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Heading to London

Discussion in 'Special Sessions, Events, and Tour Announcements' started by seabee1999, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. Good day to all. I will be heading to London in January (13-16). Does anyone have any suggestions on spots for shooting? What might the weather be like? Suggestions on a place for a good beer?

    God Bless,
  2. Too bad you are not here this week, we could get together. I have asked the same question in the General section, hopefully we will get more answers. A couple of suggestions I have gotten are Kew Gardens and the London Wetlands. The latter looks pretty cool, I may spend my Saturday there this week. I'd love to get together, but I'll be in Coventry and Cambridge next week and flying home on the 15th.

    Have a good visit, although it is a tad on the chilly side here now.
  3. Bill, thanks for the info. What gear did you take with you?

  4. I brought my D2H, 70-200 f2.8 AFS VR, 18-70 Kit Lens, SB-800 and my TC's. Plan is to visit the London Wetland Centre on Saturday and then see what I can find on the way out to Coventry and Kenilworth on Sunday. I'll be in Cambridge Wednesday and may find some odds-and-ends there as well. The problem with where I am staying is that it would take me 1 to 1-1/2 hours to get to London proper, and doing that in the evening after work would be rather futile. I'll be taking all my bits with me Saturday, as I am not sure what I will find. I'll let you know then if it all worked out.
  5. We're big London fans!

    Places to shoot:

    - Definitely the Tower (take a Tour, and the guards are very nice posing , too) with the Tower bridge (great spot for evening shots,too) walk from tower tube station to tower bridge and before the bridge left along the shore is a nice little haven with nicely lighted pub (could be Dickens Pub?)

    - Highgate cemetery

    - the Canals (take a boat tour, you can go to the Zoo and further on to Camden) very nice houses along the canals

    - Camden with the Camden Lock (market for street shooting)

    - Greenwich might be nice, too. You can go under the Themse (nice long tunnel) somewhere to grenwich!

    - Docklands with the docklands light railway, nice view over the Themse

    - Big Ben and house of parlamant (Big Ben at night, taken from the Bridge is a nice pic!

    - right next to it, the London Eye!

    - Shakespear Globe theater (don't know the right name right now (they have rebuild the old theater there)

    - picadilly circus (best at night, but beware, very crowded!)

    - definitely kew gardens with the old tropical houses

    should be enough for a few days!

    The beer is great in almost every Pub (I like the Guinness best).

    Make sure to make a guided Night Walk ( there are plenty about different themes Jack the ripper, ghosts of London ....., there are advertises for the Walk almost everywhere (definitely buy the recent Time Out Magazine to know all the dates!)

    you might have already guessed: I love London!

    Have fun there, and drink a beer for me, too.:biggrin: :biggrin:
  6. Got to agree with Michael, a good list he's given you. For the most part you can cover London with your kit lens. I was there last week on a training course so most of my pictures were night time ones - gets dark around 4:30.

    London is busy, so keep a tight hold.
    Parliament is crawling with armed Police - don't point your camera at them - they don't like it.

    Have a great time.
  7. Bill, Mike, & Simon

    Thank you so much for the tips. I will definately go to those places. As for gear, I was thinking of taking this combo with me:

    24 2.8
    35 2.0
    50 1.8
    75-150 3.5

    I am gonna try this combo this weekend while I am in Rome. I have other lenses and cameras too that I could take, but I don't want to be weighed down to much. Thanks for you help.

    God Bless,
  8. Rob


    Jul 28, 2005
    Truro, Cornwall, UK
    Michael's list is good. Try the Victoria and Albert museum and the Albert Hall.

    It's generally cold, a damp cold. So gloves, hat and scarf are essential if wandering about. Londoners get antsy with tourists, sometimes. The city is fantastic, some of the residents less so. Be aware, switch on the sensors and keep safe.
    The Thames offers many opportunities for 'mood' photography, usually on a dropping tide. The changing of the guard at Buck House, daily 11am is a must, colour, pageantry and plenty of opportunity for some candids, people are too busy watching the soldiers.:smile:
    The London Eye is a giant ferris wheel, just downstream from the House of Comedians, otherwise known as the House of Commons, good views of the city. Tickets may be booked in advance online.

    Guinness is now brewed solely in Dublin so hopefully should be better than usual, good luck, stay warm, but above all stay safe. If you are alone, carrying a lot of camera kit and intend some night photography it may not be too ridiculous investing in a rape alarm/personal protection alarm. :eek: 
  9. DinanM3

    DinanM3 Guest

    IF you have time, rent a car and go north to the cotswolds......wow....
  10. Rob, did you take a tripod?

    I'm planning a trip there this Xmas, & I think a tripod may bog me down (Gitzo CF 2227 with Arca-swiss head)

    The problems is I might be with other people, non-photographers. (otherwise I would carry the tripod everywhere)
  11. Rob


    Jul 28, 2005
    Truro, Cornwall, UK
    No, I wouldn't use one in the city, far too bulky. I prefer a good monopod.

    Enjoy the trip.:smile:
  12. Thanks Rob. Now to....

    ...find a monopod....!:Unsure:

    I was attracted to the Bogen/manfrotto range, the Gitzo CF line is so expensive for a monopod.
  13. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  14. I'm siding with Paul on this one - a monpod is good, and I took one with me to London the other week. But I ended up using my mini tripod more than the monopod, actually bought it whilst up there as I was so dissapointed with the results using my monopod. Technique....

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  15. Thanks again to all for the suggestions. Keep them coming, more info is greatly appreciated. The gear I took along with me to Rome this past weekend worked out really well. I will use this same set up for London. I also brought along my FM2n and used it more than my F4. Both are awesome cameras. It was a pretty light set-up. Good for walking around. Thanks again for everything.

    God Bless,
  16. Berenger

    Berenger Guest

    II was out shooting in (central) London last Monday with my new D200. Some places not mentioned. Somerset House (loc:The Strand) - they have a winter skating rink and Ice Wall that should still be there most of January. Millennium Bridge at sunrise/dusk has some good views. Take a boat trip. There is an interesting new building at the station end of Victoria Street that I have not got a picture I am entirely happy with yet. The Gherkin (Swiss Re building) and round there has lots of shiny buildings which can yield some interesting and different pictures. There is also a traditional arcade round there which is photo friendly- Leadenhall I think

    Note the London Eye (Ferris wheel) closes for a month in either jan or feb.
    If you intend to go to Kew Gardens try and do it on a sunny day as there is a collection of glass on show in various parts of the garden which is spectacular and photogenic. Getting the sun behind the glass when you take it can yield some good results. The exhibition form memory ends soon so check before you go.

    A couple of things to be aware of. To avoid trouble do not point your camera at children who are not yours without permission unless it is obvious they are not the subject of the photo. Carry you passport or other form of ID. It is not a requirement in the UK but the present security situation gives the police incredible powers. They are occasionally stopping people who are taking photographs under the terrorism legislation. Being able to identify yourself will help the incident be over swiftly and without too much hassle. Do not try and assert your rights with the police - under the terrorism laws you effectively don't have any. Just co-operate and if you wish to complain do it later. It is very unlikely you will be stopped but carrying an SLR seems to be a magnet to them. Likewise the 'heritage wardens' at Trafalgar Sq and Parliament Sq. Professional photography is not permitted without a license in these places and licenses cost £488 per hour. However these heritage wardens often seem to regard people with an SLR as professionals. Co-operate and then complain to the Mayor of London's office later. Do not point your camera at a policemen. If you want a photo ask first and they may co-operate but quite frankly there are better subjects.

    Generally you can take photos of most things when you are on public property but private owners can stop you taking photos if you are on private property. They can not make you delete any photos and the only thing they can ask you to do is cease taking photos and/or leave and if you refuse use reasonable force to make you leave. There are exceptions mainly for reasons of National Security or where it endangers public safety e.g. power stations or taking pictures of the driver compartment of a tube train using a flash. Photography in museums etc. is often allowed and prohibited areas are usually well signposted but some places ban flash and tripods. The major cathedrals/abbeys have no photographs (blame the p+s's who don't know how to turn the auto flash off) but some of the smaller (Christian) religious buildings permit it. Other faiths I don't know about.

    Photographing people. If they are in a public place they have no right to privacy unless there is a reasonable expectation of privacy e.g. toilets, drug clinics, AA, hospitals. But - children are very much a no-no without the primary caregiver's permission and some adults can get quite aggressive if you take their picture so if you are making them a subject of the picture I would suggest checking it is OK or do it very discreetly. Avoid staking a subject or repeatedly entering their personal space to take a picture otherwise they may have grounds for a complaint of harassment which is a crime.

    Safety - London is generally quite safe but the rules about big cities apply. If travelling at busy times on the underground try and secure any bags, especially backpacks, containing valuables. I use a combination lock through the holes on the zip-pulls. It won't stop someone determined but will stop opportunists. Keep to busy well lit streets inter dark if possible and just keep your wits about you. In 30 years of going into Central London I have never been attacked or robbed (I have been mugged once in outer London when I had been to a good party and didn't take even basic precautions.

    Most of all - enjoy yourself.
  17. Highly recommend Paul's tabletop tripod. I used one much like his for indoors shots in London, either against a wall, a post, on a ledge, table, etc. or against my chest. Try it, you'll like it.
  18. Don't know what you like, but this place really impressed me when we were in London. Got some great photos.


  19. patrickh


    May 4, 2005
    Thousand Oaks
    I hate to be a party pooper, but London weather at this time of the year is usually unpleasant. I would certainly recommend planning for indoor and outdoor alternatives to allow for frequent and rapid weather changes. The lists of places to go are good ones, but check a map - some of them are spread out. Allow plenty of time for travel in the city, even though the tube is pretty good. Basically the whole city is photogenic, depending on where your interests lie. Biggest problem (again the time of year) will be the light. Gray, overcast and short. Dark by 4:30. Places like churches, museums and art galleries should feature prominently on your schedule. Remember most of these places do not permit flash, so you will need fast wide angle. The small tripod will come in very useful there.

    Have a blast in my old home town.
  20. patrickh


    May 4, 2005
    Thousand Oaks
    Oh I forgot the beer. There used to be a famous water hole on Wimbledon Common called the "Hand in Hand". It served hand made beer in the old wood kegs. May well have disappeared by now though
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