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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

The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection
Art

The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection

When he’s not writing pop songs about wind-proof candles or knitting himself new wigs, Sir Elton John is a serious collector of modernist photography. No, honestly, he’s been buying the stuff for years, and his collection is world famous. This show features just a little slice out of his 8,000-strong hoard. Some images are grouped thematically, others hung in the same way they are in his office. 

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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Malick Sidibé
Art

Malick Sidibé

Mali got its independence from France in 1960, and immediately became in thrall to a different kind of colonialism: a cultural one of rock ’n’ roll, motorbikes and jeans. At a time when the West was fretting about whether photography was even an art form, Malick Sidibé was taking pictures of young people in Bamako which contain all the issues in that debate: authenticity, imitation, control of the image. 

Time Out says
  • 5 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Feminist Avant-Garde Of The 1970s
Art

Feminist Avant-Garde Of The 1970s

It’s a big one, this new exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery: 200-plus works by 48 artists from 20 countries. It’s also got a big name that some people will find pretty off-putting. In some ways that’s fine: more space for the rest of us to admire some incredible works of feminist art from the decade of ‘The Female Eunuch’, Spare Rib and defiantly abundant body hair. But it’s also perhaps a bit of a missed opportunity. 

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Teller on Mapplethorpe
Art

Teller on Mapplethorpe

One photographic provocateur curates another, as the German-born Juergen Teller is invited to select a number of the legendary Robert Mapplethorpe's pictures for this exhibition.

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See more recommended photography shows

The latest London photography features

Juergen Teller: Four reasons you should care about Robert Mapplethorpe
Art

Juergen Teller: Four reasons you should care about Robert Mapplethorpe

Juergen Teller has curated a new show of mega rare photographs by the great Robert Mapplethorpe. We got him to explain why you need to care

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Sir Elton John: 'I’d rather have one photograph than ten Picassos'
Art

Sir Elton John: 'I’d rather have one photograph than ten Picassos'

It’s a little bit funny, but Sir Elton John’s got a great collection of modernist photography

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This week's best photography shows
Art

This week's best photography shows

Don't miss any of the biggest and best exhibitions of photography this season

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The best photography courses in London
Things to do

The best photography courses in London

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

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Find London's 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.

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
Users say
  • 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.

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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V&A Photographs Gallery
Art

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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More photography galleries in London

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
Things to do

London in pictures

Beautiful photography of London in all weathers and seasons

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Time Out photography competition 2016

The Winners
Art

The Winners

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Runners-up: Wild
Art

Runners-up: Wild

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Runners-up: Beautiful
Art

Runners-up: Beautiful

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Runners-up: On the Move
Art

Runners-up: On the Move

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Runners-up: Weird and Wonderful
Art

Runners-up: Weird and Wonderful

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Runners-up: Real Londoners
Art

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
Art

The 40 best photos of London ever

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