Best Photography Spots
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England, Cambridge Guide (A): Best Photography Spots

Cambridge has an evocative array of quintessentially English sights. Use this tour to visit all the must-sees' as well as some off-the-beaten-track spots. As you go collect stunning photographs that capture the essence of this beautiful city. With inside tips from a local photographer including where to go, when and the city’s best kept secrets, you’ll take away images that will be the envy of all your friends.
This article is featured in the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" on iTunes App Store and Google Play. You can download the app to your mobile device to read the article offline and create a self-guided walking tour to visit the attractions featured in this article. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Walk Route

Guide Name: Best Photography Spots
Guide Location: England » Cambridge
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (A))
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 2.0 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.0 km
Sight(s) featured in this guide: Downing College   Trumpingto Street   Queens College   Punters   Market   Trinity Lane   St John's College   Bridge of Sighs   Portugal Place   Riverside Walk on Quayside   Jesus Green  
Author: Tony Ellis
Author Bio: Full time Student who lives in central Cambridge.
Author Website: http://www.tonyellisphotography.co.uk
1
Downing College

1) Downing College

First stop is Downing College. Founded in 1800, the college is renowned for its strong Legal and Medical tradition. The college is also competitive in sports, with its men's football team league champions and their rugby team regularly makes division one its home. Notable alumni include; England cricket player Mike Atherton, Author and illustrator Quentin Blake, Monty python actor John Cleese, current BNP leader nick griffin, Hollywood actress Thandie Newton and director producer and restaurant critic Michael Winner. Immaculate honeycomb sandstone provides a stunning backdrop for portraits, an old wedding photographer favourite. Arrive early to fully appreciate the colours that only light from the low sun can reveal.
Image by The wub under Creative Commons License.
2
Trumpingto Street

2) Trumpingto Street

Rather than focusing on a particular destination on Trumpington Street stroll along and take in one of the most evocative streets in the city that many tourists overlook. It has many worthwhile buildings to see and shoot most notably the amazing Fitzwilliam Museum. Also take a look at the ‘browns’ restaurant nearby, one time local hospital this handsome building is stunning inside and out. Try heading southward and shooting back up the street to capture many of this areas fine buildings in one shot, a good way to communicate this areas rich heritage.
Image by David Short under Creative Commons License.
3
Queens College

3) Queens College

Heading north to Silver Street you will find Newton’s famous Mathematical Bridge (officially titled the rather less exciting ‘wooden bridge’) you’ll see it on your right from the pavement, but think before you shoot! Don’t just stand with the rest of the tourists getting the same old shot; be bold and get a shot from inside Queens College (official entry is via Queen’s Lane around the corner, ask at the porter lodge if unsure and the may let you in for free). Be patient and take your time, the flower-filled bank will make for an interesting foreground – the secret to many good landscape shots. Cross the bridge and inside you’ll discover main courtyard with the presidents lodge, built in 1460 it is the oldest building on the river. Use a wide lens to capture the adjoining buildings to give sense of the ever evolving architectural history. Former alumni include Actor and comedian Stephen Fry, and Richard Dearlove former head of MI6.
Image by sadsid96 under Creative Commons License.
4
Punters

4) Punters

Punters! Follow the walking path into the peaceful ‘Backs’ area and shoot the passing punters from the exact spot on your guide. This is a great way to capture King’s College chapel as a backdrop with your punters providing interesting foreground – again no need to hurry consider the light, would waiting for a few minutes offer more interesting sunlight? One of the benefits of capturing a city (as opposed to say a sporting event) is that most of what you are trying to capture is stationary, Kings college chapel has stood perfectly still for 569 years! So give it at least a short while and consider the punting action in the foreground, stay long enough and someone will undoubtedly float past wearing the traditional waist coat and boater hat, this is an essential part of tourism and life in Cambridge so be sure to get the shot.
Image by scarriot under Creative Commons License.
5
Market

5) Market

After all that exploring you deserve a coffee and a pastry; the centrally located Market Square will provide all you need. This is an area of great photographic potential. A particularly good place to get portraits of some wild and friendly local buskers, good natured vendors and locals alike. The mostly unknown Hobson’s conduit makes an appearance at the centre of the market and gives a great point of interest for the foreground of a wide shot. From here the rest of Cambridge can be easily reached and there are many more photo worthy parts to discover!
Image by Lin Mei under Creative Commons License.
6
Trinity Lane

6) Trinity Lane

Back into the centre of town stroll down Trinity Lane; there are so many things to shoot here you could spend a day taking pictures her alone. This lane oozes atmosphere and it leads you back to King’s College chapel. Its photographic potential is almost boundless, again take your time, when confronted with an area like this is best to explore it and view from many angles to get the most successful shot. Get in close for ‘detail’ shots - these images often capture more of a place than a predictable landscape shot.
Image by sadsid96 under Creative Commons License.
7
St John's College

7) St John's College

Many people’s favourite college: sunny, cloudy, misty, snowy - it doesn’t matter; this place always looks good. Its unique combination of large scale grandeur and elegant attention to detail makes this my favourite destination in Cambridge, you could spend years exploring and understanding the history of this college alone, with alumni including nine Nobel Prize winners, six Prime Ministers, three archbishops, at least two princes, and three Saints you begin to get the idea of this locations age and importance. Its aesthetic beauty is photographed by nearly all who visit, enjoy this opportunity to approach from the green landscaped side, avoiding the busy main gate entrance and take in the stunning trees and bending river that give this area a fairytale-like feel, save lots of memory space (or film) for this one!
Image by Punting Cambridge under Creative Commons License.
8
Bridge of Sighs

8) Bridge of Sighs

Don’t leave until you’ve got a shot of the Bridge of Sighs - stunning! A replica of a bridge in Venice that bears the same name, In truth they are designed quite differently and the Cambridge one has an a charm and majesty of its own, and in my opinion puts its Italian cousin to shame. This is another postcard moment that will benefit from some originality, try shooting from an unusual angle or point of view and create something new and your own, remember keep you feet moving and think before you press the shutter.
Image by Beth Camp under Creative Commons License.
9
Portugal Place

9) Portugal Place

One of the city’s most picturesque streets, Portugal place; a favourite background for portrait photographers. The overwhelming sense of Englishness here is hard not to enjoy. And its wonky lines and leaning buildings tell another story of Cambridge’s built foundations. Position models in the centre of the street and use a wide angle lens to show of the surrounding character. This is also an area where capturing some details would pay off, the residents here keep their door knobs shiny and the flowers blooming, there are great examples of Black Edwardian ironwork along this street which are as well kept and complete as any you will see in the whole country. A small selection of these images would help communicate the atmosphere of this spot.
Image by Sebastian Ballard under Creative Commons License.
10
Riverside Walk on Quayside

10) Riverside Walk on Quayside

Next stop is Riverside Walk (Quayside). Busy, bustling and made for photos - have a good look around this area. There is always plenty going on and it has bags of character. A popular meeting spot for locals and tourists alike. Great views into Magdalene College once home to author C.S. Lewis. A good shot is looking back down the river from the spot specified which will capture tourists, locals, punters, religious buildings and college buildings all in one photo! Magdalene Bridge usually rewards patient photographers with large red double decker buses for those international visitors who might appreciate them being in shot.
Image by Andrew Stawarz under Creative Commons License.
11
Jesus Green

11) Jesus Green

The wide expanse of Jesus Green sits beside this underrated part of Cambridge; the barges and bird life make this an integral part of the visual story of this city and the surrounding county. Add depth and variety to your photos by getting away from college buildings for a while. When shooting the river get down low at the waters edge to include the grasses that grow up to the surface. If you are lucky you may find your presence will attract the many swans that make this part of the river their home. These majestic birds provide more foreground interest. When you have finished shooting take some time to do what Cambridge locals do here…. Relax!
Image by Johnnie Moore under Creative Commons License.