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Olympic Venues From The Air

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Olympic Venues From The Air

Enjoy a selection of Jason Hawkes' aerial photographs of London's Olympic venues

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Olympic Venues From The Air
The Olympic Park
The Olympic Park
The Olympic Park
The Olympic Park
The Olympic Park
The Olympic Stadium
The Olympic Stadium
The Olympic Stadium
The Olympic Stadium
Other Olympic Park Venues
Other Olympic Park Venues
Other Olympic Park Venues
Other Olympic Park Venues
Other Olympic Park Venues
Other London Olympic Venues
Other London Olympic Venues
Other London Olympic Venues
Other London Olympic Venues
Other London Olympic Venues
Other London Olympic Venues
Other London Olympic Venues
Other London Olympic Venues
Other London Olympic Venues
Other London Olympic Venues
Outside London Venues
Outside London Venues
The Photographer
The Olympic Park
Other London Olympic Venues
 

© Jason Hawkes %u2013 www.jasonhawkes.com

LondonTown.com joined forces with Jason Hawkes, one of the world's most respected aerial photographers, ahead of the London Olympics. One of our writers joined Jason as he snapped away on an Olympic assignment in June 2013 flying from Denham airbase 17 miles north-west of London right over the City Centre and the new Olympic Park.

 
 

The Olympic Park

 
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The Olympic Park - The Olympic Stadium by night

The Olympic Park

The Olympic Stadium by night

Over the past six months, Jason Hawkes has spent 55 hours over London in a helicopter and has taken some 10,000 pictures of the Olympic Park alone. Jason has seen the 500-acre site in Stratford, East London, rise from the rubble over the past few years and thinks it looks at its best after dusk when the lights come on. "I'm amazed it was finished on time," says Jason. "On the whole I think they've done a terrific job although I've never actually ever set foot in it on the ground."

 
 
 

The Olympic Stadium

 
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The Olympic Stadium - Bird's eye view of the interior of the stadium

The Olympic Stadium

Bird's eye view of the interior of the stadium

On the evening of LondonTown.com's flight with Jason, workmen were busy decorating the interior of the Olympic Stadium ahead of the Opening Ceremony while hundreds of people were rehearsing scenes for the spectacle. A cast of 10,000 volunteers will take part in the 27m ceremony on Friday 29 July, which is expected to reach a global audience of four billion! From the shots, the famous outline of the River Thames can be seen covering the field while that large green mound is a miniature version of Glastonbury Tor one of the centre-pieces of director Danny Boyle's British countryside-themed ceremony. The state-of-the-art stadium has a capacity of 80,000 and cost a cool 537m. It will host the Olympic Athletics (3-12 August) and the Paralympic Athletics (31 August 9 September) as well as all the opening and closing ceremonies.

 
 
 

Other Olympic Park Venues

 
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Other Olympic Park Venues - Zaha Hadid's stingray-style Aquatics Centre

Other Olympic Park Venues

Zaha Hadid's stingray-style Aquatics Centre

The most distinctive venues in the Olympic Park are the Aquatics Centre and Velodrome because of their elegant, curved roofs. Nicknamed 'The Pringle', the sleek 6,000-capacity Velodrome is a stunning architectural feat and a fitting home to Team GB's all-conquering track cyclists. "I love the look of the Velodrome so simple with really strong lines," says Jason. While the 17,500-capacity Aquatics Centre designed by the Iraq-born architect Zaha Hadid is equally striking, the 268m building will perhaps only be fully appreciated once the bulky temporary seating stands are removed from the flanks of the stingray-style structure after the Games. Other venues in the Olympic Park include the 12,000-capacity temporary Basketball Arena, the 7,000-seat Copper Box Handball Arena, the 16,000 Riverbank Arena (with its eye-catching pink and blue hockey pitches), the temporary 5,000-capacity Water Polo Arena (with a roof peppered with lights that change colour) and the 400-metre BMX Track, which will be turned into a special VeloPark after the Games. The Park also includes the 17,320-bed Athletes' Village and the Anish Kapoor's bright red, 115-metre-high ArcelorMittal Orbit the tallest piece of sculpture in the UK.

 
 
 

Other London Olympic Venues

 
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Other London Olympic Venues - The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace will host road cycling

Other London Olympic Venues

The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace will host road cycling

Never before has an Olympic Games embarked on such an ambitious and exciting total integration of the entire host city. Much of London's iconic city centre is being opened up to the Games, with landmark locations transformed into stunning Olympic venues. Five thousand tons of sand has been transported to the historic Horse Guards Parade for the beach volleyball; the quaint Serpentine boating lake in sprawling Hyde Park will host the marathon swimming and triathlon; less than two months after the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the Mall outside Buckingham Palace will witness the nail-biting conclusion to the road cycling and marathon races. The Games will also use some of the most famous sporting stadia in the world namely the All England Lawn Tennis Club at Wimbledon, the historic Lord's Cricket Ground and the 90,000-capacity Wembley Stadium. "I love shooting above central London," says Jason. "London is so varied from the Square Mile, which just looks amazing from 1000 feet, to really old buildings set against modern ones such as the Shard, which has only just been completed."

 
 
 

Outside London Venues

 
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Outside London Venues - Cycling time trials take place at Hampton Court Palace

Outside London Venues

Cycling time trials take place at Hampton Court Palace

A short train or bus journey will take spectators to various venues within touching distance of the city centre. 25 miles west of London lies Eton Dorney (which hosts the Olympic rowing and canoe sprint) and, even closer, the historic Hampton Court (cycling time trial); just 20 miles north of the Olympic Park is the band-new 31m Lee Valley White Water Centre (canoe slalom); the rural Hadleigh Farm, 35 miles east of London, will host the mountain bike events, while a bit further South, the renowned motor racing venue Brands Hatch will host Paralympic road cycling. Cycling fans in Surrey will also be able to watch the men's and women's road race on the pretty Box Hill in the North Downs, 20 miles south of London. "I'm really looking forward to the Games but it's a shame I never managed to get permission to shoot from the air while they're on," admits Jason.

 
 
 

The Photographer

 
The Photographer - Jason Hawkes in action

The Photographer

Jason Hawkes in action

 

Jason Hawkes is one of the world's leading aerial photographers and has specialised in the area since 1991 after he took his first flying lesson. To get his shots, Jason is strapped into a harness while the helicopter door is wide open as he flies between 800 to 1600 feet above the ground. It's quite an invigorating experience - and LondonTown.com is extremely grateful to Jason for being allowed to join him on one of his many flights above London's magnificent cityscape. The 44-year-old has produced over 40 aerial photographic books for publishers such as the BBC, Random House and Harper Collins - including the critically acclaimed London At Night and Britain From Above. Jason shoots on a Nikon and uses specially adapted gyro stabilising mounts to take away the vibration caused by the helicopter.