Tag Archives: #London

Night Photography at Trafalgar Square

We traveled on the Bakerloo Line from Paddington to Charing Cross. Upon arrival we exited the Underground via the Subway (foot passage) to Trafalgar Square, which is among London’s iconic public spaces.

I made these views of the famous square using my Nikon Z7-II with 24-70mm Z-series zoom. I set the ISO to 5000, the aperture to f4.0, and allowed the camera to select the shutter speed. I adjusted the highlights and shadows in post processing to improve detail and reduce contrast.

Although the shutter speed was about 1/13th of a second, all the photos in this sequence were made hand-held with the aid of in-camera image stabilization.

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District Line at South Kensington

South Kensington is a busy station on the District and Circle Lines of the London Underground. These are among the oldest routes of the Underground network and were built using cut and cover construction.

The platforms on the District/Circle Lines at South Kensington are largely open air with tunnel entrances at both ends and classic canopies covering the platforms which makes for a classic railway environment.

At rush hours train enter and leave the station about once a minute.

In the maelstrom of acitivity and the roar of passing trains I made these photos with my Lumix LX7.

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Railway Gems of the London Science Museum

Enter the exhibit ‘Making the Modern World’ and you will find some gems of 19th century railway technology.

This includes Puffing Billy—the oldest preserved locomotive, and a variety of other full-size equipment and vintage scale models.

One of my favorites is the 1870s model of a broad gauge Erie Railroad 4-4-0, which has been in the science museum’s collection since 1880.

Photos expose in February 2024 using my Lumix LX7.

Puffing Billy
This period model of a 6-foot gauge Erie Railroad 4-4-0 has been at the London Science Museum since 1880.
Model of a Norris locomotive built in Philadelphia.
Model of the famous Rocket of 1829. The real Rocket is presently on tour elsewhere in the UK.

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Charing Cross Vignettes

We spent nearly a week at the Clermont Hotel that is physically part of London’s historic Charing Cross Station.

In our wanders around the neighborhood, I made these photos of the railway station and its environs.

Photos were exposed digitally using my Nikon and Lumix cameras.

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Paddington Station at Dusk

London’s Paddington Station offers the extreme contrast of very modern trains in a Victorian setting.

I highlighted Paddington Station in my book Brian Solomon’s Railway Guide to Europe, published by Kalmbach Media in 2018:

Kris and I paid several visits to this grand theatre of British Railways during our February 2024 trip. The most visually impressive was on the return from Oxford on a Saturday evening, when the blue glow of dusk fascilitated added charm. Recent restorations of the train shed included some stunning lighting of the iron work, which is made most impressive during the transition from day to night.

I made these photos with my Nikon Z7-II.

Great Western Railway Class 800

Last Saturday, Kris and I traveled from London Paddington to Oxford on aboard Great Western Railway Class 800 Hitachi-built dua-mode passenger train.

The 800 Class train is multiple section railcar powered by both overhead electric and on-board diesel engines. On our trip, it worked off overhead catenary between London and roughly Didcot Parkway, where it switched to diesel power for the remainder of the run to Oxford.

The seating is largely airline style, but with some seats arranged in quads facing each other across a hard table, and train is slightly more roomy than most commercial planes and features large windows. The ride quality was very good. Top speed on the run was 125mph.

We bought our tickets just a few minutes before departure and boarded the train as soon as the platform was announced. This proved to be a wise move because on deptured the train proved to be very well patronized with almost all the seats in our car occupied.

I’ve enjoyed the run over I.K. Brunel’s famed Great Western route on many occasions, but this was my first traveling on a Class 800.

I made these photos using my Nikon Z7-II.

Elizabeth Line First Look

We took a brief journey on the Elizabeth Line, London’s newest suburban service, which made its debut less than two years ago.

Key to the Elizabeth Line is the newly constructed underground Cross Rail link. This connects the Great Western route with the Great Eastern route via central London.

We traveled a short section of the Cross Rail section.

The subway section is very clean and looks new.

A safety feature are platform doors that line up with train doors. This makes photography of the train underground challenging.

The route was named for Queen Elizabeth II and color chosen for the Elizabeth line is a royal purple.

See: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/elizabeth-line/

I made this selection of photos with my Lumix LX7.

Lumix in the Underground

My Lumix LX7 is an ideal camera for photographing the London Underground.

It is compact and unobtrusive and has a sharp, fast (f1.4) Leica Vario-Summilux lens, while enabling me to make RAW files.

Although, years ago I made great use of an Lumix LX3 in the London Underground, the LX7 is better suited to this environment.

I made these photos at the Charing Cross Station on the Bakerloo Line, as Kris and I were making our way northbound to Paddington.

This was just one of several excursions that we made on London’s Underground system.

First Capitol Connect—Harpenden

On this day in 2010, (12 May) I traveled from Harpenden to central London on the Midland mainline using the First Capitol Connect franchise.

While waiting for my train, I made these photos of another train serving the opposite platform. The wild electric paint livery and window reflections made for a modern composition.

The Midland mainline is among the busiest trunk routes in the UK with trains passing every few minutes on a quad track line.

Photos were made as RAW files with a Lumix LX3. This was my first digital camera. Last night I processed the RAW files using Adobe Lightroom.

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May 1st—Warsaw and London

On May 1, 2002, I arrived in Warsaw on the overnight sleeper from Dresden. I made this photo of Warsaw Central Station using Fujichrome slide film exposed with a Nikon F3T fitted with a 24mm Nikkor lens.

A version of this image previously ran on Tracking the Light in August 2014.

I was visiting London on May 1st, 2016. During the course of my travels, I made the view below of the Underground at West Brompton using a Lumix LX7.

1 May 2016, London Underground station at West Bromton. Lumix LX7 photo.

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April 21, 2013—Overground Interior

Nine years ago I made a counter-clockwise journey around London on the then-new Overground network.

During the course of this trip, I made this image of the interior of a nearly empty Overground train using my Lumix LX3

Panasonic Lumix LX3 set at f2.4 1/160th of a second, focal lenght = 7.9mm

Not Every Picture is a Pretty Scene.

Documenting the railway scene is more than just making pretty photos of trains passing bucolic countryside.

April 13, 2011, ten years ago today, having spent a weekend on England’s North Yorkshire Moors Railway (making pretty photos of steam locomotives in the moors), I took the Thameslink electric suburban train from Harpenden to London.

I alighted at Blackfriars, where I found the station under construction.

I made this single photo using my Lumix LX3.

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