I was in London on the evening of the recent Brussels bombings; a city that has suffered its own bloodshed at the hands of terrorists. My hotel for the evening was just a stone’s throw from the Tower of London which only recently rose from out of a sea of blood-red poppies commemorating the dead of another conflict 100 years ago. It seems we never learn.
Across the Atlantic Donald Trump gathers momentum. If he becomes the next POTUS we can be sure of more conflict ahead – the guy can even pick a fight with the Pope!
But I digress.
The other landmark in this part of town is of course Tower Bridge, and given the day’s events I’d expected it to be illuminated in the black, gold and red of the Belgian tricolour. That might have given me something a unique image of one of the most photographed structures but it was not to be. I mused at the time about the forthcoming vote on remaining within the European Union and whether there was any political motivation behind the lack of obvious solidarity but apparently Trafalgar Square was standing in that night.
So back to my problem – shooting a landmark without producing a clichéd result.
I’ve seen some interesting shots making use of long exposure to incorporate light streams from traffic crossing the bridge, but interesting as the results are, the bridge is no longer identifiable. (With hindsight I could have walked beyond the first small tower to reveal the taller structure beyond, but I’d have been unable to find a vantage point in the centre of the road.)
Lots of people shoot from the riverside to incorporate a small fountain featuring a girl and a dolphin – for me though the subjects are better separated, and I didn’t find the fountain interesting enough to warrant its own photograph.
So now the remaining question was which side of the bridge to shoot from. No contest – how could I resist the city lights. Which brings me back to the topic I began with.
Perhaps there is no need for colours; a bridge is symbolic enough. At least to a religious leader whose title Pontifex means “bridge builder”.