Westminster opulence

Westminster floor

The “mother of parliaments” deserves a resplendent setting – and it certainly has that. The architecture of the Palace of Westminster is soaked in grandeur, and its inner corridors are enriched with the atmosphere of a cathedral.

After waiting in a lengthy queue and undergoing airport-style security screening, St Stephen’s Hall, Westminster Hall and the Central Lobby – the “foyer” for Britain’s political nerve centre – were ours to peruse and photograph.

It’s staggeringly opulent. All I can wonder is if David Cameron, Tony Blair or Margaret Thatcher ever took a moment to absorb its magnificence or craned their neck to admire the Central Lobby’s gilded ceiling.

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The Photo Shop

Tube grunge

Dank platform

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I use this London Underground station to traipse to and from my day job every day. It’s on the Hammersmith and City line so isn’t deep beneath the surface – but certainly feels that way.

Many stations on the Tube network have been spruced up in recent times, but not Great Portland Street. One end of the platform is a dank, sodden and seemingly long forgotten corner where water drips and lies in pools. 

This brief snapshot was taken at the weekend. During the working week it’s heaving with passengers – sometimes I’ll wait for the next train rather than attempt to shoehorn myself into a non-existent space.

But it gets us Londoners around. And I love the atmosphere of these photographs which you don’t find on the bright, squeaky clean stations of the city network.

CCTV

Tube grunge

Waiting beneath

 

Gallery entrance

Olympic legacy

Two years ago the eyes of the world were on London for the Olympic Games. A neglected area of the city was redeveloped to host the event, which was deemed a huge success.

After the action has finished, it’s easy for facilities to fall into disuse. There’s little sign of that in London. The area has been turned into a playground for the city, with beautifully sculpted walkways where everyone is free to roam.

It has great architectural interest with the amazing curves of the Aquatic Centre, designed by Britain’s high priestess of building design, Zaha Hadid. It sits near Orbit, a thrusting artistic twist of metal created by Anish Kapoor. And the athletes’ village has been turned over to private residential use.

This is a place that visitors want to explore, long after the buzz of Olympic competition left the arena. Here’s a portrait of the park captured one afternoon in both its might, detail and as a people’s place.

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The Photo Shop

Sculpted

Sculpted

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This is quite simply a beautiful piece of architecture. A curved shape, artfully sculpted. It’s in London, in a place of special significance. 

Do you know it or care to take a guess? I’ll return on Sunday with a set of new photographs from my visit to this landmark in the capital.

Gallery entrance

The art of rain

An entire day of torrential rain ruins a photographer’s day out. This is the time to stay indoors and try to be creative with what you have. Water – plenty of it – running off balconies, roof windows and refracting the colours behind it. Usual everyday surroundings take on a different air, and the camera finds abstraction.

When the time comes to edit your shots, you can splash a little more colour there and create new landscapes. Here are the fruits of my rainy day play…

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This way to the gallery

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