Going back to London is always exciting. Except for New York I have never a seen a city this hectic and busy.

Everyone is always rushing to get somewhere – or at least to look like getting somewhere.

Watched from the distance it can be really nice…

London for me is a love/hate place. It is an impressive and fascinating city and I’m looking forward to 2011 when I might be able to spent some free time there.

But on a business trip I totally loathe this city.

I took this picture after a meeting somewhere in Canary Wharf from the 40ies floor. We’re looking pretty much directly into the sunset. So please don’t judge too hard on the burned out sky. After a day of very low cloud cover a final shower cleared some of the clouds. The whole scene was very high-contrast but too beautiful to not shoot it.

Perhaps due to my love/hate relationship with London I had to convert the pictures to black and white. On a second thought I felt the need to add some warmth to the picture, which resulted in the final duo-tone scheme.

Camera was my Canon S90. Conversion into the duotone has been done in Lightroom.

Later in the night I ran by this old harbor crane. Do you still remember that old television show “The Tripods” ? No? Google it.

Placed in the ultra-modern surroundings of Canary Wharf these cranes looked so odd, it was impossible not to take some pictures. Viewed from ground-level these things stand above you and stare into the distance, arms raised up high.

The surfaces have a coal-like texture that seems to have collected the smoke of oily fires over centuries. Positioned next to the office building with some windows still lit late at night, the cranes appeared to be the vigilantes watching over and controlled by the poor chaps sitting in these offices.

Again S90 and duotone in Lightroom. At high ISO and some heavy de-noising though which explains the soft look.

Last but not least two experiments with reflections. Both feel very “Londonish” to me as they capture a lot of what the place is for me.

This one would have been so much better if I would have been a bit more stealthy. Well, by having both protagonists staring at me trough the reflection creates at least a unique shot. In the bulding on the other side of the street you can see a bit into the office spaces there and still see the building on “this” side of the street reflected back.

The second scene was done in front of one of the million cellphone stores. iPhone 4 is the gadget to have and advertisments cannot be escaped this summer. Additionally we see the oposite side of the street and – most important – the double-decker bus in between.

Both pictures require your eye to spend some time in the various depth-levels to see the different scenes happening all at once.

Let me know if these pictures reflect your London too.

Btw. in London without an iPhone 4 – you’re nothing.