For my second Spotlight, here’s one of my older images. What the heck is it? Why did I take it, why does it look the way it does, and is there anything it can teach us about the art of photography?
So… what is it? This (as the title suggests) is the shadow of one of the gondolas of the London Eye – a giant Ferris wheel erected on the bank of the Thames for London’s Millennium celebration. It’s a major London landmark and has, no doubt, been photographed from about every angle and viewpoint possible, so to get a unique viewpoint of the monument is pretty hard, and as so often the case, it was pure luck that I was able to capture the image you see here.
Rides on the “Eye” must be scheduled, and popular tourist times during the day get booked up very quickly. The only time I was able to schedule was at sunset and, with the sun almost at the horizon, my eye was immediately drawn to the shadow of the wheel cast on the adjacent historic buildings.
So why did I take this photograph, and why does it look the way it does? As well as indulging my passion for indirect observation, I was struck by the juxtaposition of old and new. The ultramodern wheel and the old stone building on which it’s shadow was cast. The warm glow of the sunset light was very appealing, and I also liked the way the light shining through the glass gondola is focused inside it’s shadow. Finally, I was interested by the way the thick glass of the gondola through which the photo was taken subtly distorts the image.
This image shows that it’s possible to find a new angle in even the most photographed of tourist attractions!