London City Airport

#NoFilter Frankfurt with London City Airport


London City Airport contacted me a few months back to ask if I’d be a judge for the latest chapter of a photography contest they host called “#NoFilter.”

Having been on an enjoyable and educational all-area tour of London City Airport  a while back, and knowing that the airport is innovative in its social media projects, I of course said yes.

I was even more interested when I learned that photos and blog posts I’d be judging would be featuring travel photography from Frankfurt – which is home to another airport I’ve had the pleasure of touring.

The #NoFilterFrankfurt contest asked a group of bloggers to share photos of the city with no Instagram-type filters applied.

Here’s a selection of some of the best photos from the competition, along with some of the #NoFilter photography tips and advice for visiting Frankfurt.

All the entries were great and it was difficult to pick just one winner, but you’ll see my top pick at the end.

Yolande’s #NoFilter Frankfurt


On Chronicles of Yoyo, Yolande suggests that time-pressed tourists “hop on the Ebbelwei-Express, which brings you on an hour-long journey to cover all the main sights in Frankfurt.”

Kate’s #NoFilter Frankfurt


Along with her Frankfurt photos on Relokate, Kate said that the contest not only gave her a chance to “go out and capture the beauty of Frankfurt,” but taught her that “the ‘A’ setting on my camera would automatically adjust the aperture, which I found worked best given the sunlight I was working with in most of them.”

Menorca’s #NoFilter Frankfurt


In her Europe Diaries, Menorca noted that “Frankfurt is such a city of contrasts,” with “all the skyscrapers, banks and financial institutions, and …history, old architecture, plentiful museums and parks.”

Lauren’s #NoFilter Frankfurt


On Belle du Brighton , Lauren’s suggested that “looking at your surroundings from different angles can really help to get a good photo without the need to edit. Sit on the ground, look at the ground! Get high up, whatever works! Thankfully in this day and age of digital photography you can snap away till you get the perfect photo, and sometimes the ones that you think won’t turn out okay are the best ones!”

John’s #NoFilter Frankfurt


On Continental Breakfast Travel, John let loose about those love locks. “I’ll be honest, I hate the things (and was very pleased the other week when they were removed from Pont des Arts Bridge in Paris) but I’ll admit: they do take a very good photo. I particularly like how the locks in the foreground make a heart-shape. Or at least I would if I wasn’t such a bitter person.”

Tom’s #NoFilter Frankfurt:


And on Anita’s Feast, this photo of a unusual subway station entrance by Tom really caught my attention.

“The entrance depicted against a backdrop of a modern high-rise building shows that this is ‘city art.’ Keeping the background mostly in focus allows you to see the details of the buildings,” said Tom.

This was the winning image I chose for the competition, in part because it shows two very different sides of Frankfurt: the sleek architecture associated with city’s financial reputation, alongside what is clearly a fun, artistic vibe.

Thanks London City Airport, for asking me to be a judge for the #NoFilterFrankfurt contest.


(Note: I received a small honorarium for being a judge in the the #NoFilterFrankurt contest.)

Free shoeshines at dapper London City Airport

Last week I had the pleasure of doing a behind-the-scenes tour of the London City Airport, which prides itself on being the only airport actually located in London. (Fly into Heathrow and take the hour-long tube ride into the city and you understand that distinction.)

My tour of London City Airport started at 5:30 a.m. on a ride-along with the team that makes sure the 11,000+ runway lights are working and that there is no debris on the runway before declaring the airport open for the day’s traffic.

Other stops on the tour included a visit the air traffic control tower, where I was both reassured and a wee bit unnerved to learn that, if all electrical power goes out, the air traffic controllers would revert to using the old-style colored tiles – kept in a bin under the table – to manage traffic.

I had the opportunity to watch the airport fire department set – and then dowse – a fire, and then got my first ride in a fire truck.

But inside the terminal I found a few treasures.

The airport’s clientele is mostly business travelers, so the airport offers free Wi-Fi and complimentary shoeshines.

And in one of the restaurants, the decor included these adorable derby-shaped light fixtures.

(My day at the airport was hosted by the airport. They bought me breakfast and arranged for a night at the Aloft London Excel, which had a very lively lobby scene at 4:30 in the morning.)