Marble Arch Ironwork

Detail from the gates at Marble Arch in London stockphoto by John RochaCaption:

Marble Arch Ironwork


Metal gates in Marble Arch London by Samuel Parker in 1828.

The gates show the lion of England , the cypher of George IV , and the figure of St . George and the Dragon.

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One of the perennial problems of travel photography is that you can’t always choose exactly where you are at the right place and the right time.

This time I had decided to stay in Central London for a few days to give myself a decent chance of choosing.

I strolled down to Marble Arch early in the morning setting out at about 6 am.

Still, it was obvious nothing was going to work if I wanted an iconic view.

The light was flat and lifeless, the sky was grey and muddy.

So, what to do?

Well, with all buildings you have a choice of choosing details as well as a full view.

And with famous landmarks it’s perhaps best to look beyond the standard view anyway.

As I walked around and under the arch I was really taken by the superb ironwork of the open gates.

Samuel Parker’s ironwork combines patriotic symbols with superb craftsmanship.

The light levels were not very good and I was travelling light without a tripod or even a monopod.

Luckily the archway and the ironwork provided me with a good substitute and I was able to steady my Canon 5D Mark 11 and Tamron 28-80 SP zoom, my favourite walkaround lens.

I took several photos using different shutterspeed and aperture combinations.

Even when there’s plenty of support for the camera it’s easy to shake or nudge it.

I hoped that one or more of the pictures would have a good result.

I was right – or lucky – and obtained some sharp and detailed results in both horizontal and vertical formats.

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2 Responses to Marble Arch Ironwork

  • TJ McDowell says:

    Lighting on this one ended up adding good dimension. Do you ever carry around an off camera strobe or is that more equipment than you’re wanting to haul with you?

  • johnphoto says:

    Hi T J

    This is quite a tough one. lighting’s so important but in recent years I haven’t taken off camera strobes around with me. I don’t use built in flash as the Canon 5D Mark 11 doesn’t have one. What I do is take a Canon hotshoe flash with me when I think it might be useful and I use it either bounced or with a diffuser. I’m definitely not a fan of direct flash except in certain circumstances when there are no shadows and no reflections – some old church walls for example

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Stock photography by John Rocha at Alamy

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