Aerial photographer Jason Hawkes shares the most striking images he took on helicopter flights over London

The beauty of London as seen from the clouds has been revealed in this stunning set of aerial images.

They were taken Jason Hawkes, who wakes in the small hours to get the best light for shots from a helicopter flying hundreds of feet above the capital.

Mr Hawkes, a specialist aerial photographer whose clients who include architects, design agencies and the BBC, has witnessed London’s changing skyline for 25 years.

Some of his most striking pictures from 2017 include crowds of fans lit by a gentle summer sunset at a Justin Bieber concert in Hyde Park and the stripy red and white awnings of Shoreditch House’s outdoor pool.

A striking view of the City of London’s skyscrapers (

Red double-deckers pop from the grey of Oxford Circus while the green of Jubilee Gardens is highlighted through the spokes of the London Eye.

Other pictures show sweeping dusk riverscapes up the Thames, the Square Mile by night and morning commuters streaming across London Bridge into the City.

London’s Hyde Park seen from above (

Mr Hawkes flies with a pilot in a twin-engined light helicopter that often takes off from Denham Aerodrome before dawn with the doors removed.

Strapped in and wrapped up against the elements, Mr Hawkes shoots on a Nikon DSLR with lenses that include a 14mm wide angle and 400m telephoto, to produce 50MB high-resolution files.

Most of his pictures are taken at between at between 750ft and 400ft – about half the height of the Shard – often around dawn or dusk.

The River Thames snakes through the capital (

They can make the flight from across London, from City airport to Kew, in just 15 minutes but permits need to be secured before take off and the chopper must give way to London’s air ambulance and aircraft carrying royals.

Mr Hawkes, 50, said: “I photograph the City almost every week for different clients because it is changing incredibly fast.

“In the summer you have to get up at 1am to be on site by 3.30am and if you lift just before sunrise on a really clear day it’s amazing.

An amazing aerial view of the London Eye (

“It’s feels lovely, because there’s no one else flying at that time.

“Although you see London now on Google maps, the real layout of London is very different to how you might imagine it.”

To see more of his work visit or  on Twitter

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