Artwork by Oliver Rice

How To Photograph London Landmarks

Written By: Oliver Rice

Photographing London Landmarks

When it comes to urban landscape photography London stands out as one of the world's leading cities to photograph. A rich mixture of history, tradition and modern architecture allows a photographer the opportunity to create a really inspiring and diverse portfolio.

London landmarks like Big Ben, The Palace of Westminster, Tower Bridge and The Tower Of London are popular with both amateur and professional photographers alike and provide the photographer with the chance to photograph historical London buildings in a modern day setting.

Below I am going to talk about my experience and offer some advice on London photography how to go about photographing some of London's most popular landmarks.

Photos of Tower Bridge

Photo of Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is a stunning piece of architecture to photograph. Built 1886 - 1894 Tower Bridge is a working part suspension bridge that spans the River Thames and is an iconic London landmark to photograph. It takes it's name from the Tower of London which is located nearby.

Tower Bridge is an ideal ideal London landmark to photograph. Depending on where you photograph the bridge from and what side of the River Thames you are on will determine your backdrop to the photograph. If you photograph Tower Bridge from the south side of the river you can capture the Tower of London, the gherkin and St Paul's Cathedral. From the opposite side of the Thames you have the opportunity to photograph City Hall and the newly constructed Shard.

Tower Bridge is also an iconic London landmark to photograph due to the contrast in photo styles that can be captured when photographing both during the day and in the evening. During the day you can photograph and capture some of the unique detail and architecture of the bridge. At night the bridge comes to life with the artificial lights of the bridge and London skyline. You also have the opportunity to photograph the trail lights of passing boats and traffic. For those who are willing to wait you will have the opportunity to capture photos of Tower Bridge and the iconic red London buses passing over it.

Photos of Big Ben and The Palace of Westminster

Photo of Big Ben

Situated in the centre of London is The Palace of Westminster, the heart and soul of British politics and one of the most photographed landmarks in London. Anyone leaving Westminster Tube station will likely see tourists and photographers standing outside the entrance photographing both the palace buildings and Big Ben. For professional photographers however, the area around the palace can sometimes be difficult to photograph due to the shear volume of traffic moving around Parliament Square and the number of pedestrians moving around in the area.

As mentioned above taking photographs of the palace and Big Ben can be difficult so you may want to consider taking photographs from alternative positions and at different times of the day. Consider for example taking photos from across Westminster Bridge on the opposite side of the River Thames. From this vantage point you can capture not only Big Ben and Westminster Palace but you are free to incorporate the River Thames and Westminster Bridge into the scene.

Photos of the Tower of London

Photo of the Tower of London

The Tower of London is literally a couple of minutes walk from Tower Bridge. Founded towards the end of 1066, the Tower has changed and adapted over the following centuries. The Tower is now a stunning piece of architecture situated in the middle of modern day London. The shear size of the Tower of London offers photographers the opportunity to capture images from a number of different positions. One of my particular favourite places to photograph the Tower of London is from the south side of the River Thames. From this position you have the opportunity to photograph the large keep and incorporate both the River Thames and the London City skyline into the photograph. From this position you can also capture photographs that show the stunning contrast between both the modern day and historical architecture.