This shot was taken around Noon on a rainy summer day. For someone who is used to dry summers in Los Angeles California, it was surprising to be reminded that summer rain can be cold. Options to take some good shots in those conditions, and still stay dry, were few.
Because this was taken around Noon, there was still plenty of natural light coming down through the massive and beautifully decorated ceiling windows. They projected the overcast light creating the perfect softboxes.
I used my trusty old Canon 5D Mark II with even older Canon 17-40mm f/4L lens. Lens being so wide, it's more forgiving to body movement, so the photo came out pin sharp even the light was far from optimal. I had no tripod with me, so I placed my camera on a staircase ledge and used slower shutter speed to try and capture people with slight motion blur, to add to photo's dynamics.
For this specific kind of a shot you actually need a good lens. If you like to walk around a lot and have steady hands, you can go without a tripod. Placing a tripod in a heavy traffic spot that I chose for this shot can be daunting, and also people who are passing you by won't be as relaxed as they would with someone who only has a camera in their hands. Regarding the light, since this is a massive structure - lighting it artificially can be either astronomically expensive/impossible so you should simply try and use the famous English slightly overcast weather to your advantage. Try as many frames as you can until you find the perfect one, and enjoy in this life that we live as photographers.
As a great admirer of English architecture, in that glorious city I chose to spend few precious moments at the best Natural history museum in the world. Entrance with a fully assembled dinosaur was awe aspiring, and I wanted to capture museum's patrons in motion, to show the living and young among the extinct and ancient. Have you noticed the huge tail in the center?
I shot in RAW format (which I always recommend since it gives one so much more processing latitude and sheer power) and processed the image in Adobe Lightroom. I used higher than usual amount of "clarity" (between 50 and 70) to emphasize the rough textures of old brick walls and stone arches. The whole image was desaturated slightly to honor building's age one more time, and sharpened slightly prior to print.
In my camera bag
My street setup today consist of Canon 5D Mark IV camera and following Canon lenses: 16-35 f/4L IS, 24-70 f/2.8L II and 50mm f/1.2L, circular polarizer, two ND filters and remote cable release, all tucked inside my favorite ThinkTank Retrospective 7 bag. Commercial shoot setup consists of Canon 1DX Mark II camera and following Canon lenses: 16-35 f/4L IS, 24-70 f/2.8L II, 70-200 f/2.8L II IS, 50mm f/1.2L, 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS and 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye. I also carry around few filter sets, Canon 600EX-RT speedlite, Elinchrom Ranger Quadra strobes and Slik Pro 700DX tripod with Vanguard SBH-250 ball-head. Camera bags are ThinkTank Urban Disguise 60 II, Kata DR 467 backpack and phenomenal new Elinchrom ProTec location bag.