A Weekend in London

During the past weekend I've been to one of my favorite cities in the world. Schools in Milan were closed on Friday for the St. Ambroeus holiday, so I went to London with my family. During this brief vacation, I could take my camera around town and photograph anything I wanted to.

Of course, for a techie and Apple fan like me, the first place to go to was the Apple Store, to see and try out the latest devices, especially the iPad Mini and the new, super-thin iMac. They are awesome products. I went to the Regent Street store on Friday night, and looking at the Christmas decorations outside gave me an idea. I decided I'd take a long exposure shot of the Christmas lights in Regent Street, with light trails left by cars passing by below. London is full of cars, and traffic goes around the streets nonstop.

On Saturday morning I went to the Borough Market, the famous and colorful food market where I had already been to in September. In the afternoon I went to Covent Garden, one of the most vibrant places in London. It's another tourist favorite, and I love it as well. After taking a few shots of the street performers, I stopped by Apple's other flagship store in London, where I found three awesome employees jammin with a guitar, a keyboard and three iPods with GarageBand. By the time I got out, the sun was already starting to get low. This meant I didn't have much time to finish in Covent Garden and get to Picadilly Circus for the Regent Street shot I wanted to take so bad. So I rushed over to the best place to take a shot of the crowd gathered around a street performer: the rooftop bar in front of St. Paul's church. When I finally got to Regent Street, it was already pretty dark, but I still managed to get a decent shot (the first of the two published). It's a good picture, but I was aiming for more. I wanted to take a shot to be proud of, a shot that provided me full satisfaction.

The next day I did a wiser choice for the timing: I went to Piccadilly Circus earlier in the afternoon, at about 3:30. I had all the time to set up my camera's position and settings. Things didn't look too good for the shot, though, the sky was completely covered by dark clouds. I started to have a bad feeling about the situation, and a few minutes later, it started to rain. The first drops started to fall down at just before the perfect time for the shot, but I had to take cover. My lens and camera were getting wet. I was quite down because I was about to lose the perfect shot I was waiting for, but, fortunately, it stopped raining. Just after I got back into position, incredibly, a portion of the sky I had in my frame cleared out, revealing a beautiful blue hue. That's when I took THE picture. When I looked at the result in my camera's small LCD, I was finally satisfied.

I also took a lot of automotive pictures during the weekend. I've been to the Audi dealer in Green Park, where I found a beautiful R8 GT Spyder, and an A1 Quattro. I also took several panning shots of (super)cars passing by. It's always f un to go around London's trafficked streets and capture the most beautiful cars on camera using the panning technique, which I learned how to achieve in this very city, in the summer of 2011.

I hope you enjoy my pictures and the longer-than-usual description above. I thought it would have been nice to tell you all about my experience in London.