Not only does this year’s Totally Thames promise to be an exciting, enthralling, varied programme – it will also be a feast for your eyes, with events highlighting themes of plastic pollution, stories from the river and Handel's Water Music. Ahead of our opening on Friday, we have picked five events that are just some of many that are perfect to capture for our photography competition Thames Lens.

1. Great River Race

This mighty 21.6 mile race for traditional boats up the River Thames from Millwall to Ham attracts crews from all over the globe. Taking part will be every level of competitor from those who enjoy fun, fancy dress and charity stunts, to serious sportsmen and women. It is set to be a spectacular event, with a huge range of boats, costumes and stunts for you to snap.

2. Maria Arceo's Future Dust

Artist Maria Arceo will highlight the sheer scale of plastic pollution in the Thames in Future Dust, a large-scale artwork in response to this issue. The installation will tour to different riverside locations across London throughout September offering the opportunity to walk through the piece and get up close to the plastic. Future Dust will be illuminated at dusk offering further unique photography opportunities!

3. Back to the River

A unique and fascinating heritage project combing the talents of ceramicist Raewyn Harrison and archaeologist Mike Webber to connect people to Bankside's rich history. On Saturday 9 September, the public are invited to get their hands dirty and take part in clay tile workshops that will form part of a large scale temporary art installation on the banks of the river Thames. Stay transfixed as the tide rises and falls to reveal if the art installation remains. A unique visual experience well worth capturing. 

4. Silk River 

Join Kinetika for ten–days of preformative walks along the river Thames as part of Silk River. A series of stunning 6 metre high silk scrolls  have been made in a series of workshops in India, and will form the centre-point of these processions along the Thames. Expect a kaleidoscope of colours as the scrolls sway in the wind, with the glittering river as a backdrop. The journey will be full of surprises,and judging by what we've seen so far will be visually stunning.

5. The Five Cowries Flotilla

The Five Cowries Flotilla is an outdoor riverside installation of six beautiful wooden traditional fishing boats from Lagos created by British muralist Polly Alakija. The fishing boats will be covered in designs created by schoolchildren in workshops, removing them from their every day context and inviting the viewer to consider their beauty and importance. The colourful canoes are set to be a stunning spectacle to photograph.

If you can’t wait until these events in September then get your photography (lens) cap on, send your images through now to enter the Thames Lens competition. Full details and brief can be found here.