Oxford is such a beautiful city no matter what time of year you go. Whether it’s seeing the magnificent university buildings, the historic architecture, or the bright colourful houses on Holywell street, there is something for everyone and certainly lots to photograph.
We’ve teamed up with Panasonic Lumix and Jessops to help us showcase 10 of the best photo spots and key locations in cities around the UK. Here are our picks for Bristol, whether you are shooting with your phone or a great camera like the brand new Panasonic Lumix GX9.
The Lumix GX9 boasts a host of great features and is perfect for amateur photographers wanting a professional experience. With its compact body and high-end technology, the Lumix GX9 is an excellent companion for seekers of the authentic street-style picture.
We’ve got a Lumix GX9 to give away for the best city photograph taken from each of the following cities: Bristol, Oxford, Newcastle, Glasgow, Cardiff, Liverpool, Nottingham, Bromley, Belfast and Exeter.
To help you with some inspiration, each week we’ll be publishing some great hidden photo spots from the cities. We would love to see how you get on. All you have to do is either share your images on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #Lumixhiddencities, or email them to us at Lumixhiddencities@pocket-lint.com.
The best image from all the entries for each city will win a Lumix GX9 camera to help make your pictures even better, and will be printed on canvas and displayed in the local Jessops store. All entries will be submitted by the 23:59:59 on Friday 16 November 2018 (Pocket-lint T&Cs apply).
Whether you’re looking to win Instagram, create a stunning picture to be framed for your wall, or merely take in the sights of the university town, we’ve got you covered:
Here are our favourite photo spots of Oxford, found thanks to amazing photographers on Instagram, but we would love to hear your suggestions too.
Let us know in the comments below and we’ll not only feature the best suggestions in the article, but you’ll also be in with a chance to win some Panasonic gear to up your photography skills even more.
Here are the best photo places in Oxford and some secret Instagram spots you’ll want to snap next time you are in Oxford:
1. The Botanic Garden
Oxford’s Botanic Garden is Britain’s oldest botanical garden and aside from its age, it is a fantastic place to take pictures of plants and all things floral, regardless of the season. Within the gardens is a beautiful arched doorway set in a stone wall that is perfect for photographing if you’re looking for that secret garden look.
PHOTO TIP: Avoid busy backgrounds when shooting flowers, and avoid distracting elements like branches or bright objects.
2. Radcliffe Square and Radcliffe Camera
The Radcliffe Camera is part of Oxford University and opened in 1749. Depending on the shot you’re after, its circular design offers plenty of options. You can shoot from the nearby college spire if you are after a bird’s eye view, within a doorway for that reveal look, or from under a tree to strike a balance between nature and architecture.
PHOTO TIP: Taking your picture as low as you can will really emphasise the height of the building.
3. Magdalen Bridge Boat House
Situated underneath Magdalen College Tower, the Magdalen Boat House is not only great for photographing the river Thames, but also the picturesque punting boats on it. Those feeling a bit more adventurous can hire a boat and see Oxford and the back of the colleges from a different perspective.
PHOTO TIP: Stand on the bridge itself for a top down boats and river look to your picture, or head down to the waterside to get some up-close action.
4. The Bridge of Sighs
Hertford Bridge, often called “the Bridge of Sighs”, is a skyway joining two parts of Hertford College. Its distinctive design makes it a city landmark and a great place to photograph if you can avoid the crowds. Stand facing The Sheldonian Theatre so it is in the background to give you a better backdrop, although you’ll have to time your shot to avoid a rogue car.
PHOTO TIP: Try taking your picture at night to add some atmosphere, or play with the idea of going black and white to really bring out the architecture of the bridge.
5. Duke Humfrey’s Library
Found in the Bodleian Library, this medieval reading room dates back to 1487 and is a great location for photographs. If it looks familiar that’s because it doubled as the Hogwarts’ library in the Harry Potter films. Unlike many of the spots on our list you can’t just wander in unannounced, however you can see it if you’re on a guided tour, or a student at the college.
PHOTO TIP: Use the geometrical shapes in the library to your advantage to create symmetry in your photograph.
6. Holywell Street
Found in the centre of Oxford, Holywell Street is mostly dominated by New College, but on the corner of Mansfield Street and Holywell the buildings start to get very colourful. Go on a sunny day to really catch the bright yellows, pinks, and blues, and you won’t be disappointed.
PHOTO TIP: To really make the colours “pop” look at upping the contrast levels when you come to edit the photos afterwards.
7. The Narnia doorway, St. Mary’s Passage
— Isabella Noble (@IsabellaMNoble) April 22, 2016
St Mary’s Passage connects to Radcliffe Square with the High street and is only accessible by foot. Along this quaint Oxford alleyway is an ornate door opposite the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin. Fans of The lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis will instantly recognise the two golden fauns looking down on you, believed to be the inspiration for Mr Tumnus, while the Victorian street lamp a little further down the passage is claimed to be the inspiration behind the Narnian landmark near the faun’s home. Sadly there doesn’t look to be a wardrobe to Narnia in sight.
PHOTO TIP: If you stand under the door you can get both in the shot at the same time.
8. Varsity Club
Found on the High Street, the Varsity Club features a roof bar with 360-degree views of the city putting you amongst the “Dreaming Spires”. This bar isn’t just about enjoying the views though, but a great spot to photograph the city from above giving you a very different perspective of the city. Be warned though, it can get busy quickly, especially on sunny days.
PHOTO TIP: Shoot at that magical time of day after the sun goes down but before it gets completely black to get the sun bouncing off the roof tops.
9. North Parade
Found on North Parade Avenue, North Parade is a short shopping street to the north of the city and features independent shops, cafes, and a few pubs. Twice a month there is an organic and artisan market, great for people and produce photos, while the buildings, especially next to the Rose & Crown pub at the end of the street, is a great photo spot thanks to it colourful brickwork.
PHOTO TIP: Fill your frame to really make the products on the market stalls stand out, and turn up your ISO to compensate for the shaded cover under the market stools awnings.
10. Malmaison Oxford
If you want to photograph your hotel with the same vigour as the city, then you’ll need to stay in the Malmaison Oxford. Housed in a converted prison, guests get to sleep in converted cells complete with barred windows and iron doors. You’ll especially want to photograph the main hall leading to the bedrooms.
PHOTO TIP: Use the symmetry of the railings in the main hall to create focus and don’t be afraid of going to the top level and shooting down to get a different perspective on the room.