You may already know of the efforts of urban planners to preserve the view of specific places or historic buildings in some cities around the world. These protected views or vistas can have binding legal status for enforcement purposes. You also may be aware that there are thirteen such vistas in London protected by the London View Management Framework.
I visited all of the protected vista viewing points last year, not all for the first time and some more than once. I photographed them but not every day had ideal weather or light. Wind and thermal radiation added their own distortions over the long sight lines in a busy city in the summer. I could have made this a full time project but others have done this more professionally than I could. I preferred to enjoy the views and thereby understand the importance of protecting them.
You can start to read and learn more about protected views on this wiki site.
What surprised me was that the protection is dwindling in the rush to build in a city already overbuilt. For example, the new building behind St Paul’s spoils the effect as seen from Richmond. My favourite building in London may well be The Shard but note how it dwarves St Paul’s when seen from Parliament Hill. I purposely lost St Paul’s in the detail of the huge panorama that spans from the Walkie Talkie to the Millennium Dome. St Paul’s is clearly visible just in from the left edge, before the Walkie Talkie. And the building frenzy in Westminster is surely detracting from the view of the Palace of Westminster when viewed from Parliament Hill.
Two visits to see St Paul’s Cathedral from King Henry VIII’s Mound in Richmond Park (16 km)
left: Canon EOS-1DX w/ MTO-11CA 1000mm f/10 1/125s ISO 250 tripod © Simon Robinson 20190503
right:Fuji X-T3 w/ MTO-11CA 1600mm f/10 1/3200s ISO 3200 tripod © Simon Robinson 20190825
From Greenwich Park, north east of the General Wolfe statue, to St Paul’s Cathedral (7.7 km)
Fuji X-T3 w/ Fujinon XF18-55 f2.8-4 R LM OIS 83mm 1/250s at f/8 ISO 160 (9 shot panorama)
© Simon Robinson 20190817
Three Protected Views
left: from the summit of Parliament Hill to St Paul’s Cathedral (8 km)
Fuji X-T3 w/ MTO-11CA 1600mm f/10 1/2000s ISO 640 tripod © Simon Robinson 20190829
centre: from the centre of the bridge over the Serpentine to the Palace of Westminster (3.3 km)
Fuji X-T3 w/ MTO-11CA 1600mm f/10 1/4000s ISO 2500 tripod © Simon Robinson 20190826
right: from the summit of Parliament Hill to the Palace of Westminster (7 km)
Fuji X-T3 w/ MTO-11CA 1600mm f/10 1/4000s ISO 1000 tripod © Simon Robinson 20190829
From Westminster Pier to St Paul’s Cathedral (2 km)
Fuji X-T3 w/ Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM 960mm f/6.3 1/1000s ISO 400
© Simon Robinson 20190824
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