The results are in. We sent out some intrepid testers with Shoot Experience treasure maps to find out how much fun you can have with a camera and a little local trivia.
The clues: It will come as no surprise to the Londonist faithful that the clues are generally very easy. Designed for a wide audience we imagine it would be tricky to cater for the well stocked enquiring mind of a Londonist reader as well as a family visiting London on a day trip from the regions. Then again, one clue foxed our treasure hunters and involved true seeking although (without giving anything away) when they did get to the right place they didn't want to pay to get in so couldn't satisfactorily complete it, or as they suggest "perhaps we weren't thinking laterallly enough at the time" to get the perfect shot.
The route: The map takes in the Southbank, Bankside and part of the City and hence the clues are spaced well apart. Practically speaking, don't do as our guinea pigs attempted and set out after work a little weary. If you want to get the most from your map you need a dedicated day, unless you're prepared to adventure in chunks.
The photos: Our testers reckon you need to be quite focused about only photographing the solved clues as they kept getting distracted by other things abounding in these endlessly interesting areas. The most fun had by our testers was in trying to think of ways to make their pictures non-standard tourist shots. It doesn't matter if you're not a photography expert; the challenge is to interact with the city in a creative way, whatever your eye or equipment.
The verdict: The map makes a well trod tourist trail interesting by encouraging you to look at it from a new perspective and capture it in a unique way. Plus there's the opportunity to share with others when you're back home and upload your shots. Fun it is but don't forget the route covers a lot of ground. At £9.95 it could make an unusual present for budding photographer friends, a fun way to see the city for the capitally curious and might help creatively structure a day out sightseeing with visitors. All in all: thumbs up.
Photography by Laura Babb. Many thanks to Laura Babb & Pete Wilbourne for being our guinea pigs.
Shoot London Treasure Maps are available from BFI Filmstore, Design Museum and many other shops in the South Bank area, for £9.95. For more information visit Shoot Experience.