It's not a bad photo by a hasty tourist - it's a key London landmark in darkness. Finally, someone remembered to turn the lights off before they locked up for the night.
Courtesy of the Lights Out London campaign organised by Capital 95.8, Londoners turned off all non-essential lights between 9pm and 10pm in order to show how much energy can be saved and how well we can function without a dozen different lamps lighting the dusk hour. Because it was the longest day of the year yesterday, it was still quite (naturally) light between 9pm and 10pm and a quick browse of the picture gallery at the Lights Out London website shows just how much unnecessary electric lighting London uses every day.
Buckingham Palace, the Gherkin, the famous advertising in Piccadilly Circus and Canary Wharf all turned their lights off for the allotted hour and people at home were encouraged to do so too. We did our bit at Londonist by attending a performance of Dusk at Artsadmin between 9pm and 10pm and sat through an intriguing piece of theatre that invited dusk deep into ourselves. The audience sat in quiet rows in a glass room at the top of the building, with no lighting except the fading natural light coming in through the windows and applauded artist Michael Atavar at the end, when he had become no more than a silhouette in the shadowy room.
Image of the Houses of Parliament with no lights on courtesy of the Lights Out London website. For more pictures and news about the campaign, go to the Lights Out London website here. For more information about the Artsadmin Summer Season, go to the Artsadmin Summer Season website here. For more information about Michael Atavar's performance Dusk, go to the artist's website here.