PhotoSecrets Big Ben

A Photographer’s Guide

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Big Ben
A Photographer’s Guide
Andrew Hudson


Telephone box and Big Ben at angleCrystian Cruz/Flickr

Big Ben

25 views to photograph
Horse statue and Big BenPrasad Kholkute/Flickr
Palace of Westminster with Big BenDiliff/Wikipedia
Big Ben face at duskPisaphotography/Shutterstock
Big Ben from Parliament SquareMapics/Shutterstock
London Eye and Big BenSteve Jurvetson/Flickr
Telephone box and Big BenDeyan Georgiev/Shutterstock
Westminster Bridge and Big BenOlavs/Shutterstock
Westminster Bridge and Big Ben with double-decker busesSamot/Shutterstock
Westminster Bridge and Big Ben with light trailsS. Borisov/Shutterstock
Big Ben with fenceDiego Delso/Wikipedia
Palace of Westminster from London EyeAndré Zehetbauer/Flickr
Westminster Bridge and Big BenArturasker/Shutterstock
Big Ben from the dome on Methodist Central HallColin/Wikipedia
Lambeth Bridge and Big BenGarry Knight/Flickr
Underground sign and Big BenAnthony kelly/Flickr
Big Ben and London Eye from Vauxhall BridgeDun.can/Flickr
Big Ben and signpostStefano Marras/Flickr
Dials of Big BenColin/Wikipedia
Double-decker buses and Big Ben from WhitehallJoseph Plotz/Wikipedia
London Eye and Big Ben from Golden Jubilee BridgeJay-jerry/Flickr
Great Bell of Big BenDs Pugh/Wikipedia
London Eye and Big BenEric Huybrechts/Flickr
Movement of Big BenPaulobrad/Wikipedia



Map of Big Ben

Map of Parliament Square

Map of South Bank

About PhotoSecrets



A great travel photo­graph requires you to be in the right place at the right time to capture that special moment. Professional photo­graphers have a short-hand phrase for this: “F8 and be there.”

There are countless books that can help you with photo­graphic technique, the “F8” portion of that equation. But until now, there’s been little help for the other, more critical portion of that equation, the “be there” part. To find the right spot, you had to expend lots of time and shoe leather to essentially re-invent the wheel.

In my career as a professional travel photo­grapher, well over half my time on location is spent seeking out the good angles. Andrew Hudson’s PhotoSecrets does all that legwork for you, so you can spend your time photo­graphing instead of wandering about. I wish I had one of these books for every city I photo­graph on assignment.

PhotoSecrets can help you capture the most beautiful sights with a minimum of hassle and a maximum of enjoyment. So grab your camera, find your favorite PhotoSecrets spots, and “be there!”

About Bob Krist

Bob Krist has photo­graphed assignments for National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Travel/­Holiday, Smithsonian, and Islands. He won “Travel photo­grapher of the Year” from the Society of American Travel Writers in 1994, 2007, and 2008.

For National Geographic, Bob has led round-the-world tours and a traveling lecture series. His book In Tuscany with Frances Mayes spent a month on The New York Times’ bestseller list and his how-to book Spirit of Place was hailed by American Photo­grapher magazine as “the best book about travel photo­graphy we’ve ever read.”

The parents of three sons, Bob and his wife live in New Hope, Pennsylvania.


Thank you for reading PhotoSecrets. As a fellow fan of travel and photo­graphy, I hope this guide will help you quickly find the most visually stunning places, and come home with equally stunning photo­graphs.

PhotoSecrets is designed to show you all the best sights. Flick through, see the classic views, and use them as a departure point for your own creations. Flick through, enjoy the photos, and see which places inspire you. Get comp­osition ideas, lighting tips, and a brief history. It’ll be like traveling with a location scout and a pro-photo­grapher by your side.

The idea for PhotoSecrets came during a trip to Thailand, when I tried to find the exotic beach used in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun. None of the guidebooks I had showed a picture, so I thought a guidebook of postcard photos would be useful for us photographers. If you have any ides for improvements, please send me an email at

Now, start exploring — and take lots of photos!

About Andrew Hudson

Originally an engineer, Andrew Hudson started PhotoSecrets in 1995. His first book won the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best First Book and his second won the Grand Prize in the National Self-Published Book Awards.

Andrew has published 15 nationally-distributed photo­graphy books. He has photo­graphed assignments for Macy’s, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Men’s Health and Seventeen, and been a location scout for Nikon. His photos and articles have appeared in Alaska Airlines, National Geographic Traveler, Shutterbug Outdoor and Nature photo­graphy, Where, and Woman’s World.

Andrew has a degree in Computer Engineering from Manchester University and a certificate in copyright law from Harvard Law School. Born in Redditch, England, he lives with his wife, two kids, and two chocolate Labs, in San Diego, California.


At a Glance

Name:Big Ben (nickname for the “Great Bell” in Elizabeth Tower)
GPS:51.5007556, -0.1246611
Fame:Icon of London
World’s second-largest four-faced chiming clock
Far:18 km (11 miles) from the center of London
Height:96 m (316 feet)
Style:Gothic Revival
Architects:Augustus Pugin
Function:Clock tower
Address:Westminster, London SW1A 0AA, United Kingdom
City:City of Westminster
Notes:North tower of Palace of Westminster, home of UK Parliament.

Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London and is usually extended to refer to both the clock and the clock tower as well. The tower is officially known as Elizabeth Tower, renamed to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II in 2012; previously, it was known simply as the Clock Tower.

When completed in 1859, it was, says clockmaker Ian Westworth, “the prince of timekeepers: the biggest, most accurate four-faced striking and chiming clock in the world.” The tower had its 150th anniversary on 31 May 2009, during which celebratory events took place.

A British cultural icon, the tower is one of the most prominent symbols of the United Kingdom and is often in the establishing shot of films set in London.

On 21 August 2017, the tower began a four-year period of renovation. With a few exceptions, the tower’s renowned bells will be silent until the renovation is complete.




More Info

More information will be available from:

  • App (coming sometime)
  • ebook (coming sometime)
  • Printed book (coming sometime)