I spent a few days in London recently and used some of the time taking in some street photography with my Fuji X-Pro1 and 18mm, 35mm and 56mm lenses.
I find street photography in London easier than some other places because there are so many visuals to work with, there are lots of other photographers (tourists) around and everyone is so busy going from A to B that you do not look out of place and can get on with taking photographs without apprehension. The weather was fantastic with the start of summer, and I used my morning and evening walks to take advantage of the fantastic light.
1. Street seller at Westminster Bridge. Prime spot and unbeatable footfall for the tourist market.
2. Cranes standing to attention across the River Thames. London is constantly changing, as much of a living and breathing city as the people who occupy it.
3. Trafalgar Square, looking at St Martin-in-the-Fields church. I sat my Fuji X-Pro1 on a mini-tripod with a 3 stop ND filter for a long exposure to capture the movement within the scene.
4. Nelson’s Columns, Trafalger Square. Watching the comings and goings since 1843.
5. Earl Haig Memorial, Whitehall. A bronze statue in silhouette.
6. Protesters opposite Downing Street. The dog is taking a great interest in something.
7. Westminster Bridge with the Houses of Parliament. Red and blue is the order of the day.
8. Makeshift memorial for the victims of the recent terrorist activities on the bridge.
9. Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament is a popular location for foreign bride wedding photography.
10. The remains of the evening sunlight falling onto a building in shadow.
11. A waiter outside a cafe at Trafalger Square.
12. Nelson’s Column in silhouette. Everything is standing to attention.
13. Muriel at Southbank. Lovely colours in the sunlight.
14. A morning walk on the south side of the River Thames. Walking is so much better than using the tube when you have a camera and the weather is sunny and warm.
15. Red and black are a great combination at the National Theatre.
16. Wooden pier with a backdrop of St Paul’s Cathedral and the modern world.
17. There are over 100,000 hotel rooms in Greater London.
18. Under the bridge in the morning light.
19. The Tate Modern Gallery, Bankside.
20. The Millenium Bridge, which started off as being affectionately known as ‘The Wobbly Bridge’. It was closed for two years whilst the issue was fixed.
21. The Millenium Bridge, with St Paul’s in the background. The bridge provides easy access for commuters travelling between Bankside and the City of London.
22. The Shard, 95 storeys in total and 310 metres to the tip.
23. Morning commute through the ancient streets of London.
24. Morning trains passing through Southwark.
25. Commuters in reflection
26. Heathrow is not far away.
27. I love the sharp anglesand straight lines that modern hi-rise office buildings can provide.
28. Statue near to London City Hall
29. The Shard sandwiched between two office blocks.
30. Construction on the North side of the Thames. The Gherkin is in the mix.
31. A commuter walking towards Tower Bridge. Tower of London in the background.
32. Sunlight reflecting off a modern building.
33. The Shard backlit by the sun.
34. Pedestrians passing through developed office and shopping areas in Southwark.
35. Red is the colour in Piccadilly Circus.
36. Victoria Memorial, The Mall.
37. Bronze statue in silhouette, Victoria Memorial, the Mall.
38. Buckingham Palace in the evening. The Mall was closed off the traffic for military parade practises in preparation for the Queens Birthday celebrations – Trooping of the Colour.
39. Union Jack and the London Eye at dusk.
40. Relaxing on The Mall with no traffic.
41. Practising for Trooping of the Colour down The Mall. British tradition in all its splendor.
42. Trafalger Square at dusk.
43. You are spoilt for choice for nightime entertainment.
44. Big Ben poking up above the treeline at dusk.
45. The London Underground, a city all by itself.
46. A 30 second exposure brings life to a nightscene.
47. The night time lights start to appear on the banks of the Thames.
48. The London Eye in all its glory.
49. Lights a plenty in the evening.
50. An old ship commandered as a drinking venue on the waters of the Thames.
London is all about moving around – from A to B to C…and back again. Like ants building a nest on a spare piece of land. Scurring everywhere – building and doing. Travelling to tomorrow. And travel options are bountiful – on foot, bike, tube, red bus, taxi, pedicar. The choice is seemingly ours.
Westminster Bridge with the London Eye.
London has some fantastic modern architecture spread across the city. I love glass fronted building and the reflections created.
The gentrified Butlers Wharf. Once the world’s largest tea warehouse in the world. Now a mix of luxury flats, restaurants and office space.
Ice cream break by Tower Bridge.
A London Evening Standard newspaper distributor by the entrance to an underground tube station. How much longer will this be a scene on the streets of Central London in the new digital revolution world with instant media streams.
Taking a moment away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The 39 Steps – and a lot more once you have spent a few hours in London.
A meeting place for those who are halfway between A and B.
Stop and chat waiting for the traffic to halt.
A recent trip to London gave me the opportunity to get out onto the streets at night to test the low-light capability of my X-Pro1. London is such a busy place that there is always something going on at every corner, and I have found the best technique for me is to stop and observe for a while out of the way of everyone before taking a shot. The combination of a rich sky at dusk and lighting from buildings and vehicles can really make an image pop.
A London red bus and pedicab competing for customers and road space.
There are some great colours from lit buildings, and the contrast of the colours deepens as the ambient lights falls. Cool Britannia with cool lighting.
Even with urban landscapes, I still prefer to have people in my photos to maintain the sense of living.
London is full of graphic imagery and signs, all competing for your attention.
Amongst the hurly burly of the city, this type of scene can be captured easily without drawing attention to yourself.
A quickly grabbed shot of a pedicab. The X-Pro1 did a fantastic job of coping with a mix of Neon lighting from nearby shop fronts.
Shops for the tourists. On every street….and the ubiquitous black cab.
I am back home now after a short trip to London. I love the hustle and bustle of London, with something going on at every street corner, but it makes me apprciate the relatively quietness of home even more once I return.
London is a great city with so much to see and do. With new architecture mixing it with the historic building, the vista is one big photo opportunity. I left my big heavy SLR kit behind on this visit, relying on my iPhone to grab a few snaps as I went about my business.
My favourite building to date has to be The Shard, topping out at over 1000ft and making it the tallest completed building in Europe.
There are plenty of shiny reflective surfaces in London now creating a very modern feel to some areas.
No trip is complete without a visit to M&M World in Leicester Square
Looking forward to my next trip to London Town already.
This last weekend I have been in London for the annual SWPP convention, taking in masterclasses in portrait and event photography and taking a peek at the latest photographic products on offer at the tradeshow. I also recommend the Gaucho Piccadilly restaurant as a great place to get a fantastic steak on a rainy Saturday evening.
I picked up some great ideas for portrait styles and will look at incorporating some of the ideas into my product range over the coming months, so stay tuned !