The London Society caught up with Chris Hopkinson, a London-based architecture photographer and videographer, with a background as an architect. He explained his creative process and how he chose the London locations for his images which were included in the book London of the Future.
I sent a real mix of stuff, probably around 200 photos. I used to be an architect, so there was quite a focus on architecture. And also nature in London. People don't think of London as a place of green spaces.
I think the one with Thames beach in the background is probably a favourite. Also the Millennium Bridge, and the bustling high street. My favourite building in London is probably the Aquatic Centre in Stratford.
I wanted ones that were new and interesting such as the Olympic legacy developments. Capturing places that have a social agenda as well as an environmental hook is always good. There’s a photo of an extinction rebellion protest. It’s interesting, and I also fully support the movement. Visually, it’s appealing as you’ve got different types of people attending from tree huggers and climbers to old gentlemen. It’s brilliant.
I scout them out on my bicycle which is always a good way to explore. I come across all sorts of skyscrapers that I just haven't heard about. I live by the Olympic Park, so walking around and watching, being able to go at different times of day, different lighting conditions, and when there’s different people. I try to have different layers of interests in the foreground and background, people interacting with buildings.
There is a temptation to play around, and you can spend your whole life playing around and tinkering with it. There's a danger in that. For software, I use Adobe Lightroom. I refine lighting and colours but I try to do most things in the camera when I take the shot. But if I’m taking photos for an architect, then there's fire alarms or a bin in the picture that needs to be removed.
I am very interested in more sustainable projects. Using stone and timber in innovative ways that's pushing the boundaries of what buildings can be. I also like taking pictures during the construction stage and how it is created, from start to finish.
From my training I definitely look at buildings differently. And it's impossible to say whether it's a good thing or a bad thing. It's just a different perspective. But it's also good to take a step back, looking at things from the architect's point of view. I enjoy photography a lot more as I find it there’s greater freedom and creativity.
To buy a copy of London of the Future, shop here.
Photos by Chris Hopkinson