One last view of the London Eye before moving on.
I’ve chosen again to render this image in black and white. I heard a comment attributed to concert photographer Alan Hess that if the light sucks or if you’re struggling to balance light sources, switch to black and white.
Certainly in this case, the color version wasn’t doing anything for me. I used Silver Efex Pro 2 (affiliate) from Nik Software for the conversion.
When I first picked up an SLR, way back in the 70′s, I shot almost exclusively in black and white since the film was cheaper and I could develop it at home in a temporary darkroom I rigged in our bathroom. I tended mostly to use Ilford FP4.
Nik Silver Efex Pro has some grain effects and tonal range adjustments that mimic many of the classic black and white film stock, so I chose the FP4 effect for this photo.
The London Eye is a cantilevered wheel having support on only one side unlike other observation wheels in other cities. The wheel has 64 spoke cables that work like the spokes of bicycle wheel, holding the rim tight to the spindle in the middle of the wheel. It took seven years to make and install the wheel. On a really clear day you can see 25 miles across London – far enough to see Windsor Castle if your eyesight is that good and if you know where to look.
Each capsule can hold 25 people and there are 32 capsules, one for each of the 32 London Boroughs, so at full capacity the wheel is carrying 800 people. The capsules rotate on the outside of the rim as the wheel turns so when you’re nearing the top you have an unobstructed view in theory. In practice, one or more of your 24 fellow capsuleers will get obstruct your view of what you really wanted to see.