As I’ve probably said before, there are a collection of stations where I already have the perfect cover picture in my mind. London Bridge (026) is was a great example, I knew exactly how I’d frame the shot, the roundel giving way to The Shard in the background.
At Piccadilly Circus I had a similar idea. Another roundel shot (there are no surface buildings so this is the only option) looking up at the main focus point of the Arrows of Eros,* which would sit prominently in the centre of the image. Behind the vision is illuminated by Piccadilly’s famous giant advertising boards, and I’ve framed it all just so to cut out most of the unruly hubbub of people bustling about.
Unfortunately none of what I just said happened.
None of the subway entrances sit in the right position to make Eros* look like anything other than an insignificant spec on the horizon. The billboards had been (I’d forgotten) turned off for renovation works and replaced by naff static banners on scaffolding, making the whole scene look like any other building site in London. The final kicker is the nasty city sightseeing ticket shed which photobombs any hope of salvaging a decent shot.
Still this project isn’t about capturing the idylls of London I have in my mind but more the reality. And the reality is that in mid April 2017, a crowded and illuminated Piccadilly was a bit disappointing.
*It’s not actually Eros, the Greek god of love and attraction, but Anteros the god of requitted love and avenger of unrequited love – which is naturally much more ‘London,’ but you all knew that right?…
Image copyright A Carter – CallingAllStations.co.uk