During one day in London it is possible to listen to the languages and to observe the various ethnic groups that Fogg accompanied by Passepartout enjoyed in their route around the entire world.
A good starting point could be Hyde Park where over the lovely scenery of foliage and lake it is possible to observe a sample of the different ethnic groups that form United Kingdom capital. Amber and golden are the colours of the day under the low slanting sunrays of autumn. The air is clean and the light ideal for at 100 ISO capture sharp images of people feeding the swans and ducks, jogging, walking or riding horses surrounded by the orange, brownish, red tones of fall leafage.
In response to the necessities of the Chinese sail men who frequented the Docklands arise Soho-Chinatown in Westminster City around Gerard st. Nice spot to shoot at night time the red lanterns hanging in the main entrance arch to Chinatown; tripod, slow shutter speed, wide aperture, 100 ISO. Due to outdoors darkness it will be a good idea to photograph the lit up shops front, cafés, bars, little shops, hairdressers, where activity happens under neon illumination. For that type of pictures without tripod you have to be fast, therefore set the camera at a higher ISO.
The British retirement of India sealed the separation between India and Pakistan; that division is nonexistent in South Hall Little India so called because of the affluence of inhabitants of India and Pakistan. The showcases of the stores, the plastic dummies wearing bright saris, the exotic goods, make a colourful photography. Objective 55-200 or 24-105 Canon are excellent to trap long, medium and close up shots of people and objects.
Notting Hill is a chic district where the greater amount of famous by square meter lives. At the Victorian era it was already full of craftsmen and book stores frequented by wealthy bohemian. In first half of s XX the inhabitants of the Caribbean arrived at the British capital filling it with warm music and articles of dazzling colours sold in the swap meet of Notting Hill, Portobello. Take a whole morning, better on Saturday where all the stalls are opened, your lens 55-200 or 24-105 and wander around hunting photos of the miscellaneous people, books, antiques, clothes, food…
Another type of swap meet is the one of Camden Town, located at the northwest of Charing Cross, selling alternative clothes, music, accessories and universal food. The channels of Candem Locks and the one of Regent border the market. It will be very pleasant to sail the channels by, as for 500 years a part of the London life has been running there, and approach Camden Locks arriving at Little Venice, passing the zoo and continue sailing by Regent Channel that connects the Grand Union Channel with London Docks, old port of London. Finally arrive at the North part of Regent Park, where Enrique VIII hunted. The photos from the barge will show another historical perspective of the town. Set the camera at 100 ISO and fast shutter speed in case you are lucky enough to catch during the journey a heron fishing.
Changing over district one changes to another world; language, costumes, food… That happens entering the district of Hammersmith where tall people, clear eyes and smooth features live. We have entered in Poland. Hammersmith concentrates part of the Polish community that in recent years has arrived massively at London. It will be curious to shoot some of the products sold in one of the many polish shops of the neighbourhood.
Not so far away from Hammersmith but yet another universe, in the Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood of Hendon you can trap, being respectful, interesting shots of another way of living, using your 55-200 lens to capture close ups at a prudent distance.
Another 360 degree turn will result when going to the City, the Financial District of London, where it will be interesting to photograph high scrappers emerging near the Thames and still to its slopes the small and cosy houses town houses of Olde London.
The best site to photograph the dusk of London it will be from the Thames river, when the perpetual clouds of the city cover the sun, making of Westminster Abbey and its Big Ben a black and white photography, until the Eye of London ignites with its fluorescent pink tones, and the Abbey turns amber from its illumination and the Big Ben shines proudly at night. You will be standing at a chosen location, camera set in the tripod, low ISO -wide aperture, shooting one photo after another to get one of the most beautiful panorama in London.
- Time required for this trip: A weekend.
- Traveller profile: Amateur ( What´s this?)
- Itinerary difficulty: Easy.
- Adventure level: Low.
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- Full Frame digital DSLR bodies Canon EOS 5D-Nikon 800
- Canon EF 24-105 mm f4-Nikon 24-120 f4
- Canon 55-200 mm f 4-5.6-Nikon 55-200 mm f4-5.6
- Enough CF cards to store 500 photos per day. A big stack of 8 GB cards (each holds 500 RAW)
- Polarizing and Warming Filters.
- Soft Brush.
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- Hyde Park. In the morning, riders impeccably dressed guide their car horses, while around ten o’clock the Mounted Guard of Buckingham Palace crosses the park.
- Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park and its bridges, swans, ducks. Hyde Park is a cosmopolitan place where all type of people could be seen.
- London Underground. While travelling from one district of the city to another, don’t forget to take a picture of the tube where people of all colours, languages, and faiths swarm around.
- Soho-Chinatown. People, shops, restaurants, billboards and shop windows at night.
- Little India. Women in colourful saris, street food stalls, bright fabrics hanging in shop windows, markets selling all type of species.
- Notting Hill shops and Portobello Market. Bookstores, antique shops, food stalls and interesting people.
- Camden Town. A most popular open-air market full of stalls, shops, restaurants, musicians, prayers, youngsters, bagpipe players…
- Dutch Barges. A lot of people live in these cosy boats. Photograph the flourish terraces, and the colourful barges line across the channels.
- Hammersmith. The polish neighborhood where to buy polish products, colourful and different for a curious shot.
- Hendon where orthodox Jewish live. People, synagogues, and kosher shops and restaurants.
- The City. Financial District. Nice photography of high scrappers in contrast with the sailboats, sailing Thames River, small town houses, and great panoramic of Thames River and glass skyscrapers.
- Westminster Bridge at night. Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, London Eye.
- File format: RAW so you can fiddle with exposure later on.
- For this type of city photographic trip, centred specially in people, the two lenses 24-105 or 55-200 will suite perfectly the necessities for nearer and longer distances.
- Motion pictures of people jogging, London taxis or buses riding, horses trotting are essential ones. To capture motion it will be needed to blur certain elements while focus sharply in a few subjects.
- The faster the shutter speed, the sharper the object.
- Motion could be a sensible manner to communicate moods and action through the camera.
- Blur the background, subject on focus, shooting at slow shutter speed focusing without tripod in the subject.
- The “panning”, following the movement of the object with the camera could be a great option.
- Blur the moving object while focusing on the still background at a slow shutter speed and tripod.
- Blur everything getting and interesting shot at 1/1000th.of a second.
- Use the continuous shooting feature on the camera to capture a series of motion shots and edit them together later on in order to create movement. A tripod is a must using this method.
- During these shots above mentioned it would be advisable 400 ISO at daylight and at 1.600 ISO at night. The DSLR cameras nowadays usually allow up to 3.200 ISO that means that 1.600 will be a good balance between 800 and 3.200 for a non noisy night shot.
- Take a light soft hand carry suitcase to fit comfortably the photograph equipment.
- Be aware of the English airport restriction not carrying more than one bag.
- Wear sturdy, comfortable shoes.
- Insure your camera gear before trip and be sure that your company includes any type of loss and that the coverage is in force worldwide.
- Have a copy of your insured equipment list.
- Leave the cap of the lens at the hotel, you won’t lose it and it won’t bother all the time.
- Taking pictures to people at the street is not forbidden but a nice smile and respectful manners will help.