Big Ben - a study in pictures

An ode to Big Ben

Morning light on Big Ben - 7 frame HDR (click to enlarge)

There are iconic symbols of great cities...and then there is Big Ben (I know, the Eiffel Tower lovers are gonna kill me for sayin’ that!  And yes, that’s a great symbol too, so there).  But I love Big Ben.  It’s bad ass.  It’s awesome.  And yes I know it is not really known as Big Ben - at least what we call Big Ben isn’t really called Big Ben.

Still one of my most favorite shots ever - a double-decker bus blurs past Big Ben (single exposure - click to enlarge)

Let me clarify...

Big Ben on a cloudy afternoon, looking awesome (click to enlarge)


The clock tower itself is called The Elizabeth Tower, named after some lady who lives in a quaint house up the street. ;-)  The bell which is inside the tower and which is not visible from the outside - that’s Big Ben.  In other words, Big Ben makes the noise.  He’s got swagger, see?  He just hides really well.

But let’s be will never be The Elizabeth Tower to any of us.  It’s always going to be Big Ben to us Americans, and probably to a lot of other people too.  You can blame Chevy Chase if you want to.  


Look kids - Big Ben!

Anyways, it’s a great symbol of a great city, and a destination that EVERYONE takes a picture (or a hundred) of when they visit London.  Basically, you HAVE to take a picture of it, and then share it on Facebook.  That’s how you prove to your friends that you were really there (or you’re just trying to rub it in).  And then you go buy a souvenir which has Big Ben plastered all over it.  It’s all part of the experience, and it’s all jolly good fun (did that sound like proper English?).

Big Ben under moody skies - 7 frame HDR (click to enlarge)

A 7 frame HDR sunset from my favorite Big Ben viewing spot (click to enlarge)

Ok then, let me zip it on the dumb commentary and get back to the pics.  I assume that’s why you showed up today - yes?  Good.  I love to take pics and share them here, and hope that someone doesn’t steal them.  

The clock face all aglow (click to enlarge)


Since my work travels have taken me to London several times over the last couple of years - and since I have a nasty habit of taking LOADS of pictures when I travel - it seems I have accumulated quite a few pics of ole Big Ben.  And admittedly, I have only processed and shared a fraction of what I have taken.  I just prefer to process (and then share) things out of order.  It’s more fun for me, and presumably my readers would get bored if I posted 100 photos of Big Ben, 100 days in a row.  Ain’t that right?  




By the way, I’m not ashamed to admit that I frequently take photos of the same things I have photographed on previous trips - like Big Ben, in this case - because conditions are always different, and therefore the photos are always different.  Plus, I feel differently each time I sit down to process something.  I can create the mood I want to create by moving some sliders arounds.  It’s all pretty damn fun, actually.

An iPhone shot of Big Ben taken from the back seat of my cab.

And yes I take plenty of pics with my iPhone too!


Like this one ----->>>>>


Anyways, I hope the fact that I repeat a lot of my subjects doesn’t mean I am unable to come up with creative, original ways of seeing things.  I like to think that it allows me to get to know something much better, and to learn how to use the “monotony” of shooting something again and again as a way to spark that creativity inside of me.  Plus, if I just really like something, I am going to shoot it 6 ways to Sunday (that is NOT proper English).

A great sunset over Big Ben, taken with my iPhone then adjusted in Snapseed and TangledFX (click to enlarge)

So, when I go to London, what’s on my list?  Big Ben.  And a bunch of other stuff.  But always Big Ben.  It’s there, it’s big, and it’s awesome.

A tilted view of Big Ben during sunset (click to enlarge)

And I would say to add it to your list, but let’s be honest...we both know it’s already there.  Enjoy it, and tell Ben I said howdy when you see him!  He'll be there waiting for ya!


Sunset on Big Ben (and on my ode to it!)