My wife and I decided to escape the suburbs of London and travel into the city for a light walk and a good meal. I took the day off of work, got on a train and went into town. The goal was St. Paul and Covent Garden.
St. Paul is an amazing building but they do not allow photography inside. Some people try to sneak some images using their iPhones however I believe in respecting those rules. We spent a great deal of time walking around that amazing cathedral but I have no images to share.
One of my hidden agendas on this trip was an old photo of Covent Garden taken by Valentine Blanchard in 1860. I wanted to try and find the above shot of the Garden and the building in the back to see how it has changed. I was not sure if I would be able to find it or recognize it but it was a goal.
The market today is a far cry of its humble beginnings, however as the population in London changed so did the needs of the people. Today it is a tourist sight which is wonderful to walk around and people watch.
If you are planning a trip I recommend absorbing Covent Garden in a bit of a different way. I suggest stopping for some tea or a cool beer in one of the cafes. Stay away during busy lunch times but in early morning it is rather empty. As you watch the people come in and fill the place, contemplate how Covent Garden is an example of a city that is in constant change.
After the tea or beer is done, step out into the street and watch the street performers. They are amazing as they have to audition for their time slot. Here I managed to get behind the performer to capture this image. I love the energy of the picture and the rapture of the audience.
Valentine Blanchard may not recognize Covent Garden today, he would appreciate seeing the people of London and visitors from far off places, mingling and enjoying the energy of the place. I enjoyed walking in his footsteps on a gorgeous afternoon day in London.
Patrick...confirmed film & digital photography addict.