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Check out these extraordinary analogue images of London's unseen history

(Image credit: London Unseen)

As the capital city of the United Kingdom, London has always been a melting pot of multiple cultures and classes. A photographic project, London Unseen, looks to document the unique evolution of this storied city via analog photography images that date back to 1890. 

The project in the main is the work of local photographer Paul Anthony Scane, who spent 15 years documenting the unseen side of the city using some of the best film cameras ranging from 35mm to medium and large format, including Leica, Hasselblad, Linhof 4x5 and Mamiya 6x7.

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However, it is also an archive of original vintage negatives taken by other unknown photographers that have themselves remained unseen until now. Spanning almost a hundred years, from the 1890s to 1980s, they provide a fascinating look at how one of the most famous cities in the world was shaped and changed during the course of massive cultural change and even war.

Mile End, 2014 (Image credit: Paul Anthony Scane)

Clapham, 2011

Clapham, 2011 (Image credit: Paul Anthony Scane)

Wandsworth Bridge Road, 2010 (Image credit: Paul Anthony Scane)

St Martins-in-the-Fields, 2009

St Martins-in-the-Fields, 2009 (Image credit: Paul Anthony Scane)

Westminster Bridge, 2010 (Image credit: London Unseen)

Piccadilly Circus, 1950s 

Piccadilly Circus, 1950s  (Image credit: London Unseen)

Petticoat Lane, 1950s (Image credit: London Unseen)

Notting Hill Gate, 1960s (Image credit: London Unseen)

Bermondsey, 2010 (Image credit: London Unseen)

Stoke Newington, 2010 (Image credit: London Unseen)

Hackney, 2014 (Image credit: London Unseen)

London School of Ballet, 2010 (Image credit: Paul Anthony Scane)

From the way the iconic Piccadilly Circus looked in the Fifties, to the depiction of postwar life, to Notting Hill Carnival and unique London-isms (and plenty of red phone boxes), the collection truly is a celebration of the beating pulse of the city – and a wonderful collection of 35mm and medium format photography.

London Unseen sells photographic products, with a mind to ethical sourcing, on everything from posters and greetings cards to puzzles and organic t-shirts, with plans to venture into publishing and books based on London life. 

For more information visit the London Unseen website

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Phot0: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.