Most photographers are always on the lookout for a great location to extend their photography skills or just to take that memorable shot. Windsor is an excellent destination for any photographer. The reason is the diversity of subject matter within easy walking of both our town’s railway stations. (Train times). We are less than an hour from central London, so hop on the train and get snapping.
Whether you are a pro photographer with a great dSLR and a pile of lenses or an instagramer with a mobile phone, Windsor has a whole lot to offer you.
And lets start with the stations themselves. Riverside’s brickwork is impressive Victorian with intricate patterning, while the Central Station is a genuine delight, with a great glass roof and fancy ironwork. Lookout for Queen Victoria’s private waiting room with some lovely stone carving..
There is also an old steam train ready for moody shots. Central Station is also a shopping precinct these days and if you fancy photographing people this is a great destination.
When the Christmas lights are lit, both Windsor and neighbouring Eton are exceptionally photogenic. Longer exposures can really capture the lighting to its best effect.
A few minutes walk from either station is Windsor Town Bridge. A broad, pedestrian only crossing that offers lots of interest to a photographer .
Long exposures or nighttime reflections (from either the Eton or Windsor side are both options that have produced some lovely shots for local photographers. You can hire a boat and take photos on the River Thames too if you fancy. A little upstream from the Town Bridge is a railway bridge which was designed by Brunel. You might want to take a look at that although I have seen it described as the worst bridge Brunel built. Oh, well, you can’t win ’em all.
Of course, the Castle itself is high on most people’s list of photographs worth taking. You will almost certainly end up shooting at least one or two clichéd composition that have been photographed a hundred times before. So what? Enjoy your day and take pictures where you like. If you want to photograph the round tower go ahead and get your camera out. Our tip is to choose a slightly windy day as the flag fluttering ads so much to photographs of the round tower. Wide angle lenses can produce interesting effects with architecture.
Windsor’s Guildhall is an often overlooked gem.
The good news is that you can have a look round as part of the town museum visit (weddings permitting). The Guildhall sits on the High Street in front of a warren of dark medieval alleyways which are particularly good for street photography.
The gate for the long walk can be just reached in just a few minutes from the castle main gate and the Long Walk is where you can capture some beautiful shots, particularly during the ‘golden hours’ just after dawn and before sunset.
If you are up for a little stroll along the long walk you will enter the deer park where a herd of several hundreds of red deer are ready for their close ups.
Beyond them, at the far end of the Long Walk at the top of snow hill the iconic ‘copper horse’ statue of George III provides a strong silhouette.
The view back toward Windsor along the Long Walk from the Copper Horse is equally spectacular. This is where a telephoto lens will definitely come in handy.
Beyond the deer park are 5,000 rolling acres of open countryside. This is a bit of a hike, especially if you are carrying heavy photo equipment, so you might want to consider visiting the Great Park as a separate day out.
The Great Park is definitely worth visiting though. It is a paradise for wildlife photography. I like to take a wide lens and head for the valley gardens in late spring or mid winter.
In autumn I indulge my passion for mushroom photography (picking is not allowed in the park and this seems to help ensure a wide variety are always ready to be shot.)
For a bit of spectacle, the changing of the guard is always welcome. It happens around 10.30 in the morning, but never on a Sunday.
Once the guard has changed, our town crier is always happy to help when he is out delivering a proclamation, so if you are a photographer who like photos of people in historic costumes, once more Windsor is a great option.
If architecture is more your thing, then back through town, across the bridge into Eton and you will be rewarded with an eclectic mix of building styles from the 1400s to the present day, all wonderfully jumbled together. The fields of Eton (particularly the Brocas) offer a great location for a long distance view of the castle walls.
That’s only a tiny fraction of the locations you can choose from. Windsor is only an hour from Central London by train and is one of the most rewarding locations in the south of England for any photographer to visit.