The benefit of traveling around the world is the chance to live in different countries, not just visit. When you live there you get a better feel of the people, culture and city vibe. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about the "Paris Mystique" which looked at the city of Paris from a photographic point of view.
But Paris is not the only city with a special reputation and feel. London, a city we lived in for a year and a half, has its very own character that translates very well in photographs. While Paris might be all about the art and joy of life, London is about sophistication. Everything in the city has a reason, a purpose and is named accordingly. While the French may enjoy their artistic disorder, the English have built their main city to reflect their love of order. London, the city of banking, industry and growth.
If there is a single author who captured the streets of London it would have to be Charles Dickens. Reading "Great Expectations" is like taking a walk down the city streets. His descriptions of the Thames ring so authentic that once seen, can not be confused for another. London was such a vital part of Dickens's books that it grew beyond a backdrop and became a critical character.
Looking to photography we find many of the very basic beginnings of this art on the London streets. People have been photographing London since photography first was being tested. William Henry Fox Talbot was one of the first and many of his images still exist today.
The same working class people, stopping for a break, looking over the sights and sounds that have made London famous. The chime of Big Ben, the horns of the boats traveling the Thames River, the quiet people on public transport. Since the advent of photography, London has been photographed and looking back over those images we can easily recognize the same city we have before us today. One of sophistication and working class utility.
Patrick...confirmed film & digital photography addict.