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Photography in London

Get in the picture with our guide to London photography news, features, galleries and more

© Vincent Laforet - AIR

Addicted to Instagram or permanently attached to your SLR? Even if your camera roll is totally empty, you'll find a way to appreciate London photography; we have the widest variety of styles in some of the best exhibitions at the most beautiful galleries. Find them in a flash with our guide to the best photography London has to offer. 

Must-see London photography exhibitions

Travel Photographer of the Year
Art

Travel Photographer of the Year

You can look at this annual award for the best of the past year’s travel photography in two ways. The first, perhaps cynical way, is to thank these show-offs a bunch for reminding you of all the amazing destinations you spectacularly failed to make it to last year, or indeed any year. 

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William Eggleston Portraits
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William Eggleston Portraits

Legendary Memphis photographer William Eggleston has created a whole genre of psychologically ambiguous Americana, much of it centred on apparently mundane bits of his home town. I expected that isolating his portraits from the rest of his work wouldn’t work. How would they fare, without all those existential landscapes and unanswered questions to problematise them? 

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  • 5 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Made you Look: Dandyism and Black Masculinity
Art

Made you Look: Dandyism and Black Masculinity

The first image of this show features a man wearing tartan tights, Regency-style heels, a large hat, a cardigan with sleeves pulled over his hands and a gold chain across his bare chest. All at once, he looks strong, fragile and way cooler than you could ever hope to be. Curated by writer Ekow Eshun, the exhibition gathers photographs from as far back as 1904 and from the four corners of the globe to chart the journey of the black dandy. 

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Painting with Light
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Painting with Light

Nineteenth Century British painting wasn’t exactly the edgiest moment in art history. But this show considers the period afresh by examining how it responded to the arrival of photography. And guess what? It hit the ground running. Two Scotsmen are to thank for painting’s first dialogue with photography. David Octavius Hillwas commissioned to paint the ‘Disruption Portrait’ (1843-66), a document of the rebel assembly that founded the Free Church of Scotland. 

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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The latest London photography features

Coming soon: Astronomy Photographer of the Year
Art

Coming soon: Astronomy Photographer of the Year

See magical views of both our own night sky and of galaxies far, far away

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Amazing shots of the black dandy
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Amazing shots of the black dandy

The Photographers' Gallery's new show looks at the history of black dandyism

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The best photography courses in London
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The best photography courses in London

Skills workshops and courses to put your selfie-stick to shame

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12 bloomin' lovely pictures of Columbia Road
Art

12 bloomin' lovely pictures of Columbia Road

The road and its flower market are the subject of the latest lovely book from Hoxton Mini Press

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The best London photography galleries

Photographers' Gallery
Art

Photographers' Gallery

The Photographers' Gallery's six-storey premises on Ramillies Street has reopened after a full facelift. Original plans for the new site were for a striking, angular structure with giant floor-to-ceiling lightwells grasping for the sky. After a fiscal wake-up call (the budget was cut nearly in half to £9 million), the Irish architects O'Donnell+Tuomey returned with a handsome refit and recladding of an old brick building, plus what amounts to an extravagant loft conversion, adding two whole storeys and just one thin sliver of those firmament-reaching windows. What hasn't been lost is any of the interior space. The upper floors boast two airy new galleries, while a bookshop, print sales room and café have been dug from the ground floor and basement levels. In fact, the climb-down from landmark building to tasteful conversion is no great loss, given the building's move to an unprepossessing corner plot in a back alley south of Oxford Street. The Photographers' Gallery has kept faith in its location, however tricky and inhospitable their new plot on the vaguely insalubrious Ramilies Street might seem. Indeed, the new site maintains the gallery's roots in Soho (just) and will hopefully come to be as embedded here as it was in its former location on Great Newport Street, which, despite its inelegant, warren-like unsuitability for showing great photography, will also live long in the memory.

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Michael Hoppen Gallery
Art

Michael Hoppen Gallery

Michael Hoppen Gallery, set up in 1993, exhibits exclusively fine art photography. The second floor is dedicated to high quality contemporary work from well known photographers such as Daido Moriyama, through rising stars such as Desiree Dolron to edgier, newly discovered talents. Superbly produced artists' books, some published in house, are available to buy from the gallery.  

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Atlas Gallery
Art

Atlas Gallery

Atlas came of age in nineties Hoxton, when the area was still a scruffy, well-kept hipster secret but is now based in the swankier environs of Marylebone. The gallery specialises primarily in classic and modern twentieth-century vintage photography, photojournalism and fashion, in addition to representing contemporary photographers.

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V&A Photographs Gallery
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V&A Photographs Gallery

An early pioneer in collecting and exhibiting photography, the V&A now boasts a permanent gallery dedicated to the medium. The inaugural exhibition charts the history of the photography with a display of beautiful and remarkable images taken between 1839 and the 1960s. Two further spaces are devoted to exploring the work of key photographic figures such as Julia-Margaret Cameron and Henri-Cartier Bresson. Temporary displays, primarily showcasing contemporary photography, will be shown in the V&A’s existing photographs gallery.

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Our favourite photos of London

The 40 best photos of London ever taken
Art

The 40 best photos of London ever taken

A collection of our favourite photographs taken of London from 1839 to 2016

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London in pictures
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London in pictures

Beautiful photography of London in all weathers and seasons

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Time Out photography competition 2016

The Winners
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The Winners

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Runners-up: Wild
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Runners-up: Wild

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Runners-up: Beautiful
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Runners-up: Beautiful

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Runners-up: On the Move
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Runners-up: On the Move

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Runners-up: Weird and Wonderful
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Runners-up: Weird and Wonderful

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Runners-up: Real Londoners
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Runners-up: Real Londoners

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Runners-up: Delicious
Art

Runners-up: Delicious

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The 40 best photos of London ever
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The 40 best photos of London ever

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Explore more of the Time Out art world

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