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East End At Night

November 19, 2018
by the gentle author

Reader David Rees sent me these soulful photographs of the East End and the City of London at night

The Still & Star, Aldgate

“I have always loved the great practitioners of night photography, Bill Brandt, Brassaï, Alfred Stieglitz, Harold Burdekin and the Virginia railway photographs of O. Winston Link. Parts of the East End and the City are still astonishingly quiet and empty after dark. The emptiness makes it less likely that anyone is going to ask what you are doing taking photographs. Additionally, my eyesight has been failing in the last few years to the degree that I find it quite uncomfortable in daylight, so my flaring corneas have turned me into a vampire snapper. The London half of my family line has been East End for many generations.”  – David Rees

Bell Lane, Spitalfields

Wentworth St

Tower Hill

St Margaret Pattens, City of London

Little Somerset St

Aldgate

St Olave’s, Seething Lane

The Tower

Tower Bridge

Photographs copyright ©

You may also like to take a look at

The Nights of Old London

Harold Burdekin’s London Nights

13 Responses leave one →
  1. November 19, 2018

    Wonderful atmospheric and evocative images of East London devoid of people yet containing echos of them everywhere. It’s the London I love and long may it’s streets be empty in the depths of the night. Beautiful!

  2. November 19, 2018

    Beautiful pictures. Thank you, David Rees for being a “Vampire Snapper”, and thank you, Gentle Author, for posting them.

  3. ja woolf permalink
    November 19, 2018

    These are really beautiful atmospheric photos that capture the area as it is now, when it is quiet at night.

  4. Paul Ridgway permalink
    November 19, 2018

    Congrats on an excellent set of pics. As late as the 1980s there was a whiff of wine / sherry in French Ordinary Court.This reader has tramped o’er Tower Hill and round about for nigh on half a century and each day I find something new I had missed on an earlier expedition.

  5. Paddy Kerr permalink
    November 19, 2018

    I really like these photos – the city at night – a world without the hope and warmth of the sun. These desolate images seem as good a metaphor as any for the bleak political landscape. Please God we will one day see a brighter morn.

  6. Sarah Yassine permalink
    November 19, 2018

    Magic Always

  7. Helen Breen permalink
    November 19, 2018

    Greetings from Boston,

    GA, thank you for sharing those great night photographs by David Rees. The black and white pics really allow the architectural features of his subject to “shine,” particularly in the rain. My favorite – the third one down with the town house (or would it be called a terrace house?) with the entrance to what is now, I presume, is a garage – formerly mews?

    Also liked St Margaret Patten, City of London – great stuff!

  8. November 19, 2018

    Wonderful, moody and atmospheric photos. Thanks for sharing. Valerie

  9. November 19, 2018

    A fantastic series! I looked through these a number of times, and suddenly the word “foot steps” came to mind. I had the feeling at (any moment) a passing hurried figure would step into the frame and scurry by, footsteps leaving a momentary imprint — then gone. Made me feel like a cozy observer, inside on a gloomy morning in the Hudson River Valley.

    Thank you, GA for revealing this wonderful work. Masterful images.

  10. Gary Arber permalink
    November 19, 2018

    Very skilful photography, David has used his camera the way that we all had to in the days before the invention of cameras that did the work for you, with very careful attention to settings before pressing the shutter release. A pleasure to look at, congratulations.
    Gary

  11. Ros permalink
    November 19, 2018

    whoo, powerful and atmospheric pictures. I love the positioning of the stall frameworks on Wentworth Street, the occasional people like the cyclist waiting at the lights and the woman on the wet pavement greatly adding to the effects, and then there’s that spooky parcel in front of the Still and Star…

  12. Nile permalink
    November 25, 2018

    Can we have locations for the unlabelled ones?

    In particular, the third image, with the long passageway behind the arch?

  13. Amanda permalink
    December 2, 2018

    Still shivering from the atmosphere the photographer captured and worrying for his safety there alone.
    Wholeheartedly agree with Doreen.

    Never imagined the area l love to wander in daylight would be so deserted at night in the heart of the capital. 
    l extra dislike the glass monsters in this context dwarfing the centuries old  St Margaret Pattens innocently sleeping to ward off her indignation.

    Ros – in first photo l believe the spooky parcel outside the Still & Star Inn could be a ‘Bernard Matthews’ turkey ?carelessly dropped by Del and Rodney.
    Any moment they’ll appear from the shadows disguised as Batman + Robin to collect it.

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