When we first arrived in London my first thought was, “This town needs to be shot in black and white!” Color can be a distraction and London is distracting enough without adding the stimulus overloading colors of late spring. So with that in mind, I spent nearly 2 weeks in London shooting nothing but black and white with my favorite Nikon manual focus lens. Why a manual focus lens? It makes you slow down and think about the shot!
Here are a few of the photos and a brief tour of London. I hope you enjoy…
The London Underground (aka The Tube)
Most Londoners spend a lot of time commuting underground in the city’s extensive subway system. The Underground offers some great photo opportunities, if you are discreet.
Speaker’s Corner at Hyde Park
A corner of Hyde Park is open for public speaking, discussions, and debate. It is a very interesting area and draws a lot of people who have a lot to say about politics and religion. It actually reminded me of many online forums. But I didn’t go there to listen to what they had to say, I went there to take their photos.
Bridges Over the River Thames
The River Thames cuts London in two and has a plethora of bridges to get from one side to the other. Not only are the bridges useful as transportation, but they also make a great subject for photography.
London has over 200 museums and many near popular London hotels. Here are a couple of shots from the inside of our favorites.
One of London’s most visited sites, with the long lines to prove it! Lots of history here and some shiny crown jewels that could not be photographed 🙁
Icons: Big Ben and the London Eye
You can’t go to London without taking photos of these two giant icons. On our last full day in London our daughter reminded us that we had not visited Big Ben or Parliament. Oops! So, not wanting to cause emotional trauma later in life because her evil parents refused to take her to see the two most famous icons in London we hopped on the Underground and showed her Big Ben, Parliament, and Westminster Abbey, which happened to be closed that day (thank God!)
Changing of the Guard
Wow, was this one of the most boring tourist activities ever! 1000’s of tourists gather daily to watch these guys march around and play music. They did play the James Bond theme, which was kinda cool!
Shots From Around Town
Here are a couple of shots that I took that I thought were interesting.
The Queen of England
You can’t go to London without getting a photo of the Queen of England, right? So, we were standing around at the really boring Changing of the Guard (see above) and I heard someone shout, “It’s the royals!” I looked to my left and there was the queens hat in the window of a police escorted limosine flying the queen’s flag. I got one good photo and this was it.
I hope you enjoyed this tour of London in black and white. I must admit that I really enjoyed shooting black and white photos during these 2 weeks and will probably continue to do so in other cities.
You got some great photos. I adore London 🙂
Thanks, Kirsty! London is a great town! We visited London 13 years ago and were not overly impressed with London at that time. It was loud, dirty, and way too crowded. But this last visit we saw that London has really changed from our last visit and we really enjoyed it. It is now the most international city we have visited, so far. Everywhere we went we heard many different languages being spoken from locals and tourists. The city also seems a lot nicer, overall. Cleaner, safer, and a great place to visit… and photograph.
I am incredibly impressed that you “get it” about using a manual lens. I don’t think that can actually be taught…you either figure it out or you don’t and then you get snapshots, not life as art. Some of those photographs are pretty amazing! Great job, Jason.
Thanks mom! Manually focusing the lens is definitely an art. And trying it with the modern lenses does not feel right with the plastic focus ring. I like the feel of the old metal lenses with the super smooth focusing. With the modern cameras and lenses it is so easy to just click it to auto and shoot away machine-gun style hoping you get one good shot. I really miss the older manual cameras, especially my Pentax K1000. I don’t miss buying film and developing, though. 🙂