Morning! It's almost the bank holiday and time to celebrate The Queens Diamond Jubilee and after my post about several events in London this coming weekend, Nikon contacted me with some great advice for taking photos at such events. They have put together a map of the best vantage points to gain great photos of the Diamond Jubilee Pageant as well as top tips for Street Party photography.
Get into position
With over three decades’ experience of photographing the Royal family, Nikon Pro Arthur Edwards, knows better than anyone what will be the most sought-after image on the day. He explains his top pick from Nikon’s pageant map:
“The Gloriana, a 90ft long barge that will be the largest rowed vessel in the country, will be the star of the show on Pageant day. It will lead the procession and will of course go at a rower’s pace. The great thing about it is that as it’s a low boat, spectators near City Hall and the Pool of London will be able to get a picture of Gloriana in the foreground, and the Spirit of Chartwell, carrying the Royal family, sailing up behind it."
- Get there early and make sure you’re in position.
- If you don’t get your pictures, you don’t get your memories. Make sure your camera is fully charged and keep it in your hand ready to take a shot as soon as you spot something.
- Make use of the whole long weekend. The great thing about the Jubilee is that we’re talking about four days of photo opportunities. Get ready to snap street parties, people dressed up, Union Jack flags popping up all over the place, and some typically British pomp and ceremony.
- Don’t be frightened to ask people to move to the left or right so that you can get a clearer view of proceedings.
- Also don’t be afraid to ask people to pose: if they’ve dressed up, chances are they’ll love the attention!
- Make the most of the Easy Panorama feature on Nikon COOLPIX cameras to take a sweeping vista of the river, and capture the sheer scale of the event. This will be one of the largest flotillas ever assembled on the river, and nothing quite like it has been seen since the reign of Queen Victoria.
- Try taking some video clips: music plays a large part in the Jubilee events, so try capturing the entire experience. To avoid a shaky video, you’ll need vibration reduction technology, which you can now get in compact cameras for as little as £100.
- Try and get a picture of the Queen. She is the only reigning monarch in living memory for most people in this country, and the Jubilee events mark a tremendous achievement. Even more than that, a picture of our smiling Queen is truly inspirational: I always think if she is smiling, everything’s alright with the world.
- Don’t forget to take some crowd shots and pictures of all the venues, and get a picture of yourself there!
- If it rains, don’t let it put you off. Rest assured that the Queen will wear a vivid colour to stand out from dreary weather, and she uses a clear umbrella so that spectators can still see her.
Location, location, location
- Imperial Wharf – This is where the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will join the flotilla procession. They will board the Royal Yacht Britannia's Royal Barge, and the barge will take them to the Spirit of Chartwell. The Queen hasn’t been on the Royal Barge since Britannia was de-commissioned in 1997, so this in itself will make a poignant picture.
- Cadogan Place – Where the young Royals will join the Spirit of Chartwell, so if it’s a picture of William, Kate and Harry you’re after, you might want to head here.
- Butler’s Wharf / City Hall – Here you can capture the ships in the flotilla as they go through Tower Bridge. The bridge will be raised, and the most breath-taking shot of the day is likely to be when the two boats leading the flotilla, the Gloriana and the Spirit of Chartwell, pass through.
- Between London Bridge and Tower Bridge – The flotilla will pass through a spectacular avenue of sails made by traditional Thames sailing boats, oyster smacks, square riggers, naval vessels and other impressive ships there will be loads going on here, including a gun salute. This avenue of sail is probably where you’ll get closest to any of the bridges – the areas on and around the bridges are invite-only.
- Battersea Park – The Viewing Area along the top end of Battersea Park is the perfect vantage point to get a panorama shot of the river pageant. The £5 entry fee to get into the park should mean that crowds will be slightly less than elsewhere along the water, and the ticket will be worth its weight in gold for getting you lots of photo opportunities. There will be lots of 1950s themed spectacles worth snapping – including a 1952 bandstand tea dance, a beautiful tea-garden featuring a record-breaking attempt for the tallest cake, and a Village Green.
- Opposite the London Eye or the Houses of Parliament – If you want to get a really stand out shot, you need to think not only about the boats, but also about the background that you’ll get. If you place yourself on the opposite side of the river to the London Eye or the Houses of Parliament, your shot of the flotilla will be perfectly captured against an iconic London landmark.
Councils have had record applications for street parties this year. If you’re not heading to London to be front row for the official events, there’s still plenty to capture for posterity.
Arthur advises: “If you’re having a street party or another kind of celebration, make sure you try to capture the mood of the nation – get dressed up in your finery and make sure you take lots of pictures of the children."
Tips for street party photos
- If taking photos of children, get down to their eye level. This is what Harry, William and Kate do brilliantly when they’re speaking to children – it puts them at ease, and means a photographer is more likely to get a natural photo.
- Get creative with your pictures – Parties are the perfect time to use some of the filter effects on your camera, like turning the background black and white and picking out only the colours of a flag.
- Capture all the little details that reflect the quintessential Britishness of events – from the bunting to the cakes and the picnic tables.
I hope this helps and that you all have a wonderful time if you are attending any of the fantastic events in our capital this weekend or at your own Street Parties. I will be back tomorrow with some fab ideas for commemerative keepsakes to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee.
Have a great day,