London’s gems: Foto Ruta’s guide to Columbia Road Flower Market

Taking place every Sunday 8am-3pm in London’s East End, the colourful and visually appealing Columbia Road Flower Market is a photographers’ paradise. So don’t be lazy, get out of your bed early in the morning, go out and shoot!

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

PORTRAITS

The best time to start your visit is from 9.00am on, when almost all the stalls are opened and the crowds are still far away. The friendly atmosphere of the market is ideal to take candid portraits of the sellers. Most of the traders are based in Essex and are proud local producers willing to pose for you… don’t miss be shy and ask if you can take their picture!

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

Challenge yourself, break the rules and find new ways to tell a story. Take a portrait where the subject is not in the foreground!

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

CLOSE – UPS

Flowers, bulbs, herbs, shrubs and bedding plants too are for sale in the market: it’s a great occasion to exercise with close-ups! Follow your nose and search for colourful bouquets, ideal for bird eye’s view.

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

Search for a detail, focus on it and use the colours of the stalls as a perfect background!

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

Lined with 60 independent shops, Columbia Road is a great location to practice with street photography is a safe, car-free environment. 

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

Look for details, funny situations, original places that describe the atmosphere.

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

Practice the rule of thirds using objects and leading lines.

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

GO ABSTRACT

Use shop windows to isolate interesting patterns, human eye loves repetition!

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

Street art is everywhere in East London, search for your favourite wall and use it as an original background as well as an image in itself.

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

Enter a shop and find an original way to represent it – like an art gallery without pictures and frames!

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

TAKE A BREAK!

With so many delis, cafes and pubs a break to refuel is essential to award yourself whit a little treat while exploring the market. Our favourite is Cafe Columbia: opened only on Sundays, this institution serves bagels since the 1980s. They taste even better than they look: will you be able to resist?

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA

PHOTO BY CECILIA COLUSSI / FOTO RUTA