This is possibly the best time ever to visit the national portrait gallery. Not only is the great Annie Leibovitz show still running, including four free to view prints of the Queen, but there are also two free exhibitions on at the moment.
The Headline exhibition is the Taylor Wessing portrait prize. The entrance to the exhibition is dominated by the second prize winning "Bag" by Hendrik Kerstens. The print has got to be about 6 feet tall and is a simple portrait of a beautiful young woman wearing a plastic bag on her head. It almost looks like a Vermeer and is incredibly detailed. The light is absolutely beautiful, her skin is made to look pale and luminous without appearing blown out. Strobists will certainly have some fun working out how the look was achieved. There are lots of really lovely portraits its well worth a visit.
The other smaller exhibition is Champions by Anderson and Low. These are a series of portraits by Anderson and Low of sportsmen and women in black and white and in the nude. It was remeniscent of Annie Leibovitz's Olympic portraits only lighter and much more polished, Annies portraits tended to be a bit on the raw side. Some of the headshots tended to be a bit too formulaic for my taste but the there were some with fantastic angles and compositions and the figure studies were simply great.
Head down there while its all going on and don't forget to drop some money in the cashbox while you are down there.