#1.

Elizabeth Tower, Big Ben and the Westminster Bridge.

There are likely very few buildings that have been photographed more than the Elizabeth Tower and Big Ben. The problem with photographing iconic structures is that unless your photo has something different to recommend it, it’s probably been done about a billion times before.

Long exposures are one way of distinguishing a photo. Amateur’s usually don’t carry tripods and crisp night shots can set the better photo apart from the hastily taken tourist shot.

The other way to distinguish a shot is by using High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography. I personally find that night shots are served better by HDR than day shots, as long as the HDR remains subtle and doesn’t make the photo look artificial.

This shot is one of my personal favourites because in this particular case the HDR allows the best of both worlds. The details of Elizabeth Tower are nicely shown, the time on the face of Big Ben can be clearly read while the fine details of Westminster Bridge (on the outside and underneath) can also be seen.

The long exposures also blur the water and the sky which makes for a pleasing effect, and as a bonus result in the coloured reflection of the tower in the water.