Brain Pickings

Photographer Jason Hawkes’ London At Night

The view from cloudy skies, or why the financial district is blingier than you thought.

It’s no secret we’re totally obsessed with aerial photography. But while most of the genre focuses on nature’s most magnificent landscapes and man’s most monumental industrial spaces, a breathtaking birdseye view of urbanity’s living fabric — metropolitan cities — is something of a rarity. Which is why we’re completely swept away by photographer Jason Hawkes’ new book, London At Night — a remarkable anthology of images

London’s financial district
© Jason Hawkes

While the series is available on Hawkes’ website (which also features similar images of New York), there’s something quite powerful about the physicality to the book that ads to the lushness and vibrant glamor of the images.

Waterloo and Eurostar terminal
© Jason Hawkes
© Jason Hawkes

Shooting aerial photography during the daytime had its own difficulties, you are strapped tightly into a harness leaning out of the helicopter, shouting directions through the headsets to the pilot. If shooting in the day can be difficult, night and the lack of light causes its own set of problems, but overcoming them is half the fun and the results can be stunning.” ~ Jason Hawkes for

A classic London roundabout
© Jason Hawkes

While the light porn does make us worry about London’s carbon footprint, we have admit the exuberant urban whimsy of Hawkes’ photographs makes make it oh-so-easy to surrender to the beauty and forget the ecology of it.

Motorway junction
© Jason Hawkes

Whether you’re a born-and-raised Londoner or someone who’s always admired the grand city from a distance, grab a copy of London At Night to experience one of humanity’s most iconic urban epicenters on a whole new level — literally.

Published April 29, 2010




Filed Under

View Full Site

Brain Pickings participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. In more human terms, this means that whenever you buy a book on Amazon from a link on here, I receive a small percentage of its price, which goes straight back into my own colossal biblioexpenses. Privacy policy.