It is true that as a street photographer I am interested in anything, anywhere. And yet, while it is important to be open to everything at all times, wherever you are, I do enjoy revisiting the same parts of town over and over again, getting familiar with a neighbourhood, and developing a sensitivity to its unique rhythms, patterns, and character. So, here’s my top 5 London street photography spots, in reverse order…
5 – South Bank
With a guaranteed blend of surreal tourist behaviour, strong architectural structures, and a constant flow of life, the South Bank is a very fruitful place to explore with your camera. I like to spend time amidst the brutalism of the South Bank Centre, stay put a while at the base of the London eye, or simply walk, slowly and attentively, from west to east along the river with the afternoon sun on my back and all before me illuminated.
4 – Soho
When you’re optimistic, when you believe something’s going to happen, there’s a secret poem to be found down every side street in Soho that says something about life and the lives we live. When you get lost in this labyrinth is when you’re most likely to find what you’re looking for.
3 – Westminster
As the heart of British political life, with its sense of history and prestige, with its uniforms and monuments and flags, photographing in Westminster has for me always been about looking at, and representing power. Below the surface of selfie-taking tourists, there are layers of force, security, surveillance, and strength that are hard to see, let alone photograph. When I shoot in Westminster, my subject becomes the nation, its sense of self, its identity, and my relationship to it.
2 – Camden
Having recently moved to the area, this is now my local hunting ground, and I’m already hooked. There’s so much colour and character, so many parts and pieces to the neighbourhood in such a condensed area. Perhaps it’s because I’m still exploring Camden, still learning the lessons of its streets, but I get the feeling that every time I go, there’s something to be gained, some discovery to be made, some revelation waiting to happen.
1 – City of London
I started looking at the City of London – the ‘Square Mile’ – during the UK lockdowns, and I’ve just kept going back ever since. It’s become a sort of surreal playground for me, in which the aim of the game is composing its curious and compelling human moments in relation to a towering world of shimmering financial wealth. I guess its the gloss of the buildings against the plainer surfaces of human life that keeps me interested.