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Monday, January 7, 2013

Step into the Dark City: Evocative 1930s' pictures reveal the eerie alleys and lost buildings of London


These atmospheric images show buildings, alleys and streets from the rapidly-disappearing London of the 1930s - cloaked in darkness.

They were collated by a pair of photographers called John Morrison and Harold Burdekin for a book called London Night, which was published in 1934.
They show the capital as it was before smog, before the Blitz changed the face of the city forever, and before the brutalist concrete monoliths of post-war rebuilding.
They used newly-emerging night photography techniques to capture London's unique atmosphere.
It was a city of alleys lit by dim lamps, stark contrasts of light and dark and looming, oppressive architecture.

Spooky: Light streams through a gate in these images capturing the London of a bygone era

The cinematic photos are once again in the limelight after they were posted on The Library Time Machine, a blog run by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Library Service.
Vintage enthusiasts and photography bloggers across the UK have delighted in the newly-emerged, dramatic and beautiful images.

Light and dark: A lantern hangs in a doorway and a park's lights blaze in the surrounding darkness. Above, an ominous aerial shot of a gateway and pillars cast shadows in a blaze of light

Stark: The photos make extensive use of the glaring contrast of streetlights in the London mist and gloom

Past: The images give historians an insight into a London that has been lost to time

State-of-the-art: The two photographers who collated the images in 1934 used pioneering night photography techniques

The pictures come from a book called London Night published in 1934 and recently unearthed by library staff in the capital

Metropolis: Some of the images are reminiscent of the films of German director Fritz Lang

source: dailymail

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