Photographic walks that really focus on London

A former Canary Wharf employee has started giving walking photography tours to help people improve their digital camera skills

When Deborah Bowness was made redundant from her job as a bank administrator she decided to start her own business passing on skills she has learned over the past five years as a keen amateur photographer.

Deborah, 50, who lives at Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, has been taking the tours around Greenwich, St Paul’s and the City since April, giving advice on the art of composition and technical aspects such as handling the camera properly, focusing, shutter speeds, aperture and lighting en route.

Deborah said: “I chose these parts of London because all have a lot of history and a mix of old and new buildings, which make for interesting photos.”

The St Paul ‘s to London Bridge tour starts at Paternoster Square , goes over the Millennium (Wobbly) Bridge, past Shakespeare’s Globe theatre to Borough Market. The City route starts at Spitalfields Market and explores lesser-known backstreets of the financial district as well as iconic sites, such as the Gherkin, the Lloyds building, Leadenhall Market (popular with Harry Potter fans) and The Royal Exchange building. The Greenwich walk starts near the newly refurbished and reopened Cutty Sark, visits the Old Naval College (seen in films including Pirates of the Caribbean and Les Miserables) and Martime Museum before a walk in the park, up to the Royal Observatory, that’s hilltop location affords magnificent views of the capital and beyond.


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All take about four hours and include a pit stop in the middle.

Deborah decided to start them because DSLR - digital single lens reflex - cameras, as used by all professionals, she explained, can be tricky to get the hang of.

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She said: “The difference between DSLR cameras and point-and-shoot cameras is that those are good for snapshots but the DSLR is used for precision and sharpness, that’s why all professionals use them.

“It’s exciting planning the composition of the photograph, through to the correct exposure to seeing the end result. It’s really rewarding guiding people from using the automatic mode, to semi-automatic to manual and seeing them compose pictures they are proud of.

“I know from experience that it’s better to learn from doing things yourself with some guidance rather than from a book.”

All tours start with a half-hour introduction into the use of digital cameras - including shutter speeds, aperture and ISO. Then participants, in groups of up to six, walk around taking their own shots, with Deborah on hand to offer tips and advice and talk about the history of the areas. Each ends with a questions and answer session and examination of each other’s work - usually in a quaint coffee shop or pub.

Tours usually cost �75 but are only �60 until mid June. For more information, visit www.walkandtalkphotography.com

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