London's dark river and its secrets

LONDON, May 9 (Reuters) - London's River Thames has been the lifeblood of the British capital since the city's origins as a Roman garrison town around 2,000 years ago.

The artery through which the world's trade passed at the height of the British Empire, its banks were lined with factories that drove the industrial revolution but left its waters biologically dead.

Now, with power stations transformed into galleries, the river is home to seals, the occasional porpoise and has become a much-loved open space.

For Reuters photographer Stefan Wermuth most work days are spent a short stroll away from the Thames, covering the political machinations of parliament, the Bank of England or previewing a new exhibition at the Tate Modern gallery.

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Secrets within London's River Thames
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Secrets within London's River Thames
Stones are seen on the bank of the River Thames during low tide in London, Britain January 23, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
Traffic cones are seen on the bank of the River Thames during low tide in London, Britain January 19, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth 
A dead bird lies next to a rose on the bank of the River Thames during low tide in London, Britain January 23, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth 
Wooden props are seen on the bank of the River Thames during low tide in London, Britain March 9, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
Material is seen on the bank of the River Thames during low tide in London, Britain February 27, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
An umbrella is seen on the bank of the River Thames during low tide in London, Britain March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth 
A water drop hangs on a stalactite along the bank of the River Thames during low tide in London, Britain February 24, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth 
Water trails are seen on the bank of the River Thames during low tide in London, Britain February 24, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth 
Rust is seen along the bank of the River Thames during low tide in London, Britain February 24, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth 
Sand is seen on the bank of the River Thames during low tide in London, Britain February 24, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth 
Bricks covered in mud are seen on the bank of the River Thames during low tide in London, Britain February 27, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
A wooden stick is seen on the bank of the River Thames during low tide in London, Britain January 23, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
Stalactites are seen along the bank of the River Thames during low tide in London, Britain February 24, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth 
A drawing of a face is seen on a wall along the bank of the River Thames during low tide in London, Britain February 24, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth 
Raindrops fall into the River Thames during low tide in London, Britain February 27, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth 
A water drop lands in a puddle on the bank of the River Thames during low tide in London, Britain March 3, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth 
Water runs out of a bridge pillar along the bank of the River Thames during low tide in London, Britain January 23, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth 
Seaweed is seen on the bank of the River Thames during low tide in London, Britain February 24, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth 
Seaweed is seen on the bank of the River Thames during low tide in London, Britain January 23, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth 
Light is reflected from a wet wall along the bank of the River Thames during low tide in London, Britain February 27, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth 
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A ramble along the river is a chance to take a breather from the frenetic pace of news to shoot in a slower and more creative way.

Over three months, Wermuth walked along the banks of the Thames, photographing the river and the abandoned objects exposed by the receding tide.

They range from the mundane to the enigmatic: mud-encrusted traffic cones and swirling seaweed to the carcass of a pigeon lying next to a rose on the sand.

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