London Christmas Lights

In London, Christmas and the Oxford Street Christmas lights seem to go hand in hand. There is always a celebrity-attended stitching on party, while locals wait to see who has won out on the year – film industry gaudiness or decent, seasonal lighting. This year the latter has won out and, while still obviously promoting a film, this is really only noticeable around Oxford Circus.

360 panorama of Christmas Lights on Oxford Street, ©2009 Peter Watts

360 panorama of Christmas Lights on Oxford Street, ©2009 Peter Watts

The main theme of the lights this year is wrapped presents and what looks like umbrellas, seen in the picture below. Perhaps this reflects a combination of the shopping frenzy expected in the run up to Christmas and the need to be prepared for the British weather.

Just of Oxford Street was an entirely different set of lights on South Molton Street, where shoppers walked through a series of blue, lit arches decorated with stars. A very much more relaxing feel.

360 panorama of Christmas Lights on S.Molton St London, © 2009 Peter Watts

360 panorama of Christmas Lights on S.Molton St London, © 2009 Peter Watts

Taking panoramas of Christmas lights on streets is quite a challenge, the low light requiring long exposures. Thankfully on Oxford Street traffic is stationary long enough, even at 8pm on a Sunday night, that the cars remain sharp and still throughout the multiple 5-second exposures needed to create the shot. Next up will be a visit to Regents Street.

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