Big ben from Westminster bridge
Photography blogs & Articles by Akanjee

Big ben from Westminster bridge, London

This photo of Big ben from Westminster bridge, London taken on 2013-11-29 at 20:17:23, 147 secs long exposure at 24mm and f/27 aperture & ISO100

Big Ben is one of London’s most iconic landmarks. Contrary to popular belief, Big Ben is not actually the name of the clock tower itself. It is rather the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London. The tower is officially called the Elizabeth Tower, previously known simply as the Clock Tower. It stands at the northeast corner of the Palace of Westminster, which houses the British Parliament. Featured photo shows Big ben from Westminster bridge, London.

Big ben was completed in 1859 and has since become a symbol of London and the United Kingdom. Its design is attributed to the architect Augustus Pugin. The clock’s mechanism was designed by Edmund Beckett Denison, and the clockmaker was George Airy. The Great Bell, commonly known as Big Ben, strikes the hour and has become one of the most famous features of the tower.

Big Ben has undergone several renovations and repairs over the years, including extensive restoration work that began in 2017 and lasted for four years, during which the clock’s hands were stopped to allow for maintenance. The tower has also been the focus of attention during various historic events, including New Year’s Eve celebrations and moments of national significance.

How to take long exposure light trails photos? (example photo shows Big ben from Westminster bridge, London)

Taking long exposure light trails photos can create stunning and dynamic images. Here’s a basic guide on how to do it:

To shoot a similar photo like Big ben from Westminster bridge, London you may use the following Equipment:

You’ll need a camera that allows you to control exposure settings manually. A DSLR or mirrorless camera is ideal, but some advanced compact cameras and even smartphones offer manual control features as well. You’ll also need a sturdy tripod to keep your camera steady during long exposure.

Choose a location:

Find a location with interesting light trails, such as a busy street, highway, or a place with moving lights like amusement parks or cityscapes.

Set up your camera:

Mount your camera securely on the tripod and frame your shot. Consider composition carefully, as it’s an important aspect of any photograph. You might want to include leading lines or interesting elements to complement the light trails.

Adjust camera settings:

Switch your camera to manual mode (M) or shutter priority mode (S/Tv). Set a low ISO (usually between 100 and 400) to minimize noise. Choose a small aperture (higher f-stop number) for a greater depth of field, unless you specifically want to blur the background. Then, set your shutter speed to a slow value to capture the light trails. Start with a shutter speed of around 10-30 seconds and adjust as needed based on the amount of light and the effect you want to achieve.


Not to mention set your camera to manual focus and adjust it to ensure your subject is sharp. You may want to focus on a point where the light trails will pass through, or use infinity focus if you’re shooting distant scenes.

Use a remote shutter release:

To minimize camera shake, especially during longer exposures, use a remote shutter release or the camera’s built-in timer to trigger the shutter without physically touching the camera. I did use cable shutter release and remote shutter for the picture above (both worked fine for me)

Take the shot:

Set up everything, then actively trigger the shutter to capture the scene for the desired duration. Watch as the light trails form on your camera’s LCD screen.

Review and adjust:

Review your photo and make adjustments as needed. Not only that, but you may need to experiment with different exposure settings to achieve the desired effect. Pay attention to composition, exposure, and timing.


After capturing your images, you can further enhance them using photo editing software like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. Adjustments to exposure, contrast, and colour balance can help refine your final image.

Remember, experimentation is key when it comes to photography, so don’t be afraid to try different settings and techniques to achieve the look you want!

Photo and exposure information credit @Akanjee Photpgraphy

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