Openhouse London 2018 Part II / by Mark Greenfield

So part 2 of my Openhouse London 2018 blog and conveniently it's day 2 of the event, Sunday. Two booked trips and a trip to another building I've photographed before...


So the day begins and the weather  is awful. Proper raining cats and dogs but being the brave soul I am I headed out, walking through the puddles, getting soaked by the taxi's and buses as they drove along the road to reach my first destination One Bishops Square. I'd been here before 2 years ago and I had a good idea of what and how I was going to shoot the part of the building I wanted to photograph but the photography gods were not playing ball. The first warning was I was the 16th person to visit. I wasn't desperately rushing to get there as I'd stopped for breakfast in Pret for half an hour. The second warning was the photographers that were in there were shooting the art work that came down from the ceiling.

And a few more steps later I discovered why......the gantry /bridge section of the building was closed :( it was raining that hard the roof had leaked the water was coming in right where I wanted to shoot, absolutely gutted. So the only way to shoot was from a 'safe' distance hence you could only get this type of shot below and not the shot looking directly up into the balls of light

Canon 16-35 F/4; 31mm, 1/50 sec, F/7.1, Iso 3200


I deliberately left the towel in the shot on the left hand side and kept the wet floor in as I could not believe the roof was leaking...on to Tower 42 and hopefully this will be an improvement on the unfortunate events at One Bishops Square.


Now Tower 42 was a booked tour but with the streets being deserted and the rain continuing to come down it seemed not many people were willing to venture out and to be honest after visiting I can understand why. Now I'm glad I've visited and seen Tower 42 but it's not somewhere I would rush back to. The bar they took you to was tired, stuck in the 80's and in need of a refurb. At one point you would have got some fantastic views over London from here but now places like the Sky Garden to me offer better views without the restriction of glass in front of you. I did take a number of shots here but they were all of the view of London and there was nothing inside architecturally speaking of to shoot and unfortunately it was raining too hard for me to get a shot of the outside looking up......ah well time for lunch then :) 


So after lunch it was onto the Barbican. I have to admit this wasn't my first choice. Or even my second or third choice to photograph but as many other places were further away from the hotel and this was reasonably close to the other locations I was photographing I decided to give it a go PLUS I had the laundrette to photograph after the tour had finished.

Now maybe it was my lack of initial enthusiasm but this place really did surprise me. The tour was excellent, and despite you only being able to shoot hand held the ability to shoot the stages and theatres and go behind the scenes was definitely a fantastic experience so here is a few shots from inside the Barbican...

Canon 16-35 F/4, 1/30 sec, 16mm, F/6.3, Iso 6400

Canon 16-35 F/4, 16mm, 1/25 sec, F/4, Iso 6400

Canon 16-35 F/4, 16mm, 1/20 sec, F/6.3, Iso 6400

Canon 16-35 F/4, 16mm, 1/25sec, F/4, Iso 6400


After the tour had finished it was time to find the laundrette :) Now when you enter the laundrette it's like stepping back in time, no wonder it is a popular location to shoot (especially for fashion shoots) and explains the sign thats says "No Photographing" as I guess they must get quite a few photographers in there. So a quick look inside and there's only one person in using the place and they are busy on their phone so it's a quick dart in, get the shot and walk on and it was definitely worth it :)

Canon 16-35 F/4, 27mm, 1/40 sec, F/8, Iso 800

And then there was one location left..........The car park not far from the laundrette which the Pontefract Camera Club had told me about the day before when I met them at Alphabeta so here is it that final location, have to say thank you to the club for the tip. It was well worth visiting...

Canon TS-E 17mm, 17mm, 1.3 sec, F/11, Iso 100


And that was it the end of a long weekend of photography. I'd ticked a few locations that I'd had on my list to visit, I was really glad to have got to Bevan Court and the Barbican really was a pleasant surprise. It being a Sunday evening also meant it was time for a Sunday Roast and what has become a custom for me when visiting London over a weekend was a trip to the Leman Street Tavern for some Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pud (why oh why can't they make a Lancashire Pud that's similar but just that little bit better???). And on that note I'll leave it :)


Thanks for reading and if you've any questions, ask away. And if you've any comments to make, feel free :)