts on “Parliament Square on a winter’s evening”

  1. Hi John, I do like this! I have yet to dabble in long exposure photography, but I have a tripod on order and then there’ll be no excuse. Wouldn’t it be funny if someone shared a photo of you taking a photo of Parliment Square as their Sunday photo? Maybe that’s what the woman was up to!


    1. Well who knows Debbie, maybe the mysterious woman to the right will produce an image of me one day! It is odd though, there were loads of people crossing the road right in front of me but not one blurry image in the final pic!

    1. Thank you Tara. Gosh, so many positive comments! think I may struggle to top this! The trails are mostly buses and coaches.

    1. I think it works because I was stood right on a corner. I took a few shots right next to the traffic at 90 degrees and they just didn’t work.

  2. I love how close you got to the road with this shot, it makes me feel like I’m right in the middle of it! Hope you didn’t have to dodge too many cars! #MySundayPhoto

    1. I did try in one or two other locations with the camera on a wall but I think this worked because it was on a corner where the traffic had to pass.

    1. It is quite a London-esque picture isn’t it? I think it benefitted from so many buses and coaches going round the square at rush hour. they produced the best lights.

  3. Paul @ Topsy Turvy Tribe

    What wonderful photo. Fantastic location for a long exposure shot. Perfectly representive of bright, busy, bustling London!

    1. I don’t think I realised I was stood at such a good spot. Right on the corner where the traffic turned. It worked well with their lights.

  4. Really nice shot. I love doing long exposure photography. What gear do you use? #mysundayphoto

    I have just took a star trail this week. First time doing it.

    1. Oh excellent, I look forward to seeing the star trail. On this occasion no special equipment. A Canon EOS 100D and 18-55mm lens.

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