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Insights & Thoughts

Vincent Laforet Shoots London From 6k Feet For A New Look On An Old City

By Kishore Sawh on May 22nd 2015


There are few cities in history that could boast at being the sort of metropolitan epicenter of the world. When we think about cities like this, particularly western ones, we think of Rome, possibly New York now, and arguably most of all, London. London is, by measure, the largest metropolitan city in the world, and it didn’t become that way in a fortnight. As the center of the Empire it has grown and evolved, but somehow manages to maintain a taste of the old world, within the new.

One of the ways you can see this strikingly is from Vincent Laforet’s AIR project. Having photographed and filmed numerous cities Stateside perched from the beckoning open door of a helicopter, Laforet and his Canon 1DX has moved forward 5 hours into an older world to shoot 4 cities in Europe in the same fashion. London was the first stop, and admittedly he says, the city he was by far the most concerned with shooting.


…there is no semblance of a grid in London or of an organized geometry that you find in most modern cities, and in many older cities such as Barcelona and Paris for example…The streets can best be described with one word: Chaotic. It turns out that I could not have been more wrong: there is a very special beauty within the mysterious curves of London’s streets – and especially so at night.

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London’s lights and sights from the ground are mesmerizing. Not in the same way Shanghai or Tokyo can assault the senses, but softer and from the air, the scale of the city as illustrated by Laforet, is incredible. He seems to use some tilt-shift miniature effect which somehow doesn’t seem awful here as I feel it typically tends to, and somehow makes London appear even more approachable – if that’s the right word.

[REWIND: Vincent Laforet Tackles Film SLR on DigitalRev’s Challenge]


Shooting in such low light, generally, I shudder to think of the amount of post processing that went into each final image to remove noise and define the colors. To his credit, Laforet delivers images that don’t seem to be too overcooked, but simply bold. There’s a shot of Piccadilly Circus and surround streets like Regent Street where you really get a sense of how complex the lighting can be there, and the scene is represented so well. Wonderful work.

Here’s a behind the scenes look at the making of the London set, and you can see all the London Air images and more about the process of shooting over on Storehouse. You can pre-order the upcoming book here.

Source: PetaPixel, images are screen caps from featured video


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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. J. Dennis Thomas

    Maybe it’s just me but I found that video really boring. Even at just over 2 minutes I was bored by it before it was even over. The mix of under and over processing was distracting. I dunno. I guess it’s cool if you’re the one getting flown around, but it didn’t do anything for me.

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    • Kishore Sawh

      I think as a BTS video, especially of a project this size, it could’ve been better. The project, however, is impressive.

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