Queen Mary University of London is on the Mile End Road and is adjacent to the Regent’s canal. Part of the campus borders the canal and there is easy access from the University entrance. I was at QMUL for a conference but took the opportunity when time allowed to explore the tow path. My first walk was in the early morning and I followed the canal down to Limehouse basin and onto the River Thames. My second walk was northwards up to Victoria park and took place in the late afternoon. Both walks allowed me to photograph people, boats, wildlife and buildings along the way. This is my photographic account from those walks.
From QMUL to the river.
I was up early for this walk and was moving on the towpath by 6am. There were still many people out and about at this time. The day before had been hot and whilst there was a morning coolness temperatures were forecast to rise above 30oC. There was a slight mist around the canal which diffused the light. Several species of birds were moving around in the water. The canal was heavy with algae and the ducks made tracks in the green covering. There is a mixture of old industrial decay alongside both modern designs of buildings. I took several pictures of the juxta positioning of the buildings and where the canal was algae free caught their reflections in the still water.
On the streets there were abandoned hire bikes. Colours were appearing as the early sunlight started to reach the taller buildings. I soon reached Limehouse basin and this coincided with the sunrise. The area has lots to see and quick decisions were made as to the best place to stand for the photographs. I used my phone to take a few quick pictures that let me quickly see and plan the pictures with my Fujifilm x100v. One of my first pictures worked well and set the standard that I needed for future views.
After spending time photographing the sunrise , I made my way along the final part of the canal to the Thames. This area is very popular with local commuters due to its proximity to Canary Wharf. The quality of housing is of a higher standard than where I started in the Mile End Road. The journey does take you through a range of housing. The Thames looked good in the early morning light and I took several pictures around Gordon Ramsey’s Bread Kitchen restaurant. I followed the commuters as they walked along the road and then onto the pedestrian walkway next to the Thames. This was a chance to practice some street photography as sharp contrasts between light and dark were created by the sunlight rising between the buildings.
After a while, I realised that I had a conference to attend and I made my way back to QMUL following the Limehouse Cut. This took me past the Sea Mission and I eventually caught up with the Regent’s canal again. The light had shifted and therefore there were different takes on pictures that I had taken on the way down. One picture that I enjoyed taking was of two swans who were tucked into a recess of the canal wall. The picture with the reflections in the background shows the beauty of this canal.
My final picture is of black and white architecture. I saw this block of flats as the canal turned after a railway bridge. The reflections immediately caught my eye. I converted the picture to black and white and I was pleased with the result. I entered into the weekly #fsprintmondays competition organised by FotoSpeed on Twitter and the picture made the top 4 for that week.
If you enjoyed this blog then there is an earlier account of my photographic journey from Kings Cross to Camden along the Regent’s Canal. This waterway has such a varied landscape which makes it ideal to satisfy my love for photography.