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The Shard + Shangri La Hotel London

Curtins Closing

The Shard London View The Barbican © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

The last hurrah. Armed with a camera, a lust for life and a lack of vertigo, it’s all about a 26 second ascent to the 34th floor of The Shard, roughly halfway up the UK’s tallest cloudscraper. The vertically ever decreasing floorplates of architect Renzo Piano’s glazed spike mean there’s increasingly a ravishing view from every direction: out, up, down, and of course, voyeuristically from the loos. The framing’s all terribly well conceived. London is all aglow; it’s rainbow’d. “The photographer is supertourist,” writer Susan Sontag believed, and where better to indulge in a spot of supertourism than the Shangri La Hotel in the English capital? Especially an end of epoch party from noon to sunset. Ms Sontag again, “Photographs really are experience captured.” Canapés as photographic art. Well, what isn’t? “Photography is an elegiac art, a twilight art.” She’s on a (camera) roll. “Photography is a kind of overstatement, a heroic copulation with the material world.” Click, click, slicing the flow of quixotic times passing. Susan Sontag once scribed, “Today everything exists to end in a photograph.” Some captured endings are as sharp as the tip of The Shard.

The Shard London View St Paul's Cathedral © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

The Shard London View Thames © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

The Shard London View Southwark Cathedral © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Shangri La Hotel The Shard London © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

The Shard London © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Shangri La Hotel The Shard London Champagne © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Shangri La Hotel The Shard London Canapes © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Shangri La Hotel The Shard London Party © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

Shangri La Hotel The Shard London Canape © Lavender's Blue Stuart Blakley

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