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sunrise photography, nescafe azera

Hail to the sun

Fortified by Nescafé Azera Coffee to Go, Time Out staff photographer Rob Greig picks five top spots to capture dawn in the city

Time Out in association with Nescafe Azera
Oxford Street
  • Things to do
  • Soho

Normally you wouldn't think London’s busiest shopping scrum is photogenic – but take away the people and go as the sun rises up through the adjoining streets of Soho and the architecture suddenly seems vastly more dramatic. The occasional bus or taxi will always help make the shot more interesting, giving context to the scale of Oxford Street.

Bermondsey Antiques Market
  • Shopping
  • Markets and fairs
  • Bermondsey

Running on Fridays from around 6am, it’s the perfect spot for shooting a busy and characterful market, with the added bonus of weird and spectacular objects. If you arrive around sunrise you can see the traders unpacking and setting up. But be sure to always ask permission before squirrelling your lens in amongst their bric-à-brac!

City Hall/Tooley Street
  • Attractions
  • Parliament and civic buildings
  • Tower Bridge

The stretch from London Bridge up to City Hall can be spectacular if the sunrise behaves itself. Don’t just concentrate on the riverside near Tooley Street, but use the reflective buildings as a frame for the more clichéd vistas of Tower Bridge and the Tower of London. Finally, the lopsided egg of City Hall is at its best from all angles as a low sun hits it.

  • Attractions
  • Sightseeing
  • Hyde Park

It’s probably a bit obvious to choose one of our city’s great open spaces, but it gives you several different atmospheres to capture. From the tree-lined avenues of Kensington Gardens, the manicured parkland and the calm water of the Serpentine to the rough grasses behind the Serpentine Gallery, this is a truly diverse shooting location.

Chelsea Embankment
© Rob Greig

Chelsea Embankment

With its Victorian lampposts, Chelsea Embankment can look a little twee and chintzy at times, but it still provides one of the most romantic views of the city. Dodge the joggers and fur-coated chihuahua walkers as you frame your shot, and don’t forget to explore Old Church Street, Cheyne Walk and the Albert Bridge.

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