Photographers' Blog

The world’s best commute?

London, United Kingdom

By Toby Melville

As a Reuters Photographer based in London, an average commute to my first assignment of the day – normally covering either a political or business story in the city centre – would take roughly an hour. That’s 60 minutes, to drive all of 8 miles.

These commutes take place in the morning rush hour, when I find myself bumper-to-bumper with thousands of other short-tempered drivers, cyclists, pedestrians, buses and taxis. And I do this journey while trying to get to my first job, usually in a state of tension and anxiety…

But for two weeks a year it is different. Completely different. Commuting is fantastic.  

We are in Wimbledon season and I am shooting tennis all day, every day for a fortnight at the height of the (surprisingly dry and sunny!) British summer. And actually, the journey to and from the tennis is just as good as the assignment.

Wimbledon, like the centre of London, is still 8 miles from my home. But now, heading out at 8 in the morning and back again at 9 at night I can take a route through beautiful countryside and along peaceful towpaths, tracks and trails.

City Slickers

London, Britain

By Eddie Keogh

The beast that is Canary Wharf underground station spits out its batch of workers every morning and swallows them up again every evening, Monday to Friday.

The relentless cycle never seems to change for the financial markets’ suited workers, who return every day, smartphone in hand. They are concentrating on their emails – the oxygen of business.

It’s no easy thing to focus on a phone in your left hand, carry a cappuccino in your right, and maneuver through crowds, ticket machines and escalators without missing a word. Presumably they’re even better with numbers.

Morning Glory

London, Britain

By Andrew Winning

Morning Glory is the antidote to a room full of rowdy, drunken party-animals lurching out of step to booming dance music. Here, sleepy-eyed clubbers queue up quietly in the early morning, some still in their pyjamas and dressing gowns, before filing into the venue.

Others wearing fancy dress stretch and warm up as they try to generate some enthusiasm in the pre-dawn gloom. Once inside the venue, patrons pick up a coffee or a smoothie, maybe do a little yoga or have a massage before the music draws them onto the dance floor.

Though it is a Wednesday morning, everyone is smiling as party favourites are mixed together by the DJ’s. What starts as slightly sedate and sleepy dancing soon becomes full-on whooping, jumping, hands-in-the air partying.

A goldless Michael Phelps

By David Gray

I have been photographing Michael Phelps for over 8 years, which has included 3 Olympic Games and 3 World Swimming Championships and I have never seen him like this – a goldless man.

I even saw him in a race that for the first time did not result in a podium finish. And then the U.S. team only finished second in the 4X100M freestyle relay race, which included Phelps and his now great rival team mate, Ryan Lochte. I never thought this would be possible.

But the perceived rivalry between Phelps and Lochte is a very interesting story here at the London Olympic Games. Whenever I photographed the two of them together in the past, they would always be laughing, joking, and never, ever ignoring one another. Since the first training session here in London last Monday afternoon, I’ve noticed the lack of talk, smiles, laughter, and even recognition.

Hackney Wick: An artistic Olympic community

By Paul Hackett

I first became aware of Hackney Wick over the last year or so and went once or twice for lunch. Last year I went to the Hackney Wicked arts festival held there and was struck by how raw the place felt – none of the normal sensibilities of any London arts event I had been to. The event had an energy to it which for some of the time didn’t feel entirely comfortable.

I went for a wander last weekend to have a look at the place and take some pictures – I was interested in this enclave of artists nestling so close to the massive modern structure of the Olympic park.

As soon as I got out of my car I could see two young men painting a mural on a wall – not an everyday sight on London’s streets – but it looked entirely normal. In fact when I got close to them I could see another couple of artists doing the same thing further up the road.

London’s Secret Gardens

By Olivia Harris

London is a city full of trees, well-known for its public parks. But away from the bustle of Hyde Park and Regents Park are the gardens hidden in its residential squares, the quiet, shady spaces, ringed with iron railings and hedges that separate you from the rush of the city.

I have often spent sunny afternoons talking with friends in city squares. Parents bring their children and city workers share beers there after work.

These quiet corners of the city began to emerge, like much of London, in a haphazard fashion. In the 19th century, developers began to include private communal gardens for residents of the city’s squares. But Berkley Square exists because Lord Berkely insisted it shouldn’t be built on when the surrounding area was developed – to preserve the view from his London townhouse.

Angels of costume

By Suzanne Plunkett

On the outside, Angels The Costumiers is a drab grey warehouse bordered on one side by an industrial estate and on another by an artery of railway lines ferrying weary commuters to the endless suburbs of northwest London. Inside, it’s pure Hollywood.

As the world’s largest supplier of outfits to cinema, stage and television, Angels is home to more than eight miles of clothing rails — a vast and dizzying maze in which it’s simultaneously possible to lose yourself and stumble upon a piece of movie history.


“This here is our £60,000-pound rail,” says Jeremy Angel, a creative manager at the costumier, gesturing to a rack on which hangs hundreds of drab-looking ecclesiastical garments. “It’s where we found the Obi-Wan Kenobi robe.”

London: A great city because of its people

By Stefan Wermuth

In my view, London is a great city because of its cosmopolitan people who live and work there every day. I wanted to know what they think about this big event called Olympics, which will take place for two weeks in their city.

Laim Carter, a 19 year-old guardsman who has lived in London for two month, poses for a picture in Chelsea. When asked what he felt about London hosting the Olympics, Carter said: “It’s good.”

I went with my camera and a basic voice recorder to the streets of Balham, Westminster, The City of London, Brixton, Wandsworth, Shoreditch, Battersea, Lambeth and Chelsea and met all kind of different people.

All hail the Queen

By Suzanne Plunkett

When Queen Elizabeth II makes a public appearance there is usually a long list of protocol rules for those handling the visit, but this clearly doesn’t include what to do when hailstones start showering down.

The Queen was caught in a sudden hail storm on Wednesday while meeting the public in Richmond Park, southwest of London. Dark clouds overhead unleashed a torrent of ice on the 86-year-old monarch and a bitter wind tried to snatch away her umbrella.

The burst of wintry weather caught many people off guard. There were squeals from school children gathered for the event.

Secret London

By Stefan Wermuth

A walk from the Olympic side to ‘Little Venice’ along the Hertford Union canal and the Regents Canal.

I started my journey at the Overground station Hackney Wick. You will not find Hackney Wick in a travel guide under ‘highlights’ or ‘things to do’ but it has his own charm and its own ‘highlights’.

One of the ‘Highlights’ is also my culinary tip. Half-way between the station and the access to the Hertford Union canal is the cafe “The Griddlers”, located next to a car conversion shop. It’s a breakfast point for workers around the Olympic construction side. There is no Goût Mieux plate at the door but it’s authentic and the people are very friendly. The food is honest and cheap. I tried meal number 6 – scrambled eggs, baked beans, sausages and buttered toast. While eating number 6, I enjoyed looking at replicas of Paul Fischer’s ‘Girls bathing” and Jack Vettriano’s ‘Mad Dogs’.

  • Editors & Key Contributors