London By Day and Night


by Willie “Tatang” Vergara



These photographs were taken in London, England during the Thanksgiving weekend of 1999. This collection was in fulfillment of an academic requirement of my Slide Photography course at Sierra College, Rocklin, California. What you see here, therefore, are jpeg copies of the original Kodachrome and Ektachrome slide films used in this project. The professional photographer will easily discern the loss of quality especially that the translation from slide to jpeg was not yet a perfect technology 7 years ago, when I had these slides copied.


                             Using a Canon F-1 manual camera, with settings at 2 seconds and a 1.4 opening, the

                             above aerial photograph shows San Francisco by night as the plane takes a turn.


London Heathrow Airport is the world’s busiest airport in terms of international passenger traffic.


Like most parts of America, November in London is when the autumn leaves start falling.


Some trees have totally shed off their leaves by this time.


Russel Hotel, the place where we stayed, is ranked #376 out of 1,130 hotels in London.


You wouldn’t see taxicabs of such colors ten years before this trip. All they had were black taxicabs.


The red telephone booth and the red double-decker are the most ubiquitous objects in London.


This underground train entrance frames the subject  of this picture.


That is my wife Tess inside the “Tube”.


Enjoy the artworks inside the “Tube”. This one was taken at the Charring Cross Station.


Black geese enjoy the man-made lake of Green Park, one of the Royal Parks in London.


The clothing of the child playing with squirrel aptly describes the season of the year.


                        The St Katherine’s Docks were one of the commercial docks serving London, on the north

                        side of the river Thames just east (downstream) of the Tower of London and Tower Bridge.


Beautiful sunset view at hilly Hamstead Heath, embracing ponds, woodlands, and vast playgrounds.


The Senate House is the administrative centre of the University of London.


           The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture situated in London. Its collections, which

           number more than seven million objects, are among the largest and most comprehensive in the world coming

           from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginning to the present.


Artifacts housed inside the British museum include a rich collection of Egyptian and Hellenistic art and culture.


The world’s oldest mummy is named “Ginger”, estimated to be more than 3300 years old.


               Named after Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities, Christmas Story, David Copperfield, Oliver Twist),

              the Dickens Inn is most beautiful during the flower blooming seasons of summer and spring.


Posing with The Beatles, Van Gogh, Picasso, and other greats at the Madame Taussaud Museum.


This is just of the 7,000 pubs in London. A “pub” derives its meaning from “public place”.


I took this photo of a show window while riding a red double-decker, while passing a commercial district.


            The Harrods is one of the largest department stores in the world. This is the place where Princess Diana was

            last seen before she met a fatal accident in 1997 together with her partner, the son of the owner of Harrods.


                Oxford Street is one and a half miles end to end. You can shop ‘til you drop with its 300 shops. This is

                the busiest shopping center in the whole of Europe. Christmas decors are already very much in place.


              Covent Garden is dominated by shoppers, street performers, and entertainment facilities, and it contains

              an entrance to the Royal Opera House. Today Covent Garden is the only part of London licensed for street

              entertainment with performers having to undertake auditions for the Market's management.


A pair inside a Covent Garden arcade gladly poses for a photograph.


         When in London, dedicate at least one night at the West End and treat yourself and your company with theater

         entertainment, like “Cats”, the longest running British musical (21 years!). Note camera technique used here.


                        It takes some courage and understanding of one’s camera to take this photo of Deuteronomy,

                       the oldest cat and the leader of them all. Cameras are prohibited inside the theatres.




                                     The Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster is commonly referred to as the

                                     'Big Ben'. Big Ben refers to the clock's hour bell, the largest of the clock's five

                                     bells, the others being used as quarter bells. When taking a picture of Big Ben,

                                     make sure to zoom  in to capture the details of this major landmark.


                You need to walk across the Westminster Bridge at nightfall in order to capture this panoramic view

                of the Houses of Parliament.


                        Most historical buildings in London are “sculptures in the round”. Don’t be satisfied by just

                        taking a picture of the entrance of the Westminster Abbey (at the right).  It is the traditional

                        place of coronation and  burial site for British royalty.


           Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of the British monarch. This palace is a setting for state

           occasions and royal hospitality and a rallying point for the British in times of  national rejoicing and crisis.


Most tourists do not miss the Changing of the Guards, one of the major attractions of London.


The Changing of the Guards take place in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace at around 11am.


The St. James' Palace detachment of the Queen's Guard is led usually by the Corps of Drums.



  If the Queen is in residence, the Corps of Drums bear the Queen’s color; if she is not, then it is the Regimental Color.

 The Corps of Drums marches along the Mall to Palace, where the Palace detachment as formed up to await their arrival.


                                             Cleopatra's Needle is the popular name for each of three Ancient

                                             Egyptian obelisks re-erected in London, Paris, and New York City.


My daughter Ria poses in front of the Shakespeare Globe Theatre located at the London’s bankside.


            Shakespeare's Globe is a unique international resource dedicated to the exploration of Shakespeare's

           work and the playhouse for which he wrote, through the connected means of performance and education.

This is one of Salvador Dali’s sculptures along the Thames River. Background is the Houses of Parliament.


                       It takes some luck and several camera settings to attain this lucky shot. This was taken below

                       the Westminster Bridge with the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben at the background.


                   Usually mistaken as the “London Bridge”, the above famous landmark is called the Tower Bridge.

                   It is a combined bascule (a movable bridge) and a suspension bridge.


               The vicinity of the Tower Bridge is enchantingly beautiful. It takes one whole day to see and appreciate

               what this place could offer. Nearby is St. Katherine’s Docks, the Tower of London, and the Tower Pier.


           The Tower Bridge is a source of never-ending fascination to visitors. Many who come to the Tower of London

           often wait a long time to see the bridge raised to allow an ocean-going ship to enter the Pool of London.


              The Tower of London is a historic fortress on the north bank of the River Thames. It is the oldest building

              used by the British government. The tower's primary function was a fortress, a royal palace, and a prison

              particularly for royal prisoners, such as the Princes in the Tower and the future Queen Elizabeth I.


A photography buff will need to go around around the Tower of London to see its various sceneries.


            The Yeomen Warders of Her Majesty's Royal Palace, popularly known as the Beefeaters, are ceremonial

           guards of the Tower of London. In principle they are responsible for looking after any prisoners at the Tower

           and safeguarding the British crown jewels, but in practice they act as tour guides and are a tourist attraction.


           The Saint Paul’s Cathedral sits on the highest point of the City of London. To save on entrance fee, go there

           on a Sunday for the church services. It is almost like a smaller version of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.


             A special trip to the Royal Observatory Greenwich to see the Prime Meridian of the World is worth taking.

            My son Victor (right) stands at a point where one hand is at the Eastern Hemisphere and the Western Hemis-

            phere at the other. There are other sites to see in the vicinity, like the museum, clipper ship Cutty Sark.


The Piccadilly Circus is the most famous “rotunda” in London where five major streets intersect.


            The Circus is close to major shopping and entertainment areas at the West End. Piccadilly Circus is a busy

            meeting place and a tourist attraction in its own right. The Circus is particularly known for its video display

            and neon, a memorial fountain and statue of Eros, thereby also a meeting place of lovers.


                 The Trafalgar Square is one of the most popular tourist attractions of the world. At the center is a

                 column in honor of Admiral Nelson for his victorious Battle of Trafalgar during the Napoleonic Wars.


           Around Trafalgar Square are famous buildings and tourists attractions, among others, the National Gallery

          which houses several important works of art, and Saint Martin-in-the-Fields known for its concerts.


The square has become a social and political location for visitors and Londoners alike.


The London Eye was barely open to visitors as it was meant to be a landmark at the turn of the century.



            The 32 passenger capsules, each accommodating 25 people, of the London Eye incorporate an entirely new

            design form for observation wheels. Instead of being suspended under gravity they turn within circular

            mounting rings fixed to the outside of the main rim, allowing a spectacular 360 - degree panorama at the top.


A London advisory: “Always bring an umbrella because it can rain anytime during the year.”


             At 135 m high, the British Airways London Eye is the World’s largest observation wheel, offering fantastic

            views over the Capital -- the nearby Houses of Parliament, the Buckingham Palace, over to Canary Wharf.


Leaving on a jet plane: Taking a last look of a London borough – after an exciting week of photography.





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