Today I’m visiting the big smoke. Am I mad as its nearly Christmas it will be chocka with people rushing around getting their Christmas fayre! All decent exhibitions are held in London these days. I do wonder at times whether we are a one city nation. But there are lots of photographic exhibitions on show and that’s where we are heading.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year was held at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich with a small number of images on display but nevertheless a good selection. The overall winner was particularly eye catching.

At National Maritime Museum was the iconic American landscape photographer, Ansel Adams. An entrance fee, £7, applies to this exhibition but none the same it is a fine exhibition tracing his early years through to the period pre and post WWII where some of his most famous images are displayed. Highlights include 3 gigantic images which he printed. There are elements within his work I’ve seen for the first time today which I’ve seen in my work. Amazing! The documentary excerpts where also interesting in what he said.

Next was the landscape photographer Michael Kenna. A selection of his prints were on display at Chris Beetles Fine Photographers store near Piccadilly Circus. There were 50 prints on display. A fine selection of monochromatic prints indeed. Some simple compositions, others more complex. Many were taken whilst in Japan and US. The tones on the prints are beautiful with some a much smaller mono palette. I enjoyed viewing these prints, as with Ansel’s prints makes you look at B&W with real pleasure and that colour can sometimes seems inferior.

Final destination was the National Theatre for Landscape Photographer of the Year. A problem year for the competition. However, hopefully lessons will be learnt from this year’s event. Camera club members you have been warned! The images were superbly printed and many large so that you get a sense of being at the scene that the photographer set. A good selection of images. Not sure whether I enjoyed the winner’s work as much as others. Not taking anything from the winner, Simon Butterworth, I’ve seen his work before and he is an excellent photographer, so worthy in that sense? Get the feeling that too many images are over vibrant over saturated. Not a huge amount of B&W. Maybe more sutle needed next time!