Get us in your inbox


Check out Instagramer James Burns's epic cityscapes

Written by
Luke Abrahams

Since the days of 'doodling cityscapes in school’, Instagramer James Burns has been scaling London’s rooftops. With a little help from the Prince’s Trust, it all began for him on a shoot with a fellow photographer at the base of Battersea Power Station. He dreamed of what the view of the city was like from the tippy top of the towers, so after a word with security, ‘up we went,’ says the pro snapper. From then on he's been London's cityscape Spider-Man, jumping from roof to roof and snapping up everything from epic city sunrises to dreamy Thames River bridgescapes. Here are his five favourite shots. 

Sunrise over St. Pauls

'I'd been after this shot for ages and it was only possible in the time frame of a couple weeks a year. It took seven sunrise missions, including one on Christmas day before I eventually got this one.'

The Blood Moon


A photo posted by James Burns (@londonfromtherooftops) on

'This is another shot that I had planned in my mind's eye for a long time but the chances of this were even more remote than the St. Paul's sunrise shot above. Last March the red full moon rose in direct alignment with St. Paul's from my vantage point in Marble Arch and I can't lie – taking this shot was a little bit emotional.'

Good morning, London!


A photo posted by James Burns (@londonfromtherooftops) on

'It's not very often you get the chance to shoot the sunrise from the BT Tower and when I did, it came out absolutely perfectly.'

Lunar Bridges

'I was on holiday in Sardinia a few months before I snapped this. I took all my kit to the beach one evening to photograph the full moon rising over the sea. Well, I brought everything except my camera battery – a 'doh!' moment. Annoyed with myself, I pledged to make it up somehow. My mission when I got back to London was to photograph the moon rising over the Thames. It turned out alright, I think.' 

Foggy Shard

'It had been a long time coming before I got a decent fog shot. Eventually, from the roof of Tower 42 I caught this surreal scene on a morning I will never forget.'

Follow James on Instagram @Londonfromtherooftops

And for more epic shots, check out Instagramer Kristina Kashtanova's five favourite photos of London.

Popular on Time Out

    Latest news