karohemd: (Photo)
Ozzy ([personal profile] karohemd) wrote2011-10-26 12:09 am

[Photo] Up the BT Tower

Thanks to a friend who works at BT I had the opportunity to go up the BT Tower. It's not open to the general public these days, only for private events or during the Open Days in London. The "Tower Flight" I attended is usually reserved for BT employees but they can invite family and friends so that's how I got in. They have quite tight security with handheld metal detectors. The sweeping lobby looks rather swish and has obviously been updated since it was first built in the 60s.
The lift are rather small and have room for about 8 people but they go up at breakneck speed (7m/s). Despite this, it was probably the smoothest large scale lift ride I've been on, you don't really feel the acceleration, just your ears pop about halfway up. The ring room on the 34th floor used to house a regular, public restaurant but these days is only used for corporate events etc. It's glazed from floor to ceiling and rotates slowly (stopping for while, rotating again) so once you've picked a spot, you can just stay where you are.
Stupidly, I'd forgotten to pack my polarisation filter (and when I remembered this morning I couldn't find it) so taking photos through the glass was a bit tricky but not as bad as I feared. Here are a few examples:

Up the BT Tower

Up the BT Tower

Up the BT Tower

Up the BT Tower

Up the BT Tower

Up the BT Tower

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[identity profile] hobbsthepenguin.livejournal.com 2011-10-26 12:29 am (UTC)(link)
Beautiful pics!

What a wonderful view.

[identity profile] bateleur.livejournal.com 2011-10-26 08:22 am (UTC)(link)
I like the effect in that fourth photo where the building has a band of floors still using old incandescent lighting (I assume) with white light above and below.

Cities are amazing!

[identity profile] karohemd.livejournal.com 2011-10-26 08:41 am (UTC)(link)
Indeed they are.

[identity profile] ginasketch.livejournal.com 2011-10-26 08:24 am (UTC)(link)

[identity profile] karohemd.livejournal.com 2011-10-26 08:48 am (UTC)(link)
I was actually surprised there wasn't more light. Just the City is really bright.

[identity profile] psychokatuk.livejournal.com 2011-10-26 08:43 am (UTC)(link)
Amazing photos! We got very similar shots (and had similar glass issues!) from the Government Metropolitan Offices in Tokyo a couple of weeks back.

[identity profile] karohemd.livejournal.com 2011-10-26 08:51 am (UTC)(link)
The trick is a good lens hood, touching it right against the glass and pulling up your jacket around your head. ;o)

Ooh, sounds exciting! Do you have any photos online?

[identity profile] psychokatuk.livejournal.com 2011-10-26 08:54 am (UTC)(link)
We only had my little compact with us that night, as it was our first night and we hadn't unpacked the digital SLR, but yeah, we got as close as we could and blocked out as much light as we could.

Between us we took over 1000 photos over the 11 days, and we're hoping to get them online soon! Steve has a few on his Facebook page, but we're going to set up a Flickr account so we can divide them into folders for each place. :o)

[identity profile] akcipitrokulo.livejournal.com 2011-10-26 12:20 pm (UTC)(link)
Those are fantastic!

[identity profile] karohemd.livejournal.com 2011-10-26 02:56 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you!

[identity profile] pmoodie.livejournal.com 2011-10-26 02:27 pm (UTC)(link)
Nice! I like the fourth and fifth ones best. The orange of the street lights makes a nice contrast with the colder lights in the buildings.

[identity profile] karohemd.livejournal.com 2011-10-26 02:56 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you!
I had actually hoped for more views of that kind but I guess the tower is in the wrong part of the city for that. Those were the only two sections where some sort of infrastructure was visible. Quite bizarre, really.

[identity profile] ffutures.livejournal.com 2011-10-26 03:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Ages ago I wrote a story set in the tower restaurant in the sixties - would you mind me adding a link to this post so people can see what it was like? Except that most of the bigger buildings weren't there then, of course...
Edited 2011-10-26 15:37 (UTC)

[identity profile] karohemd.livejournal.com 2011-10-26 03:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Not at all but I'd prefer if you used the link to my photo blog (http://karohemd.dreamwidth.org/42113.html) as this one is a bit more private.