Please share on twitter:

Street Photography Locations In London

Everything about London makes the city perfect for Street Photography. So many vibrant and diverse locations are a few mintues walk from each other. The architecture is amazing, with a dense mix of old and new in the same street. The people are interesting to watch and photograph, and the changable weather means a single location takes on a different personality on every visit.

I'm lucky to get to visit London regularly and have found a few favourite spots that I like to visit at different times of day to create street images.

Here they are.

Soho and Mayfair

Soho

This is a great area to explore with a camera at any time of day. Look for shapes and shadows in the narrow passages. There are regular markets which make for a great place to warm up. Start at Leicester Square and take a walk towards Oxford Street, getting lost in every possible direction, along the dual spines of Wardour Street and Berwick Street. Saturdays are a great time to visit this area as this is when there are lots of people around doing interesting stuff!

Chinatown

I discovered Street Photography as a genre by walking around Chinatown at night and photographing people interacting with the particularly colourful surrounding. Really good at dusk in the rain too because the bright colourful reflections from the shop windows and decorations provide an electrified scene. Lisle and Gerrard Street are the two main roads in this area, both easy reach from Leicester Square / Piccadilly Circus Tube. Come at dusk with your fastest prime lens and any camera which can shoot sharp images at faster ISO settings.

Brick Lane

This area has always attracted artists long before the invention of the modern hipster so is a great area to meet crazy people interacting with the world around them. A really good time to come is when the market is operating, and there's a great atmosphere and lots of people to photograph on Sunday evenings when other areas of London might be quiet. Brick Lane is a short walk from Aldgate stations.

City of London (Financial District)

Stunning old world and new world architecture jarringly juxtaposed makes this a fascinating area to discover for street photography. Finding time to shoot is sometimes hard, so I try to schedule work meetings in the City to start a little after rush-hour so that I can capture the suited city-folk in their natural habit on the way to work. Or head over at the weekend when this iconic neighbourhood is almost deserted of people. This is a great spot to shoot in direct harsh light, affording a chance to play with shadows and strong geometric shapes. Bank is a great Tube station to start a wander in this neighbourhood.

River Thames

Millennium Bridge at night

This is a must visit at night. Visit whilst there is still some colour from the sun in the sky, for maybe ninety minutes after sunset, and shoot one of the stunning river's bridges with a sturdy tripod. This is where digital photographers have it easy; start with a 30 seconds exposure at f/16 in manual mode, and then check the image recorded to ensure you have no clipped (burned out) highlights. Half the time of the exposure if so, double the exposure time if there is poor detail and contrast. Easy! Start at Westminster Bridge and head East.

Mayfair

See some opulently dressed buildings and people from another time, interacting.

Markets

Two markets to avoid as photographers: Borough Market and Camden Market. It's possible to take some great pictures there, but the retailers are pretty unfriendly towards photographers. Make sure you use a small, discrete camera if you are keen to try these markets out.

Here are some images from my past trips to these locations in London :