We all know that Bath is one of the most beautiful cities in the UK. In fact, I’m pretty sure that it is the most photogenic – although you can forgive me for being biased.
But how do you capture the city in its best light (pun intended), especially when time is limited? Here are five tips for taking photographs in Bath.
1) Get out of the centre
Unless you are a diehard street photographer and enjoy taking photos of tourists at close range, heading out of the centre will make everything much easier. One idea is to try the streets above the Royal Crescent. Another is to head out along Great Pulteney Street.
2) The magic hour is even more magic in Bath
Bath’s UNESCO world heritage architecture is built from oolitic limestone. Photographers know it as a honey-coloured stone that looks particularly beautiful just as the sun is going down. A sunny summer’s evening is the perfect time to capture Bath’s spectacular architecture.
3) Go to Church
Sadly, even Bath isn’t sunny all the time. A good option for a rainy day is to shoot the gothic spectacle that is Bath Abbey. The fan vaulted ceiling, organ, and stone sculptures make for impressive photos. If you have time and strong legs you can climb the clock tower on the Tower Tour.
Of course, when the weather’s good there are plenty of shots of the Abbey exterior to be had too.
For more on Bath Abbey: http://thebathphotographer.uk/bath-abbey/
4) Pack a zoom
A zoom is another handy way to prevent the ubiquitous Bath crowds interfering with your photos – and also perfect for picking out architectural detail or shooting views of Bath from above the city. It is really going to help you taking photos in Bath. I used a 70 to 200mm f2.8 zoom to shoot these shots from Alexandra Park. If you have a travel lens that goes from wide to zoom that should be ideal.
5) Learn about Bath’s fascinating history
This may seem an odd piece of advice for photographers, but knowing WHAT you are photographing is at least as important as knowing HOW to photograph it. That’s why portrait photographers try to get to know their subjects before putting the camera to their eye. It applies to cities as well as people.
Once you know a little about Bath you’ll start to see all sort of new things. And you’ll get all sorts of new ideas for photographs. I’ve lived and worked in Bath for over a decade all in all, and I’m still making new discoveries.