It’s an island, there is only so much space. When we landed I was unaware of the size of everything. I was expecting a full city, which it was, but the actual size of everything shocked me. We asked a friend where we should stay, so it was easier to get around. We didn’t want a car. We found a spot by Parliament that let us catch the Tube everyday and just walk the city. The amount of tourists was not surprising, we live outside of DC, and it feels there are more people visiting than who live there. I was intrigued by the signs and street markings the most over anything else initially. We did the normal tourist things, but I wanted a few “off the normal path” shots. This was the only usable shot I got of the London Eye. I didn’t want to have the typical travel shots this trip. I loved the streets, the people, and the way the light fell on this historic city. We loved walking everywhere and seeing the cultural differences. When we were able to “tap in” on the Tube with Apple Pay I was hooked on The Underground. The size of the cars are 1/2 of what I’m used to in DC, but I’m reminded of the limited space they have to work with. The brake dust and heat is something of a shock the first time you experience it. The amount of people in such a small area would have intimated me had I never moved out of NM. Since leaving and spending time wandering our city, DC, I’ve taken to street photography more than I thought I would have. I enjoy catching people being people. London offered a ton of those moments. The sheer amount of people walking the streets had to be captured. The tourist looking for things to do. The locals just commuting. The streets had a life of their own. The colors, shadows, and time of year we visited, late March, made for some sharp and drastic light. The color of the cabs versus the color of the muted buildings stood out to me with this one. The shops and tourists were everywhere. We walked right past every street shop without buying anything. I liked watching the clash of cultures combine. I had to take a shadow self portrait with this man’s boots. The bright white, the tan coat mixed so well with his black and red briefcase. One of my favorite personal shots from our trip. I wanted to catch a few people in alleys and side streets. This was just a quick grab walking down the street. I love the placement of the bus just leaving the frame. I love the red phone booths, the red buses, the orange cones, then the blue sky and green light. The foot traffic, and walkability of the city makes for walking and using public transportation easily. The use of mural and graffiti art worked well for this construction wall. I was inspired. We needed a rest break for a snack and a pint and found this gem. The decor, vibe, and location was one of a kind. I hadn’t seen FILA in the US in years. The fashion of the city has its own culture. I loved the Science Museum. The staircase reminds one of Harry Potter, and I loved the detail in the monkeys on the wall. We never took a cab, I would love to take one on our next trip. I would ask the driver questions about the roads, and find out why they became a driver. I typically had two to three cameras on me the whole trip. I was warned right away about knife and scooter crime. Being tall didn’t hurt, but everything was tucked away in my jacket, especially at night. We visited an abandoned church right in the middle of the city, St. Dunstan-in-the-East. The history and culture that was shaped post WWII was always something I was aware of growing up. I watched moves, seen documentaries, but seeing the buildings that were touched from the war was a bit surreal. This was from behind a rain covered glass wall on top of the Sky Garden. I wanted to see if I could capture a cool shot from this perspective. I was impressed with how this came out. The buildings, the street markings, the bus. It was all perfect. I wasn’t able to get great shots in St. Pauls. There was technically no photos allowed. I snapped a few that didn’t come out well. Our tour guide was a sweet, older, retired teacher named Sasha. What was going to be a 30 minute tour tuned into a 45 minute tour with all of her added stories. This shot will always remind me of our tour at St Pauls. We had missed a stop on the Tube and needed to turn around. The view from across the platform caught my eye and I snapped this quickly before the next cars came. The Tower Bridge was a very crowded tourist destination. Often confused with the London Bridge, this massive landmark is typically photographed from the same perspective. I took some shots while walking over the bridge and fell in love with this perspective. The colors popped in the neighborhoods past the Tower Bridge. The rain from the morning had passed, and everything was sharp in color and contrast. The city’s mixture of old and new blended so well together. The small buildings and streets with old buildings contrasted the newer, larger skyscrapers in the distance. I took many pictures of The Shard, and this was the keeper. I was obsessed with the Underground signs we passed. The Clock Tower that holds Big Ben was being repaired and painted. This setting at night was perfect. Tea time. We visited on the morning we departed and took in the smells, and booths opening for business that day. This was Borough Market. An outdoor food and goods collective similar to farmers market items and fresh foods. The color and location was stunning. Right in the middle of the city a few blocks from the Tube, and right under working roadways. I find this “liberated” collection of work fitting to close out the trip. The British Museum was gorgeous, and the collection of material, and historic artifacts were arraigned in beautiful exhibits. It’s a wonderful, small city, filled with amazing locals, food, and culture. We will return often.
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