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Author Topic: London, England at the end of April  (Read 10535 times)
Khurram
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« on: November 11, 2008, 07:50:06 PM »
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I'll be leaving for London, England on Nov 20th and wanted to get some advice on photo oppertunities in London.

Is this too late for fall colors there???  If there is still some good color at this time are there any gardens anyone can recommend.

I'll be there for just over a week and will have the weekend before starting my assignment for adjusting to the time difference which is code for photography time:D

I may also stay in London or take the train to Paris for the following weekend.  So any advice for London or Paris would be appreciated, as well as what to expect weather wise.

Any advice of what to expect at Heathrow airport will also be appreciated.
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jjj
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2008, 09:20:49 PM »
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London is not the place one usually goes to for such photography. However there are some large green spaces around.
Kew Gardens and Richmond Park are two of the biggies and very different from each other, one being quite manicured and with numerous hothouses, the other has the grass and heather  trimmed by the roaming deer. Hyde Park is closer to centre
You may be a bit late for autumnal colours as there have been some cold spells already, though you may be lucky.


Paris - very little greenery comapered to London and the time spent travelling to another city and sorting out hotels, unpacking etc.. is valuable photo time, so I'd go to Paris on another occasion seeing as time is tight. London has somewhat more than 2 weekends of looking around as does Paris.  

Heathrow airport - trashed/stolen bags and over zealous and jobsworthy officials who if your camera bag is 2mm too big they want it to go in the hold.    Can't remember if the stupid 1 bag rule is still in force at Heathrow - worth checking.
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SteveBlack
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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2008, 04:48:45 PM »
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Afraid you'll miss most of the fall colours.  I haven't been to Hyde park in a few weeks, but the trees in my neighbourhood (walking distance) are already half-bare.  Still plenty to explore!
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Box Brownie
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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2008, 04:25:54 AM »
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Hi

If you are happy to include some cityscape viewing I recommend Tower Bridge link here http://www.towerbridge.org.uk/TowerBridge/English we went up it on Tuesday and as Brit who has driven over the bridge oh so many times this was the first chance I had to do the tourist 'bit'.  Costs 6 which IMO is very much worth it for the insight into this iconic landmark and the views are stunning.

HTH
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MarkL
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« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2008, 06:30:47 AM »
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London is not really a good place to shoot anything landscape! Also bear in mind the weather we have here - expect overcast flat light which makes night shooting a good option.

Stuff that is good to shoot in London:

Buildings around Canary Wharf (note: security will get you if you use a tripod!)
Lloyds building at night looks really cool
Lots of cityscape night shots to be had from south bank, the bridges are nice to shoot too
Oxford street is great for street photography if it's your thing but you have to have good reactions (it's manic!)
Columbia Road Flower market on Sundays
Go on the London eye and shoot from the pod
Entertainers in covant garden - getting peoples' reactions to mimes etc is also fun

That should keep you busy! If you get bad weather go to the photographers gallery (http://www.photonet.org.uk), the AOP (http://www.the-aop.org), Annie Leibovitz exhibition at the National Protrait Gallery(http://www.npg.org.uk/annieleibovitz/index.htm) or chat to the friendly guys at silverprint in waterloo
« Last Edit: November 13, 2008, 06:35:57 AM by MarkL » Logged
Khurram
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« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2008, 08:14:14 AM »
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Quote from: MarkL
London is not really a good place to shoot anything landscape! Also bear in mind the weather we have here - expect overcast flat light which makes night shooting a good option.

Stuff that is good to shoot in London:

Buildings around Canary Wharf (note: security will get you if you use a tripod!)
Lloyds building at night looks really cool
Lots of cityscape night shots to be had from south bank, the bridges are nice to shoot too
Oxford street is great for street photography if it's your thing but you have to have good reactions (it's manic!)
Columbia Road Flower market on Sundays
Go on the London eye and shoot from the pod
Entertainers in covant garden - getting peoples' reactions to mimes etc is also fun

That should keep you busy! If you get bad weather go to the photographers gallery (http://www.photonet.org.uk), the AOP (http://www.the-aop.org), Annie Leibovitz exhibition at the National Protrait Gallery(http://www.npg.org.uk/annieleibovitz/index.htm) or chat to the friendly guys at silverprint in waterloo

Thanks for the suggestions.  Are there any actual rules against tripod use or does security just hassle you?
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Khurram
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« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2008, 08:17:08 AM »
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Quote from: Box Brownie
Hi

If you are happy to include some cityscape viewing I recommend Tower Bridge link here http://www.towerbridge.org.uk/TowerBridge/English we went up it on Tuesday and as Brit who has driven over the bridge oh so many times this was the first chance I had to do the tourist 'bit'.  Costs 6 which IMO is very much worth it for the insight into this iconic landmark and the views are stunning.

HTH
Thanks for the suggestion.  I think my hotel is right next to the bridge, so it should be one of the easier excursions to do
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Khurram
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« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2008, 08:18:28 AM »
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Quote from: jjj
London is not the place one usually goes to for such photography. However there are some large green spaces around.
Kew Gardens and Richmond Park are two of the biggies and very different from each other, one being quite manicured and with numerous hothouses, the other has the grass and heather  trimmed by the roaming deer. Hyde Park is closer to centre
You may be a bit late for autumnal colours as there have been some cold spells already, though you may be lucky.


Paris - very little greenery comapered to London and the time spent travelling to another city and sorting out hotels, unpacking etc.. is valuable photo time, so I'd go to Paris on another occasion seeing as time is tight. London has somewhat more than 2 weekends of looking around as does Paris.  

Heathrow airport - trashed/stolen bags and over zealous and jobsworthy officials who if your camera bag is 2mm too big they want it to go in the hold.    Can't remember if the stupid 1 bag rule is still in force at Heathrow - worth checking.
I appreciate the suggestions.  I'll do a search on the Key Gardens and Richmond Park.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2008, 09:13:55 AM »
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Quote from: Khurram
Thanks for the suggestions.  Are there any actual rules against tripod use or does security just hassle you?
Not really. They just don't have anything else to do to fill their hours, and it's not a big mental leap from spotting a camera and tripod to deciding you must be conducting covert reconnaissance for jihad....

Round Canary Wharf is privately owned land, so they can set the rules. If you're quick, you can get your pictures and move on. If they do approach you, just play ignorant, and ask them lots of awkward questions - enough to encourage them to look the other way next time they spot a photographer.

Another good place is Speaker's Corner in Hyde Park on Sunday. And on Saturday you're close to the Borough Food Market.

John
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2008, 09:17:58 AM »
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By the way, I see you may be Asian / M Eastern. My quip about jihad wasn't directed at you - I feel that's how I'm treated by these security goons.
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situgrrl
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« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2008, 01:06:16 PM »
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Get up to alexandra palace for amazing views across the city.

RE Tripods - they can be major issues I'm afraid.  In Cardiff I was detained by CSOs and had 5 officers come and convince me to leave...I did - though they had no legal remit to do so.  Print this and keep it in your bag http://www.sirimo.co.uk/media/UKPhotographersRights.pdf

Cops don't tend to be an issue - it's Community Support Officers (CSOs) that are.  You can tell the difference as CPOs have a blue band around their hats instead of the check pattern.  Always be unfailingly polite with them and be aware that they are trained to take charge of a situation and compel you do do as they wish by taking a psychological upper hand.  if you are more polite than them - and you know the law - then they are likely to get embarrassed and scuttle off pretty quickly.  Are you traveling on business?  If so, I would suggest you keep proof of employment with you to prove your photography is not work related.

You will notice from the law that photography for pleasure is NEVER illegal on public property providing no other law is being contravenes AND it is not for commercial purposes.  The onus is therefore on the police to provide "reasonable grounds for suspicion" that it is your intention to PASS photographs USEFUL to "enemy combatants."  If there is not reasonable grounds for this - and you are arrested - you can sue for unlawful arrest.

The reality is that such a case is not worth fighting - but if things get sticky, it is something that is worth bringing up politely.

The likelyhood of arrest is VERY slim but the likelihood of someone coming over for a chat is much more likely - and directly proportional to the amount of kit you are using.  If you intend on setting up shots on a tripod, spending a long time composing or waiting for the light, I would suggest calling the Met and informing them in advance.  12 hours should be plenty of notice.  Get a reference number and the name and time of the call....the chance of a chat is not reduced - but it gives you some legitimacy that can be easily and quickly verified.  

Bare in mind that a tripod, whilst not illegal - can be an "obstruction" - if you are using one in a busy area - expect hassle.  My solution is http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/manfro...8|69&idx=72

Heathrow - make sure your hand baggage of the correct size.  Leave plenty of time as it's slow and don't wear your 20 hole doc martens (as I did last time) as you have to remove your shoes for x-ray.  If you fly with a good airline though, you shouldn't have major issues.  Don't mention bombs - even in a legitimate context as some muppets get really jumpy.

HTH

Charly
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jjj
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« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2008, 08:14:36 PM »
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Quote from: MarkL
Buildings around Canary Wharf (note: security will get you if you use a tripod!)
Quote from: johnbeardy
Not really. They just don't have anything else to do to fill their hours, and it's not a big mental leap from spotting a camera and tripod to deciding you must be conducting covert reconnaissance for jihad....
I had problem doing a shoot there in 2000, before all the security scares.

Quote from: johnbeardy
Round Canary Wharf is privately owned land, so they can set the rules. If you're quick, you can get your pictures and move on. If they do approach you, just play ignorant, and ask them lots of awkward questions - enough to encourage them to look the other way next time they spot a photographer.
The rules are no professional photography and as only professionals use triopds I was allowed to carry on doing the obviously non-amateur shoot as long as I left tripod alone. The guard was actually quite relaxed about such things and although he knew I was on a job I was allowed to continue. But this was before photographers suddenly turned into paedophilles and terrorists. It also helped that is was Sunday and therefore empty - it's a business area.
The no tripod rule is a shame as I had [still have] an idea for an image that required the camera to be locked down whilst several shots were taken.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2008, 04:07:53 AM »
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Actually, there's always (ie since 89-90) been a problem with security goons round there, and you are also forgetting the IRA bomb was in 96. That's when security and the appearance of security really tightened up in the area, and it coincided with much more CCTV so the goons could just watch you from their portakabins without spoiling their enjoyment of yesterday's Sun.

You get similar hassles all over London where apparently-public spaces such as the London Eye or the City Hall area are in fact privately owned. I just pick my moment for using the tripod, often when I'm ready to leave. With better high ISO performance, you have to wonder how long it will be before they try to interfere with anyone using a camera bigger than a cellphone.
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spidermike
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« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2008, 04:55:36 AM »
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If you can get out slightly west of London (train services are good) then Windsor Great Park is a good bet as well. On misty mornings you can get some great shots of deer and Windsor Castle.
I am often pleasantly surprsied when I go to London - spend some time looking upwards and you will see much old architecture that commercialisatino has obscured at street level.  

I once googled 'photography guide to london' and came up with these (as well loads of others). I see the second one has similar info for Paris:
http://photo.net/uk/london
http://photoguide.to/london/

Enjoy yourself!!

Mike
« Last Edit: November 14, 2008, 04:56:00 AM by spidermike » Logged
MarkL
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« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2008, 06:34:26 AM »
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Quote from: johnbeardy
Actually, there's always (ie since 89-90) been a problem with security goons round there, and you are also forgetting the IRA bomb was in 96. That's when security and the appearance of security really tightened up in the area, and it coincided with much more CCTV so the goons could just watch you from their portakabins without spoiling their enjoyment of yesterday's Sun.

You get similar hassles all over London where apparently-public spaces such as the London Eye or the City Hall area are in fact privately owned. I just pick my moment for using the tripod, often when I'm ready to leave. With better high ISO performance, you have to wonder how long it will be before they try to interfere with anyone using a camera bigger than a cellphone.

So far canary wharf has been the only place I have been hassled anywhere in London and I pretty much expected to given security are always around. I think I got lucky at the London eye - City Hall has always been fine.

It does depend on the camera too I think, if I set up my LF camera I think they would freak out more than a dslr.
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JMCP
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« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2008, 11:41:37 AM »
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Quote from: jjj
Heathrow airport - trashed/stolen bags and over zealous and jobsworthy officials who if your camera bag is 2mm too big they want it to go in the hold.    Can't remember if the stupid 1 bag rule is still in force at Heathrow - worth checking.


If only this was true, I have just returned from a couple of flights to/from Heathrow and there were far too many people taking two large bags on to the plane and causing the rest of us with one bag to walk up and down the aisle looking for somewhere to squeeze our bags, as per usual, the folks with the large and/or multiple bags try to rush on to the plane as quickly as possible to take make sure they get  their precious bags in the overhead lockers at the expense of the rest of us.


Cheers John
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2008, 03:59:38 PM »
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When I went through Heathrow a few months ago, they had abandoned the "one item only" rule, and it's now back to one regulation-size carry-one plus one "small item" (purse, laptop case, etc.).  However, they were very strictly enforcing the size limits (overzealously, in my case - the security person tried to confiscate my carry-on as too big, "showed" me it was too big by trying to put it into the template at an angle, and finally was persuaded to let me carry it on when my husband grabbed it from her and put it into the template himself to show it fit...).

Lisa
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« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2008, 08:35:50 PM »
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[quote name='Khurram' date='Nov 11 2008, 08:50 PM' post='236285']
I'll be leaving for London, England on Nov 20th and wanted to get some advice on photo oppertunities in London.

Is this too late for fall colors there???  If there is still some good color at this time are there any gardens anyone can recommend.

Not the best time due to overcast skies in November, but as a former resident of Greenwich there are some excellent photo opportunities such as Greenwich Park where the Greenwich Observatory at the top of the hill and Queen Anne House at the bottom is located.  The view from the top towards the Thames river can be fruitful and across the road from the Park Entrance fronting on to the Thames river, you have the very impressive Royal Navy College buildings with a beautiful painted ceiling, an old Navy/army hospital as well as the Cutty-Sark, the famous sail boat (in dry Dock), badly damaged by fire a few years ago, but I believe is now restored.  Also some nice pubs on the riverside for lunch and refreshments.  Greenwhich is located about 20 minutes by commuter train from Charing Cross station located just south of Trafalger Square, if memory serves.  The old Roman Road to Kent runs over, now under nearby Blackheath.
Enjoy your visit
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yaya
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« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2008, 07:39:37 PM »
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Quote from: Khurram
I'll be leaving for London, England on Nov 20th and wanted to get some advice on photo oppertunities in London.

Is this too late for fall colors there???  If there is still some good color at this time are there any gardens anyone can recommend.

I'll be there for just over a week and will have the weekend before starting my assignment for adjusting to the time difference which is code for photography time:D

I may also stay in London or take the train to Paris for the following weekend.  So any advice for London or Paris would be appreciated, as well as what to expect weather wise.

Any advice of what to expect at Heathrow airport will also be appreciated.

Richard Bryant's London book is a must have for anyone interested in London's landscapes and cityscapes.

To appreciate the photos you should visit the exhibition at Somerset House. Those big lambda prints are absolutely stunning.

Regent's Park and its neighbour Primrose Hill are among my favourite parks along with Hampstead Heath (and the beautiful Kenwood House at the top).

Kew Gardens this time of the year are amazing with all the Christmas decorations and activities - you just need to be lucky with the weather. They've also just released the 250th anniversary book

More on my list: Richmond Park (my favourite) Hampton Court, Kensington Gardens, Hide park, Holland Park, Trent Park, Alexandra Palace, Crystal Palace....it goes on and on really....

Yair
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Slough
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« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2008, 01:39:20 PM »
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Far too late for Autumn colours. You might get some snow, which would be something in London. Unlikely though.

I suppose there is the usual stuff: Houses of Parliament, South Bank. the Gherkin, river Thames and bridges esp. that suspension one, the Tate Modern and wobbly bridge, Buck Palace, China Town, Trafalgar Square, Thames Barrage, Natural History Museum, Albert Memorial and Hyde Park, Rotten Row and horse guards, Golders Green and orthodox jews (in religious garb), various train stations but probably no tripods allowed, London Underground (but no tripods and no flash allowed), Greenwich Museum and various ships (HMS Belfast), Windsor Castle, and so on.

Sadly places like St. Pauls Cathedral ban photography inside.
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