I absolutely love London. This city is a big beautiful beast that never stops. I've been fascinated with London for as long as I can remember, but even more so ever since I picked up a camera. I try and travel up there on a regular basis, mainly for anything street photography related. It's one of the best places to go for street stuff, because absolutely nobody cares about a person with a camera. Most of the time you'll just be thought of as another tourist and people don't even batter an eyelid at you. Whenever I'm there, I spend countless hours just walking the streets, looking for photo opportunities, trying not to look too suspect, whilst also taking in the magnificent architecture and history that is everywhere you turn.
I live in a quiet sleepy seaside town of Folkestone, Kent. Basically the complete opposite of London. If I didn't love living by the sea and how quiet life is here, I would move to the city in a heartbeat. But I really like living by the sea. Thankfully though it's only an hours train ride away, so I can live with just paying it random visits whenever I can.
On one of my latest trips to the big smoke, I had a plan to go for the whole afternoon and evening and stay walking the streets right through until the following morning to do a whole host of street photography, with an emphasis on night time stuff. Central London comes to a whole new level of life after the sun goes down. The streets are filled with people, party goers, tourists, hustlers all trying to get somewhere or something. Bars and clubs are packed solid with people looking to let loose and have a good time. You have the street vendors trying to sell all sorts of foods and merchandise. All the while everything is being washed by a sea of neon signs. Everything from sex shops, strip clubs, casinos, and the occasional massage pallor. Because everyone needs a nice relaxing back massage at 3am in the morning.
I spent the majority of my time, walking with no particular place to go, I covered the central area of London, like soho, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus and Covent Garden. After dodging about the 8th person being violently sick on the street, and being offered countless narcotics by some shady looking dudes. I thought a change of pace and scenery was in order. The embankments of the River Thames were a little less crowded and made for a pleasant yet still photo filled stroll. Seeing the many merry folks trying to walk in straight lines, woo potential partners, or people just trying to sober up before heading home made for an entertaining night.
One thing I did stumble across that was a true little gem, was a dance meeting / competition in the very heart of the famous Borough market. Apparently most weekends there you can find this makeshift dance floor where people come to dance the salsa, tango, foxtrot and many other types of dance, I have no idea about. The energy of the place at such early hours of the morning was electrifying. These people where having the time of their life's, getting lost in the rhythm of the music and their dance partners body movements. It was really cool just spectating and being in that atmosphere.
I think I ended up covering about 15 miles throughout my time up there. I just wish that by the time first light appeared at around 4am it wasn't a heavily overcast morning, catching some good shots of the sunrise over London would have made it even better. Never mind I'll have to save that for the next overnight trip. Overall it was a great trip to take. My feet were definitely aching by the time I sat down on the train to go home though. Not that would stop me from doing it again.
Till the next time London.