Dear London

Tourism instantly presents itself as a tricky old task because it adds people into the equation (see similar rant I had with regards to the Commute challenge) and people are infuriating subjects. 

Also, when I think of tourism, I become a grumpy Scrooge. Not a fan. Not the act of touring and appreciating new places, which comes under the heading of travelling, but the socks and sandal wearing droves of people that transform a place from beautiful and historic to something more closely resembling a cattle market. It stresses me out! I hate that they travel in herds with massive backpacks containing their apocalypse survival kit with absolutely no regard for what is happening around them (stereotype acknowledged). Before moving to NYC I don't think I'd ever been fully surrounded by tourists so didn't quite understand. But now, after two shorts months, I wholeheartedly want to banish the tourist stereotype.

On this photography challenge I set out wanting to get something different, something new and exciting, something that doesn't scream tourism in all it's mammoth-bag-wielding, garish glory.

I looked at the vendors selling overpriced merchandise but these images never pleased me, I couldn't seem to get the right angle.  I also thought back to my time on Brooklyn Bridge and was struck by the padlocks that people routinely attached with messages of love, but it still didn't strike the right chord. When it came down to making the selection these images just didn't made the cut.

So I steeled myself and dove into the belly of the beast: Times Square, 9pm. 

I haven't even slightly perfected my shooting at night skills, and even with the lights of Times Square I couldn't get the right settings to get a steady pic, BUT I'm still going to include my favourite shot, despite the fact that it isn't quite in focus. For me, this is the beauty in tourism.

This was my favourite picture because his little face, full of wonder, says it all... I only wish he was in focus.

My challenge came to me quite unexpectedly... on the ferry to Ikea. We'd been told that the Ikea ferry was a great option to see the New York bay/Statue of Liberty for free and it didn't hurt that we would get to have a mosey around Ikea afterwards. However, stepping onto the boat it was clear that it was full of Brooklyn locals making their daily commute and the irony was not lost on me that if I wasn't careful I would turn into the tourist cliché that I was just whining about. We bought a lamp to try and vindicate ourselves, but when the sun started to set and I saw the golden light... I couldn't stop myself. I took out my camera and brandished it loudly and proudly. In my head I looked like a passionate photography, but in reality (paired with my British accent) I probably looked like an eager beaver tourist.

Soooo... Sunset is this week's theme. Over the past few weeks I have really come to adore sunset in New York - it's the first place I have really been able to appreciate golden light on a daily basis. I have so many shots that I love from this shoot, but this was the one that jumped out at me from the start.

Next week there's a whole host of things going on, the most exciting is we get the keys to our new apartment. WHOOP WHOOP! There's also still a mountain of things to organise for the wedding so it's all systems go on this side of the pond.

We're so looking forward to see you both soon but in the meantime, happy snapping.

New York x