London has many great locations to take a decent photograph. After a day of exploring, I’ve put together a collection of some of the best places and example photos taken at each location.
I used a Canon 1DS Mark 1 digital SLR, with a Canon 17-40mm L lens for the majority of photos, I also had a tripod which was handy once it started getting dark. It’s possible to balance a camera on flat surfaces a lot of the time, however this isn’t always the case.
From the top of the Monument, you can get a 360 degree view of the skyline of London. It costs £3 to enter, but the view is well worth it. To climb to the top requires ascending 311 steps, so you’ll feel a bit tired by the end, but the views are amazing. At the top of the monument, there’s a metal mesh surrounding the viewing area, which is very annoying if you’re trying to take photos. The holes in the mesh are too small to allow a standard slr lens to fit through, so expect having to do some image cropping. There’s not a huge amount of space at the top, so would be difficult to set up a tripod however there is a small flat surface around the edge of the viewing area to rest a camera on.
Waterloo bridge is a great place to take photos of London, although in order to get close to the buildings a telephoto lens would probably be required. There are 2 main views, one is of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament with the London Eye next to it, and on the other side of the bridge is the London skyline with St Pauls Cathedral, the Gerkin and other famous buildings. You don’t need a tripod here necessarily as there are posts along the bridge which are flat enough to rest your camera on, although make sure to have it secured around your neck as you don’t want it falling into the Thames! The vibration from cars and people walking past can also cause a problem.
St James’ Park
From St James’ park it’s possible to take a good view across the lake towards Buckingham Palace. There’s a lot of wildlife in the park itself so great for wildlife photography, look out for the Pelicans and the very friendly squirrels looking for food.
Along the South Bank
Just past the London eye on the South Bank, there are great views of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament with Westminster Bridge in the foreground.
From the other side of the Thames from London South Bank is the Victoria Embankment. From here you can take a great shot of the London Eye straight in front of you. The wall here is flat so you don’t need a tripod necessarily, but it can help to provide a different angle.
From Greenwich park, a great photo of the London skyline, particularly Canary Wharf can be taken. The best location is right next to the Greenwich Observatory. This photo was taken on another trip using a Canon 20D and Canon 70-300mm DO lens.
With all the neon lights of the huge advertising boards, Picadilly Circus is another great location. You’ll need a tripod if taking a photo at night as there are no suitable flat surfaces nearby, but you can get a great shot of traffic passing below the billboards.
There are many great locations for taking photos around London on top of the ones mentioned above. If you know of any, let me know by writing a comment below!