The new year celebrations in London were billed as the biggest ever fireworks display. Millions of people filled the streets all around the River Thames from where the display took place.
A number of locations were considered – including “official” positions, from where to photograph the fireworks. In the end the London Picture Editor secured a position in the building where Time have their London offices, Brettenham House.
From a balcony on the seventh floor where the style magazine Wallpaper is produced we found a view over Waterloo Bridge, looking south. Here the River bends around on itself and we could see from from St Paul’s in the east to Westminster in the west. A few days before I prepared by shooting a few frames to get an idea of the scene and work out which lenses would be needed on the night.
On new year’s eve I had the luxury of being able to wait in the warmth of an office. Occasional expeditions through the mass of people were made to photograph the big party – much of it happening underneath Waterloo bridge – and the throngs of people from my vantage on the balcony.
This photograph was taken within seconds of midnight as the fireworks display began. It is in fact the sixth frame out of four rolls I shot of the 15 minute display.
The picture appeared as a double page in the European edition of Time. It also appeared as double page in Hello! and was used by both the Daily Mail and the Mail on Sunday.
After I saw the results in the magazine and everyone was happy with the picture I was able to admit to the Picture Editor, this was the first time I’d ever attempted to photograph fireworks!”
David Gordon has always been taking pictures. His career in photojournalism has seen publication in titles ranging from Time to the Stornoway Gazette. He has been represented by Select Photos, Katz Pictures and Corbis Sygma.
David currently lives in Scotland where he doesn’t shoot royals, sport or pap.
Photographer since 1979, founded EPUK in 1999.
See more work by David Gordon