China Town, London

China Town's are a regular feature of many of our city's here in the UK and I think it is often forgotten how much Chinese culture has permeated that of the West. How many of us consider Chinese food (albeit a British version) to be their favourite cuisine? I wonder if people in China feel the same about a Sunday roast, or a shepherds pie? Somehow I doubt it.

I recently spent a night down in London shooting the hustle and night life in our countries largest China Town. It was a Friday night and the streets were packed with people dining out, tourists passing through, and the local traders trying to tempt customers into their establishments. The area was not short on street photographers either with my final count for the night totalling 4 others trying to do the same.

I tried to capture the highly varied life and activity in the area around Gerrard Street and Lisle Street using my old Canon 5D and Sigma 85mm Art lens. The area was so full of life, and its occupants so used to street photography, that it was easy to feel comfortable shooting out in the open. Nobody challenged me as I shot images of workers in restaurants and tourists passing through. That's definitely one of the benefits of shooting street in London, no one seems to care if you shove a camera in their face!

I originally shot in colour which I felt was the only way to do justice to the life and light in the area however when I tried editing in mono in Lightroom, I felt that the black and white look gave the images a different feel. Here are a selection of my favourite images from the night.

 Smoke break I.

Smoke break I.

 Watching people watching people go by.

Watching people watching people go by.

 Prepping.

Prepping.

 Door man.

Door man.

 Welcoming party.

Welcoming party.

 Smoke break II.

Smoke break II.

 Portrait with lollipop.

Portrait with lollipop.

 Steam.

Steam.

 Smoke break III.

Smoke break III.

 Late night delivery.

Late night delivery.

 Access to Opium.

Access to Opium.

 Still life.

Still life.

 Give me a break.

Give me a break.

 Window shopping.

Window shopping.