Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #233 – A One-Lens Walk

A food vendor outside our London hotel.

London, United Kingdom.

This week Anne challenges us to use a single lens and take a photo walk. She writes, “My challenge for you is to take a lens for a walk. Yes, choose a lens and walk. You can also use your cell phone or point and shoot camera and see what you can do with it. Another trick, when you’re using a zoom lens, is to pick an aperture and stay with it. If you don’t have time or the weather isn’t cooperating, then delve into your archives.” You can read Anne’s entire challenge post here.

It just so happened that I did such a thing on an evening walk in London on our first trip there in October 2022. We were scheduled there for only two nights, and we were staying at the Citizen M hotel, only a short walk from the Tower of London. The neighborhood is filled with pubs and restaurants, and I thought it might be fun to take a walk and look for photo opportunities. My opening photo features a food vendor in a repurposed tram car.

One Lens Walk-3
On the way to the Tower of London.

I started our walk with two cameras, my Sony RX100M5 and my Samsung S20U cell phone. I picked my Sony over my Nikon for the walk as my Sony’s small size made it less obtrusive for street photography than my D500 Nikon. I used aperture priority and bracketed the shots for creating HDR images. I also used my cell phone to create some Cellpic Sunday images, but for this challenge, I used only images captured from my Sony camera.

One Lens Walk-4
Tower of London at night.

The small sensor size of the camera created quite a bit of noise in the images, but a pass through the Luminar Neo’s Noiseless add-in helped to reduce the noise. I did make one mistake on this gallery that would have improved the noise issue. My Sony has a minimum f-stop of 1.8, but when I started taking shots, I forgot to adjust the setting from its last use during the afternoon. Most of these images were captured at f/5. Maybe next time, I’ll remember to pre-adjust the camera… or maybe not.

One Lens Walk-2
One of London’s iconic double-decker buses.

As we walked toward a nearby bridge, I happened to spot a London bus traveling over the upper level. Knowing the longer shutter speed necessary that evening, I panned the camera in hopes of capturing the bus sharply while motion-blurring the background. The shot came out pretty well.

One Lens Walk-1
Slug and Lettuce restaurant.

Earlier that day, we had lunch at this restaurant. It was fairly busy for the evening dinner crowd. This area of shops and restaurants is at a slightly lower level than the streets around it and they border the Saint Katharine Docks Marina. The roadway at the upper left leads to the Tower Bridge.

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Hotel Novotel London Bridge.

Continuing my walk along Cooper’s Row, I passed the Hotel Novotel London Tower Bridge on Pepys Street.

One Lens Walk-6
Back alleyway to the Underground station.

Continuing on Cooper’s Row, I saw an alleyway with a sign indicating it is a shortcut to a nearby Underground stop. “Mind the gap.” Upon my return to the hotel, the shortcut was closed off by iron gates as it is apparently only available for use part of the day.

One Lens Walk-11

Turning onto Crutched Friars, I found one of the more popular restaurants in the area, if I could judge by the people waiting outside for a seat. The Munich Cricket Club looks like a fun night spot.

One Lens Walk-7
Crutched Friar.

Earlier that evening, we walked the route along Crutched Friars and had dinner at the Crutched Friar Pub. This city pub was our dinner stop for one of our evenings in London.

One Lens Walk-8
Basils Sandwich Shop.

Turning the corner off Hart Street, I walked by Basils Sandwich Shop and remembered one of my favorite British sitcoms featuring Basil Fawlty, that rude hotel manager at Fawlty Towers in Torquay. I thought to myself, “I hope this Basil is better mannered with his customers.”

One Lens Walk-10
The Ship on Hart Street.

Continuing along Hart Street, According to Google Maps, The Ship is a 19th-century, traditional dark wood pub, with classic pub food available in the upstairs dining room.

B-W Challenge 2022-8
Cheshire Cheese Pub on Crutched Friars.

For a recent challenge, I included this black-and-white image of Crutched Friars near the Cheshire Cheese Pub. I trimmed it into a panoramic image in part to crop out a very bright street light that shone down from the train bridge that runs over this part of the road.

One Lens Walk-9
Fenchurch Street Station. “Mind the Gap.”

My last stop on this one-lens walk is Fenchurch Street Underground station. Even though it was later in the evening, the shops in the station were mostly still open and there was plenty of pedestrian traffic. In front of the station, there is a collection of modern public art.

Thanks to Anne who in her challenge gave me the opportunity to share a collection of images captured with my Sony on my one-lens walk. The lens on this model Sony point-and-shoot camera is not removable, so it was perfect for this challenge. My only regret is my forgetting to open the lens wider from where it was set when I used it earlier in the day. You may notice if you see the specs in my Flickr album that at one point, I realized my error, and some of the images were captured at the f/1.8 opening.

You can take a closer look at all of these images in my Flickr album here. Next week the Lens-Artists team welcomes Donna for her first challenge post as a regular. For more details on joining our weekly challenge, check out my post here.

One final note, on the date of publication, my wife and I will be packing and heading south to Port Canaveral to board the NCL Escape on another cruise. If I don’t respond to comments quickly, it’s probably due to my lack of Internet access. As I gain access during our trip, I’ll be sure to respond.

John Steiner


  1. We’ll John, you added an extra challenge by shooting at night! Bravo for your taking the challenge to heart, recognizing an issue and fixing it in post, and doing a terrific job of showing us London at night. I loved that you chowed everyday/night London instead of tourist London. Terrific post, loved the images!

  2. I enjoyed following your night time walk around an area I’m more often in during the day than at night. The panned bus shot has come out really well and I love the night shot of the Tower.
    A useful (?) point for any future visit to London. Our subway system is called the Underground, or the Tube colloquially, never the metro 😉

  3. London is a great place to take a walk, and with a focus on nighttime shots was extra. I loved the Tower of London shot, but I loved more that you captured the essence of the night in the city. And without many people around. My favorite was the last photo of Fenchurch Street Station, but I loved the whole walk. I also loved that you guided us with your camera uses.

    I know you are having fun…on your Escape. pun intended .

  4. Hi John, for not a fan of London, you made it look interesting. Great photos, I do like the literally approach to the challenge. Night time photography is always a challenge in itself, so well done. I recognised the black and white photo and I think I like it even more.

    • Thank you, Sofia! I wasn’t thinking of a challenge when I took the walk. I really wanted to try some night photography. It has been a while since my previous experiences.
      I was happy that this challenge fit my project. 🙂

  5. I love London, but haven´t visited for 5 years now. LOVED your walk and night time shots. I can feel the atmosphere through your lens! Have a great cruising tour!

  6. Travel is like nothing else. Looks like a great trip with lots of great photo memories. I haven’t been to London in so long, but my wife really wants to see it, so hopefully soon…

  7. Hi Johnbo
    I like all
    The photos for mood and various light-
    But my fav is the opening photo with the vendor – because the subject to the right has that blue color and the photo kept inviting me back to explore

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