Visions of London

If we decide that, at its core, photography is most fundamentally concerned with capturing light, then a trip to London, that city of perennial grayness, presents a unique challenge. In my experience, the effect of London on the photographic eye is twofold. Firstly, by routinely operating under flat lighting conditions, the eye is drawn to beautiful or compelling natural light wherever it can be found. Secondly, the pervasive and frequent absence of this light forces the eye to investigate form. Fortunately, London’s forms are varied and fascinating. Much of my formal interest in London lies in its architecture. The juxtaposition of the city’s new construction against its rich architectural heritage prompted a sense of discovery and of place unprecedented in my previous travels.

An apartment complex in Southwark, near the Tate Modern

 

A quiet underpass near Southwark station

 

An evening view of Peckham from a rooftop

One of the greatest assets of my camera was to undermine any inclinations I might have had towards a structured or planned sequence of viewing. The camera clashed directly with the efficient route, producing a navigational algorithm all its own, one which substituted traffic information and mass transit stops for serendipitous encounters. These photographs, then, are not the result of a meticulous scavenger hunt meant to give a complete vision of the city. Instead, they are a collection of those examples of light and form which captured my attention as I walked Regent’s Canal, clambered to the roof of a Peckham warehouse, and circuitously wound my way to the Tate Modern.

A repurposed warehouse in Peckham

 

An apartment complex overlooking Regent’s canal in Camden

 

An evening view of a street near Regent’s Park

Something which might seem notably absent in these images of the British metropolis are its inhabitants. In many respects my trip to London was a highly interactive, highly human experience. However, I find the images of my time there to be a quieter, more personal dialogue between myself and the space. In between doses of the mythologized “life abroad” I ended up producing images that appear to my eye closer to home. Maybe unfamiliar circumstances compelled me to seek familiar results. Or, maybe, I was looking to take something a bit quieter, more intimate with me.

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