20 must-photograph streets in the UK, as chosen by Sony and Rough Guides

London Bus taken by @cmrileyphoto
(Image credit: @cmrileyphoto)

Sony and Rough Guides have teamed up to provide us with a unique travel guide photo series comprised of 20 UK recommendations for capturing the most breath-taking street photography in 2022. 

The series of images have all been shot on Sony's latest flagship smartphone, the Sony Xperia 1 III in an attempt to showcase the power of the device's multiple ultra-wide dual pixel PDAF lenses when used in narrow  alleyways to capture full scenery depth with advanced control in low light areas. 

• Read more: Best camera phones guide

Beginning in London, the travel guide suggests visiting Conduit Mews, near Paddington, where you can find a colorblock row of houses and garages complemented by aesthetically pleasing outdoor plants potted for decoration.

Conduit Mews, London (Image credit: @cmrileyphoto)

Brick Lane is another suggested stop with an array of late night eateries and graffiti scattered for those seeking to find urban elements to elevate their portfolio. City lights from London buses also make for fantastic subjects of light trails when shooting on slower shutter speeds. 

Godwin's Court in Covent Garden is the final listed destination in the London area where you can discover pebbled alleyways, resemblant of Diagon Alley, with perfectly lit windows providing excellent picturesque scenes when shooting at night.

For those residing in the South West of the UK, look no further than the Christmas Steps located in Bristol as well as the quaint Gandy Street situated in Exeter, Devon. Dating back to the 1600s, the shopping quarter charmingly named Christmas steps can be found near Perry Road, a lane housed by unique potteries and art galleries to inspire your creative street photography flair. 

Godwin's Court, London (Image credit: @cmrileyphoto)

Gandy Street hosts a smaller space of independent shopping outlets and lanterned cobblestone paths, guaranteed to jazz up your Christmas shopping experience and produce some breath-taking street photographs with an element of warmth. 

The streets of Rye are picturesque and full of history, particularly Mermaid Street as the guide refers to is a spectacular location full of character and victorian style buildings dating back as far as 1156. An instagrammers dream. 

Other notable locations from the guide include The Shambles in York, Steep Hill in Lincoln, The Royal Mile in Edinburgh and Ashton Lane in Glasgow. Put forward as "the UK's most inspiring spots for stand-out street photography", Rough Guide's Amy Hopkins describes featured locations as being "straight out of a storybook, while others are frozen in time." There's something for every photographer to embark on their own street photography adventure.

Mermaid Street, Rye (Image credit: @an.item.explores)

5 top tips for perfect street shots

Professional photographer Charlotte Graham has shared her secrets to shooting street shots with the Xperia 1 III:

1) Use natural light where possible
The beauty of street photography is that you can visit a location at sunrise, midday, sunset or even at night and you’ll get completely different images each time. The Sony Xperia 1 III has a larger sensor and Bionz X for mobile to deliver fabulous results in all lighting conditions. The only thing you need to do is find the best position for the shot you want to capture.

2) Photography Pro is a must-have for street photography
Snapping like a professional photographer, even if you have no experience, is made so much easier with the Xperia 1 III where you'll find all the controls usually found on professional cameras, helping you get as creative as you want. I’d recommend shooting in RAW in the first instance and then using all the editing tools baked into the phone. Typically, I bring down the highlights and reduce the shadows when editing.

3) Use the rule of thirds to compose your shot
Imagine your photo is split into a grid of nine boxes and then position the key elements in shot along the gridlines to get the best composition. Get on the ground, stand on a bench or cross the road and remember, a little framing goes a long way.

4) Experiment with exposure and shutter speed
Street photography completely alters when you have a subject – be it a flock of pigeons taking flight or a cyclist passing by. The Xperia 1 III offers up to 20fps continuous burst shooting, complete with autofocus and auto exposure, meaning you can capture all those fleeting moments for truly original shots. Try also slowing down the shutter speed to give the image a blurred look.

5) Make the most of the camera lenses
Sometimes, pointing and shooting produces great results. Other times, it pays to experiment with the different lenses. The Xperia 1 III has four versatile lenses housed in its triple camera, giving you access to create completely different shots without even moving from your spot. I like using the 70mm lens for a close up shot, while the 16mm is perfect for a wider shot of the surrounding environment.

Read More:

14 Essential tips for street photography
Best cameras for street photography 
Best Travel Cameras
The Best Sony Lenses


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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.