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Urban Art Photo Walk in East London

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by Lynn Bradshaw (subscribe)
An English and IT teacher, and would-be writer, living in north London. I like to spend my free time travelling, visiting new places, taking photographs and cooking.
Published July 29th 2012
Walk the art
The sun is out so dig out your camera and get off the beaten tourist track and take some interesting views of London. All you need is a working camera (digital, film, lomo), some stout shoes, a map of the East End of London and a bit of energy to go photo walking.

This urban art photo walk takes you into the upcoming urban area around Spitalfields Market, home to Tracey Emin and Jeanette Winterson. It is a mecca for urban photographers and artists because of the gritty street art and shop signs.

street art
East London Urban Art

Follow this guide for my Top Ten places for good urban photography:

1. The Old Spitalfields Market: This is situated just across from Liverpool Street Station. On your way, do not forget to look up at some of the old buildings such as the Bishopsgate Library and the police station.

Visit Spitalfields

2. Walk along Bishopsgate and then turn right into Brushfield Street towards the market. Note the shabby chic shops (including the olde worlde sweet shop) and buildings.

3. On the right hand side there is a side street, Fort Street, and there is a wonderful commercial bag company on the right hand side which is much photographed by London's urban photographers.

4. The revamped Spitalfields market is a wonderful mix of ethnic, vintage and new age providing lots of colour and interesting things to photograph. Mingle with the crowds and photograph some of the interesting stalls and people.

5. Walk through the market and you will see a traditional East End pub – The Ten Bells - on the opposite side of the road (Lamb Street). This is a great building to get some nice gritty textures in photos.

6. Follow the signs to Brick Lane and here you will find some wonderful sights – graffiti, street art, street signs, shops, shop signs, shop displays, doors, walls and people. Wander along Brick Lane looking up as well as at eye level – some of the best décor is hidden from view.

Visit Brick Lane

7. Keep going and you come to Fashion Street and Wentworth Street, where you can find some real urban art as well as some photographic buildings. You might find some of the young and trendy willing to be photographed.

8. Go down Wentworth Street and head for Petticoat Lane market, which is a hive of activity on a Sunday morning. This is a great place for catching the vibrancy and colour which is modern London.

9. Go along the Petticoat Lane Market back towards Liverpool Street Station and take the first street on the left. In this area there were lots of artisan shops in Victorian times. Wander down the narrow lanes and look up at the tops of the buildings – the shop keepers and artisans of the past are generally remembered by statues and old shop signs.

10. Return to Liverpool Street station, cross the road, and take a photo of the Gherkin.

Street Art
Street Art in East London 2
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