The Imagery of the Thames

A few weeks ago, Sailing Barge Will fastened onto Tower Pier to pick up some guests for an afternoon Clay Shoot Cruise. It was a beautiful day – sky blue, warm yellowy sun with a fresh breeze – it was the perfect weather for the event (and believe me I’ve been out cruising on a ‘not so beautiful’ day!). The grand old Tower Bridge opened and we left the great City to the stern. We were heading for Thames Mead (beyond the Thames Barrier) where we can moor to a buoy and get the shotguns out without the fear of constant passing traffic!

Watching the tall skyscrapers shrinking in the distance is quite an extraordinary sight. From the flat river, the views of London really are breathtaking. Luckily, today we had an expert Thames photographer, Bill Green, aboard to document and capture the event. The Thames has been Bill’s muse for fifteen years and in that time he has created some beautiful work. Bill says, “My aim is to create dynamic images showing the mixture of historic and post-modern buildings, often using high dynamic range imaging in a subtle way, capturing details and tonal ranges not achievable in a single exposure. For me photography is about painting with light, this is best achieved at dusk or via night shots.”

As for our Clay Shoot, it proceeded full of revelry, humour and gunpowder kaboom! Bill’s eye captured the day perfectly which you can see on his website here. Please take a while to look at his swirling night panoramics and intensely lit Thames features that powerfully tie together the Thames with its industrial past and contemporary urban position as one of the world’s many centres. Perhaps the most fascinating is his exploration of the Thames Path. Bill has ventured down 29 miles of the 184 mile path that was created in 1996 and has taken some amazing stills. Sit down, make a cup of tea and set this gallery onto ‘slideshow’ to get the full effect. There is even an interactive map to give a bit of context to the images, showing how they follow the great river as it snakes along to the sea.

Here at Thames Leisure, we clearly love the Thames or we wouldn’t be here! In a blog a few weeks ago we looked at Dutch Master and gave a little appreciation to the boats that make us who we are. Now it’s time to thank the river. Again, without this beautiful and historic waterway Thames Leisure would not exist. Every time I go to work I get a buzz walking down the pier and seeing the great Thames in front of me. The fresh air, the towering bridges and fast flowing water. A post card London lies at your feet and, trust me, it will send a shivers down your spine. This is the feeling we want to share with you when you take your event to the river.

To celebrate the vistas of the river, we are going to share a different one of Bill’s Thames photos every month for the rest of the year. The photo will be on our home page banner to get you excited about what you will see from the river. We felt that if you haven’t seen the river at night yet, Bill’s work might give you the closest impression of what it would be like to actually be there yourself. Next step, come in person – I’m sure we’ll see you soon!

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