If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen on my stories that I gave a “heads up” a couple of weeks ago, that Harrogate’s cherry blossom was about to come out for bank holiday weekend. I was a bit surprised at how many hundreds of people watched those stories. Blogging is a job I can do in my pyjamas a lot of the time, but not if I’m going to be in a video. I may need to change my personal routine!
Getting back to Harrogate’s cherry blossom, there are two main avenues of the trees on the Stray, one of which is divided by a line of horse chestnut and bordered by daffodils. They are very long avenues indeed and are truly stunning in full bloom. They usually flower the last week of April but were late this year due to the long winter. The blooms last only two weeks – less if it’s very hot or windy.
Use optical zoom for a beautiful perspective looking straight down the avenues of trees. Optical zoom will allow you to really fill the background of your shots with abundant pink blossom, all condensed together to look really thick and lush. (Read last week’s blog post about optical zoom for some simple tips). A tripod would be a good idea. Check out my tips for equipment on the Shop page.
In strong sun you will do better if your camera is in the shade. For photos of people, put them in the shade too. They’re less likely to be over-exposed. It also means they won’t be screwing up their eyes. Cloudy days give better results.
If you’re trying to take photos only with a phone camera and you don’t have much optical zoom, then look for alternative angles. Get something close-up in the foreground like a dangling blossom or a daffodil. Maybe shoot the avenue sideways on. Take portraits with cherry blossom in the background.
Visiting Harrogate’s Cherry Blossom Avenues
Harrogate’s cherry blossom avenues are situated near the Prince of Wales roundabout, Leeds Road and York Place. If you’re lucky you may be able to park close by for free on Stray Rein. You may also find a spot in the Tewit Well Avenue residential area.
It’s easy to reach by train or bus as it’s a short walk from Harrogate’s main station. Both cherry blossom avenues meet at the point where Station Parade joins York Place. Grid reference 53.988425, -1.535504. The number 36 bus goes stops by the trees.
It can get fairly busy, as it’s quite a well-known seasonal attraction. It’s also a main walking route for residents so you will have to be patient as people walk in and out of your shot. If you’re really dedicated to the best shots, perhaps go at dawn.
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