The London underground, or ‘Tube’ as it is known to Londoners, in all its hot, dirty, crowded glory has always been a subject which is photographed by people all around the globe. The artery of London, ensuring around three and a half million journeys are quickly and safely completed everyday on it’s 11 lines. 

The first stretch of tune line opened in 1863, and since then the face of the tube has changed dramatically. 

Photographer Bob Mazzer used to travel on the London Underground on his way to work in Kings Cross everyday during the 70s and 80s and his wonderful collection of images has only recently come to proper public attention. 

Armed with his trusty Leica M4, Mazzer has built up an amazing archive of London life over the span of two decades. Often travelling back late at night, Mazzer captured Punks showing off their piercings and tattoos, young revellers off to parties, commuters from the city, couples, homeless people, and generally the vibrant variation of people who called London their home. 

Not realising quite the amount of history he had captured gives Mazzers images a wonderful un intrusive nature. Captured purely for the images they were and not as a part of a project, each individual image speaks on its own. Yet as a collection they provide an incredible cultural history of lifestyle, fashion and of course the tube itself! 

Mazzers images will be made into a book due for release in June this year.

Click HERE for the full set of wonderful images,

Check out his Flickr here

Hannah Rowsell


I found this amazing technicolour two-piece in one of my local charity shops the other day and I was so excited! Managed to pick it up for a tenner. Looks like it’s from the 60s (or 70s possibly) I think it goes really well with my skintone, and I love the vibrancy of it! Also love that I can wear them together like this or separately. The trousers look amazing with a cropped white tshirt and of course, my white Birkenstocks :)

Photography by Hannah Rowsell: www.hannahrowsell.com 

An interview with Michael Birt

Margaret Thatcher to Jonathan ross, Pavarotti to James Brown. In a portfolio containing portraits from every area of British culture and Politics spanning the decades, it is no secret that the work of Michael Birt is up there with the all time great portrait photographers of the 21st century. The shift from black and white to colour, film to digital, and huge changes in the journalism industry, he’s seen it all. Route caught up with him and asked him to share some of the secrets to his brilliant career. 

Bill Brandt © Michael Birt Feb 1981

What were your earliest creative influences and interests, was there a particular reason that you chose photography?

Painting was my first influence, I grew up with two prints on my parents’ living room wall, one of The Blue Boy by Thomas Gainsborough, which had an effect on my full-­‐length portraits. The other The Age of Innocence by Sir Joshua Reynolds, which I found interesting tonally. As I grew older I looked at German Expressionism, I was attracted to the bold colour and strong black lines.

After you graduated from Bournemouth how did you go about getting your name known in the industry?

I started off as an assistant in a commercial photographic studio in Gerrard Street, Soho. The best thing about that experience was that Terence Donovan’s studio was next door. After some freelance assisting I started to work for Time Out, where I photographed John Irving and other celebrities but it was a slow process getting work from magazines. My competition was Bailey, Donovan and Parkinson and the magazines that published my type of work were few.

I wrote to people I admired, concentrating on up and coming talent and people whose careers were in their twilight years. Among these were Bill Brandt, John Osborne and Greta Scacchi. It was exciting opening my post. This supplemented my portfolio, which helped me get more work. Looking back it also has given me a portfolio covering people from many eras.

When did you first pick up a digital camera, was it a creative or was it something you were forced into from the way the industry was going.

I did not starting shooting digitally until 2007. I had been waiting for a medium format camera that was in development, which I was going to test but the camera company shelved the project. The industry didn’t accept film anymore so at first I hired a Hasselblad and a Phase One digital back, latterly I bought a Nikon D3. I love digital and how it looks, it has also brought the darkroom back to the photographer. 

Who was the first person you ever photographed for an assignment?

Initially I wanted to be a fashion photographer, which was my main area of work at college. When I first took my folio to Honey magazine, the art director asked me to do a portrait of the designer Janet Raeger.

How do you approach a portrait and what do you love about shooting people?

I like to do little drawings in preparation, I don’t always adhere to them but it gives me a vision when I get to the job. I also look at my library of photographic books each day. I research the sitter as taking a portrait is a conversion, without it I can not find what makes the person work. I love the reaction that takes place on a shoot, it always different and often very inspiring.

Who are your inspirations in your work, is there anybody up and coming who you have spotted?

It is the usual suspects, Penn, Avedon, Bailey in the 60’s, Bill Brandt, August Sander, more recently a German photographer called Stefan Moses. As for new talent, I look closely at the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. It is a good indicator who is doing good work.

What camera and lenses are you currently using?

Nikon D3S (105mm) and a Hasselblad (150mm) with a Phase One back. 

Thanks Michael! We suggest that you all take a look at the wealth of imagery Michael has on his website HERE 

Stay Routed!

Hannah Rowsell

note: All images used in this article belong to the Artist under copyright, and should not be re-used without express permission. 

Michael Hoppen Gallery London - Bradford Washburn 05.12.13 - 27.01.14

Theres only a couple of weeks left to get down to the Michael Hoppen gallery to see the work of legendary explorer Bradford Washburn. 

An american mountaineer, Washburn conquered some of the highest peaks in the country by foot, mapping them out for future generations. He was one of the first to lead an expedition to map out the grand canyon, and is legendary for his extensive mapping of Alaska. 

As well as mapping, Washburn also photographed the enormous heights he scaled. Using a large format Fairchild K-6 aerial camera, he photographed using 8” sheet film, with incredible results. 

Up close, these images portray a monstrous beauty, the sheer scale and power of nature is shown in such detail, that it is almost unreal. In some images the outlines of the mountains seem so sharp, that they almost look like origami. The images are expertly composed and shot, with such attention to small details. 

Such are the quality of the images, they even captured the eye of fellow american Ansel Adams, who wrote;

“A climb to the summit of a noble peak is a heroic and exciting undertaking, but most photographic views along the way are usually only a panoramic index of local geography. Brad’s aerial photographs… however, are far more. It is astounding to realize what tremendous physical risks he took to get these shots- many, for instance, were taken from unpressurised airplanes or helicopters, often at temperatures far below zero, with the door removed and Brad tethered to the opposite side of the cabin. 

Even so, the photographs look almost inevitable, perfectly composed. …we sense in each one the presence of an individual, highly intelligent eye. The photographs are the result of the explorer’s consistent energy of mind and spirit- and so they truly mean something. Add to this the fact that Brad’s aerial photographs …are the very first of their kind and still the finest ever made.”

Drawing on the majestic beauty of this snow covered land, there are definitely ones not to miss. 

Michael Hoppen Gallery, 3 Jubilee place SW3 3TB


Hannah Rowsell