The man that taught me all I know about photography said that the the most important factor in an exceptional shot is being there. Nothing could be further from the truth. The images that stay in our minds and capture our hearts are of those moments which others fail to see. Honourable mention might go to Robert Doisneau today as it is his 100th birthday (thanks Google).
What strikes me about this picture, besides the fact that it plain out makes me happy, is that there is NOBODY under the Eiffle Tower – okay one person. Oh, how times have changed. I was in this exact same place today and you couldn’t walk through without dodging a mass of people and tour buses. The only place we found refuge was in the playground. But enough about Paris, that will come soon enough. My point is, that times have changed and as a “tourist” it is hard to capture amazing images because my picture is going to be slightly better than Joe Schmoe’s sitting next to me with his Coolpix camera on the top of the hop on hop off tour bus.
It makes photography in these beautiful cities bittersweet. It is so easy to get lost and distracted amongst the swarms of people, hours spent in queues and chain link fences at every turn. Sigh. And yet challenges me to find those moments and the beauty that others fail to capture while trying to document this wonderful trip.
So….without further ado here is a bit of London – not all, because as I say, one can only look at a tourist’s photo of Big Ben so many times.
It began with tea.
High Tea at the Covent Garden Hotel: this was a new experience, and of the best London has to offer. Thanks mom for that lovely treat.
This time round we stayed at another apartment through Homeaway, specifically name the Pimlico Flat. This was much better than the Lambeth location we had the last time we stayed overnight and comfortably accommodated all 7 of us for a VERY reasonable price.
Remember when I didn’t really like London? Maybe, I didn’t admit it, but I was really, quite skeptical there for a while. Well, I have to admit it’s growing on me. As I become more comfortable with the streets, neighbourhoods and how to get around amidst all the people, I am discovering that it really is a charming city.
This trip we were showing my Mom, her husband and my brother around, so again there was a lot of touristy stuff including, but not limited to The Big Bus tour, Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London, an Evensong at Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the London Eye.
We passed on watching the Changing of the Guard with my Mom as it is a lot of waiting for a four year old and instead went to St. Paul’s Cathedral. This was something new that we had never done before and it was amazing. Nope, I’m not tired of churches yet especially ones where you can climb to the top. Jakob and I did the climb together and he did a brilliant job climbing all 520 steps without complaining, help or a rest. Way to go Jakob! He even too this lovely shot from the top!
Because you can’t take pictures in the Cathedral itself, this is all I have for a memory. The Tower of London was also interesting and we managed to wait in the queue to see the crown jewels. This was after all, the only part of the tower that really interested me as I have trouble with the idea of torture let alone, it’s implements or demonstrations. Evensong at Westminster Abbey was also something I had never done before. It stirs all of the same tensions that I feel in Cambridge but is beautiful nonetheless and a great way to see the Abbey for free.
|How many angles can you capture the London Eye from?|
Despite the biting wind that cuts through the otherwise warm air, I have decided that April is a great month to visit Europe. The trees are beginning to fill out and the blossoms are in full bloom, with Paris being even further ahead than London. And while there are queues for all the major attractions, they are definitely substantially shorter than the summer months…particularly this summer with the Olympics in town. More to come on Paris but for now,
I hope you have a beautiful weekend.