Jason Hawkes, renowned British aerial photographer, has shared his latest photos of London from above. Taken at dusk or in darkness, the ever-changing capital glitters with jewel-like hues. Hawkes says that he loves shooting just after dusk, when the city lights come on and there is a tiny bit of colour left in the sky. New advances in digital-camera technology allow him to capture the city at night. "It's a fantastic city – the sprawl when looking from above is incredible," he says.

Aerial photos London night
Looking west over Tower Bridge with the Shard and City of LondonJason Hawkes
Aerial photos London night
View down the River Thames and South BankJason Hawkes
Aerial photos London night
Piccadilly CircusJason Hawkes
Aerial photos London night
Shoppers on Oxford CircusJason Hawkes

Hawkes is one of the world's most prolific and sought-after aerial photographers. He has been hovering over cities with a camera since 1991 – initially in microlight aircraft and then hanging out of helicopters. He says: "Each time I fly over London I notice the landscape constantly changing, new developments seem to appear overnight."

His latest photos show the massive redevelopment of areas such as King's Cross station in north London, and Nine Elms in the south-west, home to the new US embassy.

Aerial photos London night
Close-up view of the new US embassy in Nine ElmsJason Hawkes
Aerial photos London night
Looking across Nine Elms towards VauxhallJason Hawkes
Aerial photos London night
Looking across the development of Nine Elms towards BatterseaJason Hawkes
Aerial photos London night
King's CrossJason Hawkes
Aerial photos London night
King's Cross and St Pancras International stationsJason Hawkes

Today, almost anyone can try their hand at aerial photography using inexpensive drones, but Hawkes says he always prefers the shots he can get from a helicopter. In an interview with Practical Photography magazine, he said: "Drones can do a good job for low-level photography and are very cost-effective when compared with hiring a helicopter. But there are many restrictions on where you can use drones and how high they can fly. Drone can only fly up to 400ft, while all my work is between 400ft and 1,000ft."

Hawkes attaches his camera to a special gyroscope mount that cancels out vibrations from the helicopter's rotors, allowing him to get sharp images. However, air quality is key – any haze or pollution can ruin aerial photos.

Aerial photos London night
The City of London with the Heron Tower in the foregroundJason Hawkes
Aerial photos London night
The City of London with Swiss Re Building (aka the Gherkin) and the Leadenhall Building (aka the Cheesegrater)Jason Hawkes
Aerial photos London night
Close up view of the Leadenhall BuildingJason Hawkes
Aerial photos London night
City cluster with 20 Fenchurch Street, commonly known as the Walkie-Talkie, in the foregroundJason Hawkes
Aerial photos London night
Central St GilesJason Hawkes
Aerial photos London night
Looking over Centrepoint and the British Museum, east to the City of LondonJason Hawkes

Hawkes was the official photographer on the BBC's huge Britain From Above project. He has published more than 40 books, including New York at Night and London at Night. His first book, London from the Air, came out when he was just 23 and has gone on to sell more than 160,000 copies. His work is in demand from corporate clients such as architects and advertising agencies.

Aerial photos London night
Looking east up Oxford Street to Centre PointJason Hawkes
Aerial photos London night
BT Tower and the West EndJason Hawkes
Aerial photos London night
Aerial view of the View from the ShardJason Hawkes
Aerial photos London night
The O2 and Greenwich PeninsulaJason Hawkes

To see more of Jason's images, visit jasonhawkes.com. Follow him on Twitter @jasonhawkesphot for the latest info and behind-the-scenes pictures.