Westfield London shopping centre in Shepherd’s Bush, London

Westfield London shopping centre in Shepherd’s Bush, London

Sunset, sky and cranes in silhouette

The Westfield London shopping centre in Shepherd’s Bush (or is it in White City?) took about half a century to build (I exaggerate). Month after month the towering cranes said “come and take our photo”. Especially in the evening when the sun was low in the sky.

What is “Westfield London”?

These things are subjective. In my humble opinion Westfield London is a large boring shopping centre located in White City, London, W12 7GF. Or perhaps it is in Shepherd’s Bush? Or both? It is pretty large and covers a lot of ground. Westfield London is the kind of place it is difficult to stay awake in, so it is best to stay mobile. But that’s just me; I have never felt comfortable in shopping malls, but I do know many people love them. I remember my wife getting excited by the prospect of visiting it (although she did come back feeling disillusioned). It’s purpose presumably is to make money for someone or other.

But even I thought it looked interesting when it was still a construction site. At least from a photographic point of view.

“Non-professional photography”

I took these photos in June 2007. At that time I was still working in science before I became a professional photographer. I was using a Konica Minolta DiMAGE A200 which in hindsight seems rather quaint. But it was a camera that had some nice features. For example it had a 28-200 (equivalent) zoom lens and a screen that flipped out and rotated however you wanted it. It also had a stabilised chip! Back in 2007 these features were quite something. But the performance at higher ISOs was rubbish, and it was not a fast focusser. Is that a word, “focusser”? It is now.

Westfield London at sunset

Many times I drove past the construction site of Westfield London, and I was always struck by the drama of the cranes against the sky. In fact my wife and daughter both pulled my leg because I liked to photograph cranes! I think they thought it was a bit sad.

But one night I got lucky. At that time I travelled with my rather quaint camera and a small tripod in the back of the car, specifically to catch the cranes looking good one day. When I saw the sky, clouds and vapour trails I realised that tonight might be the night I get lucky.

Westfield London today

I don’t have any up to date photos of Westield London to show you. If you are interested you can find some online. If you want to see what it looks like now from roughly where I photographed it, you can drive round the Shepher’s Bush roundabout using Google streetview. The sign that says “subway” is a good landmark.

Technical comment

The quality of these images is not that good, at least when compared with the photos I take these days using proper professional equipment. However maybe that doesn’t really matter when the images are only being viewed online. The huge range of the zoom lens on the DiMAGE A200 helped me to frame the images as I wanted (this camera has a 28-200mm equivalent lens). Photoshop enabled me to force the vertical lines to be more vertical in post production. (When used at wide angles, the lens makes the tops of the cranes converge somewhat, and I “fixed” that in post production).