Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Night light

The O2, formally the Millennium Dome, in Greenwich, London. Image by Jason Hawkes

Many years ago, my family used to make a journey up to see my grandparents in the North East of England. It was only an hour drive and we would go up on a regular basis. Going home after a great day was sad but during the winter months we would have one last visual treat - the vast expanse of the Seal Sands industrial area would come into view.

During the daytime it was just an ordinary industrial scene but at night the vast refineries and factories at Seal Sands, Teeside were illuminated like something out of a futuristic science fiction film - think the start of Bladerunner and you'll come pretty close. In fact Ridley Scott ,who directed Bladerunner, grew up on Teeside and based those very film scenes on the night time views of Seal Sands. I never did manage to capture the magical sci-fi feel of Seal Sands on film but Ridley certainly did.

It's a similar type of night 'light' landscape that has been captured in all it's beauty by a British photographer based just outside London. Jason Hawkes has some great night time images of the UK capital - all taken from a helicopter with a hire charge of around £1150 per hour ! The problems with vibration from the helicopter and the slowish night time shutter speeds means being careful during a shoot. Jason links his camera to his Macbook Pro so that he can view the photographs as he shoots to check the image sharpness.

The website at is well worth a look and also features some terrific daytime aerial photography of the UK.

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