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Expanding my skills on a London Landscape Photography class with Obby

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

One of my photographs on the London Landscape Photography Course
© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

I’ve long had an interest in photography and have been feeling pressure to take quality images for my blog since I started it five years ago. Of course, circumstances – such as bad restaurant lighting or a grey, cloudy day – can hamper a photograph from reaching its potential. After years of half-heartedly considering doing a photography course, I recently came across Obby – a community marketplace offering classes and workshops.

Although I initially was looking for a photography course, I found my appetite whet for others classes by the huge selection. As well as photography, there are also workshops in arts, crafts, drinks and tastings, food, health and beauty. There was a range of photography classes available, however I decided on the London Landscape Photography Workshop, which was most relevant to me as a blogger. Booking was super easy, I scrolled through the available dates and booked with a credit card. I liked that my class was confirmed straightaway and it wasn’t a voucher that I’d have to use with a second party, like other experience websites.

London photography course St Paul's Millenium Bridge © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

A much derided building, the ‘Walkie Talkie’, actually looks pretty cool from the right angle
© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

The workshop itself was a seven-hour class with Steve Hedges Photography. Our small group of five (including myself) met Steve at Liverpool Street station armed with our cameras and tripods at 9am on a Friday. The first part of the workshop was sat around a laptop going through the basic rules to follow when photographing landscapes and seeing examples of the powerful differences that depth and angle can make. I am currently between cameras so had borrowed one which I wasn’t so familiar with, but by the end of the class knew the settings so well I was able to teach the camera’s owner how to use it!

During the workshop, we stopped to photograph the Leadenhall Building, the Lloyds Building, the ‘Walkie Talkie’, Tower Bridge, Millennium Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral. The class was a mix of learning practical camera skills, but also developing our ‘eye’ for a great shot. We were taught about aperture, shutter speed, exposure, filters, ISO numbers, among other features of the camera. With the class so small, our instructor had enough time to give us individual feedback as we photographed each building. While there was a lot to take in, we were given frequent opportunity to really let what we were learning sink in and be put to practice. Although the weather weren’t on our side – it was a grey, cloudy day with occasional light rain – I’m happy with what I photographed throughout the day. There’s a selection of images I was really pleased with (such as the two I have published here), and some I wasn’t so enamoured with. However, that’s the whole process of photography, it’s all about the right light, conditions and angle coming together to create the perfect shot. There was so much things to think about afterwards. the most challenging one I think will be patience, it takes time to get the right photograph. While I would never consider myself a good photographer, I completed the workshop feeling more knowledgeable and confident with my skills going forward. Steve was a great instructor – patient, encouraging and full of experience. I thoroughly recommend the workshop and whole Obby booking experience. Now what am I going to learn next..?

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Photo Friday: Looking up the grand staircase at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

The grand staircase at the St Pancras Renaissance London Hotel

I know I’m not alone when I say St Pancras station is one of my favourite London buildings. The Gothic Revival, Victorian masterpiece puts its (rather dull in comparison), rival London mainline stations in the shade. St Pancras was built as an hotel and train station in 1868 to a design by Sir George Gilbert Scott (1811-1878).

The Midland Grand Hotel as it then was known was very luxurious when it first opened and boasted fireplaces in every room (although sadly not ensuite bathrooms, which contributed to its demise in the 1930s when it was closed). The centrepiece of the hotel was – and still is – its grand staircase and gold leaf wallpaper. When the building was taken over to reopen as the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in the 21st century, the double staircase was restored to its former glory. Why not take a look on a visit to the Gilbert Scott restaurant and bar and gaze up at the starry vaulted ceiling.

  • St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Road, NW1 2AR. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras.

For a review of Afternoon Tea at the Gilbert Scott at the St Pancras Renaissance, click here.

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Photo Friday: Dusk at Trafalgar Square

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Trafalgar Square at dusk on a February evening

I haven’t done a ‘Photo Friday’ post for a long time but took this photo with my camera phone this week and wanted to share it. While I’m not a fan of the cold weather, the cooler temperatures do often make for clearer skies. I visited the National Gallery after work earlier this week and was distracted by the stunning light in the sky as I left the building. As the sun went down, the lights gradually started to come on as the city starts to twinkle. I see this as a quintessential London scene, with people meandering around the square, buses and taxis whizzing past and the monuments such as the Houses of Parliament and Nelson’s Column standing tall against the sky.

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London in silhouette against an August sunset

Just posting a rare photo post to the blog following a lovely summer sky in London last night. After spending Saturday outside in the park with friends, we were a bit disappointed by the frequent cloud cover throughout the day. Of course, clouds and sunshine usually means for gorgeous sunsets so we were rewarded later on. Here’s a view from Tower Bridge looking east down the River Thames featuring silhouettes of various London landmarks, such as the BT Tower, St Paul’s Cathedral and Cannon Street station.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

Summer sky: A view looking east down the River Thames from Tower Bridge on 1 August 2015

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A different kind of street art: Painter on Hungerford Bridge

Street art has been gaining a newfound respect in recent years thanks to the likes of Banksy and Stik. However, of course there is another kind of ‘street art’… as in someone on the street creating art. While crossing Hungerford Bridge today, I spotted an artist painting the London Eye and Southbank. I rarely see artists creating work outside these days so it was a pleasant surprise to see a painter in action. Hope he was pleased with the finished article…

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

A painter on Hungerford Bridge studying the London Eye

Greenwich summer sunset over the River Thames

The glorious hot weather we’ve had over the past few weeks have made for some stunning sunsets. Last night, I was out with a few friends enjoying some alfresco drinking in Greenwich and couldn’t resist the draw of the River Thames as the sun prepared to go to bed. I took this photo with my cameraphone, so admittedly not as good as it could have been if I remembered my camera! However, the combination of still water, clouds, the colours and silhouette of The Shard in the distance made for a stunning scene.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

Summer nights: Sunset over the River Thames at Greenwich on 26 July 2013

Eerie shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral on the sky

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

Eerie: A shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral dome on the sky

Tonight I was out in the City of London for dinner and a spot of theatre. I’ve heard about the roof terrace at One New Change and popped up in the lift to the sixth floor to check it out. Although the sky was overcast, it was a lovely view of St Paul’s, The Shard, Oxo Tower and more. However, a few hours later, once the ‘sun’ (cough cough) had gone down, we were passing One New Change on our way home so couldn’t resist popping back up to the terrace for another perspective at night. Bizarrely, thanks to what I assume was a combination of low cloud cover and the powerful lights on St Paul’s, there was actually a silhouette, shadow of the iconic dome on the sky. I must confess it was very strange, and slightly eerie and I’m glad I had my proper camera on me to capture the shot.

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Reflection of The Shard on melted snow water

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

Reflection of The Shard on a puddle of melted snow on the river wall of the northbank of the River Thames

Despite the unseasonal freezing March, I braved the cold today and spent several hours walking around the City of London and Southbank. The poor weather meant there weren’t as many people around so I enjoyed a bit of ‘me time’ with my beloved city. As I walked along the Thames Path on the north bank of the River Thames, I took this photo of The Shard’s reflection in a puddle from the melted snow on the river wall. You can see the murky Thames just at the top of the image, as well as the snow-filled clouds and grey sky. It’s funny, the building has been finished less than a year and already I feel like The Shard has been there for longer.


For more photos of The Shard, read Metro Girl’s blog post on the building’s inauguration laser show.

Or for a review of Silent Disco at The Shard, click here.

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Stunning December sunset over Buckingham Palace

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

See the light: Sunset over Buckingham Palace on December 7, 2012

Yes, December means Christmas, so it’s a very exciting month. But Christmas aside, for me as a ‘hater’ of winter and the cold, I’m kinda ready to press fast-forward onto March because I hate-the-cold (have I mentioned that already?). However, yesterday I looked up and was blown away by the stunning sky. I just don’t think you get this kind of light in Summer, it’s so seasonal. I happened to be near Buckingham Palace at the time and got this stunning shot before the sun went down.