Airbnb Experiences – Learning to Go Fully Manual in London

London Eye section shot during the Airbnb Photo Experiences in London

I am a great fan of Airbnb and use it for accommodation all around the world, but have you heard of Airbnb Experiences?

One of my Christmas presents this year, I was given an evening photography course in London.

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I have been using my Canon PowerShot SX60 HS Camera Black for a few months now, but have not quite got the confidence up to switch from Automatic to Manual, but this course by Alex has set me off on my journey to going fully manual!

AirBnB Experiences – Photography Workshop in Central London

My nighttime photography, I have to admit, has not been great, in fact, I have deleted almost every shot I have taken, so I was a bit nervous about going on the workshop. I shouldn’t have worried. Alex immediately put me at ease when we met at the Sea Life Centre on the South Bank in London.

It was a cold but clear night, which made conditions perfect for taking long exposure photos. Along with the two other experiencers, we headed off to our first stop opposite Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament.

Alex went through the settings on our cameras moving us off auto and onto AV (Aperture Value) or Manual and how to adjust the length of exposure, white balance and also how to shoot in RAW files as well as jpg.

QUICK TIP FROM ALEX: If you have your camera set up on a tripod for taking long exposures, set your self-timer for 2 seconds so that you don’t get any shake after pressing the button.

Using a tripod to stabilise the camera, I experimented with the new settings taking some interesting shots of Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament, before a quick hot chocolate and on to our next location.

Standing midway along Westminster Bridge, we pointed our cameras towards the London Eye and County Hall which were bathed in red and blue lights. To get the right photo, we tried shooting at an angle instead of straight on.

Alex’s gentle encouragement and pointers were so helpful as he moved between us. We turned around for our next viewpoint to catch some amazing shots of the traffic coming over the bridge and the cool lines that they make when using a long exposure.

As the workshop drew to a close, we walked along Embankment until we were standing opposite the London Eye.

Alex had us playing with our lenses and zooming in and out during the exposure to get smooth effects on the water on The Thames. We then slowly moved the camera right to left to get a double shot of the Eye (see my shot below).

AirBnb Experiences in London

Alex was a great teacher and I am on my way to shooting in manual. Alex’s Photography Workshop in Central London is one of a growing number of Airbnb Photography Experiences that are happening in cities all around the world.

Photography is not the only AirBnb Experience in London, you can choose from foodie tours, walks, art, yoga, bike tours, kayaking and tastings.

Check them out on Airbnb and see if there is one near you.

Alex’s own website is

A selection of my shots from the night:

Houses of Parliament shot during the Airbnb Photo Experiences in London | The Silver Nomad
The Houses of Parliament
Traffic on Westminster Bridge shot during the Airbnb Photo Experiences in London | The Silver Nomad
The lights from the traffic at night on Westminster Bridge
London Eye shot during the Airbnb Photo Experiences in London | The Silver Nomad
The London Eye at night
Double London Eye shot during the Airbnb Photo Experiences in London | The Silver Nomad
Double London Eye shot

Have you been on one of the Airbnb Experiences? What experience would you like to do, cooking, learning, photography, craft? Do you run an Experience? Let us know and if we are in the area we will try to review you too! We’d love to hear from you!

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Going Manual with AirBnb Experiences | The Silver Nomad

2 thoughts on “Airbnb Experiences – Learning to Go Fully Manual in London

  1. Avatar of Wendy Lee
    Wendy Lee says:

    I have been trying to get out of auto mode for a few months! Its just so easy to stay there since all the manual settings can be intimidating. But your night time photos look great and I can certainly see why learning to use manual settings improves your photography. Love the photos of the London Eye.

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