Monday’s Postcard: Oxford, England

Posted on 09. Apr, 2012 by in Europe Travel, Photo Posts, United Kingdom

Oxford is one of my favorite places in the world. It has outstanding history, dozens of interesting colleges, and a lively, friendly atmosphere that’s easy to fall in love with. Mixed with the welcoming locals and quirky sights, it’s pretty hard to resist. Up until then, everything’s good.

However, the one thing it doesn’t have is perpetual good weather. Permanent sunshine is pretty rare anywhere in the world, it seems really generous on vacation time in the UK. It was the case when I visited Oxford a few weeks ago, where I was greeted with this fine weather - the kind of damp, bone-freezing, foggy morning where you can’t see 10 yards in front of you and all you can hear is the sound of your teeth clattering. Welcome to England!

Luckily I had Harry Potter to rescue me from despair. Not that it’s any sunnier in the movies.

Another major downside of  gloomy weather, outside the obvious lack of comfort, is the bad photography. Nothing like a white sky and thick fog to ruin your Oxford photos journey. I really prefer bright blue skies filled with funky white clouds - these are perfect for National-Geographic-type of shots.

But since that’s not a frequent sight in the UK… the only option is to turn to classic black and white, and play with contrast. Vignetting. Borders. Shadows. And sometimes, something like this comes out.

Christ Church Meadows

I think this is probably my favorite part of traveling, outside actually exploring - photo editing. It’s a constant challenge to try to render the feeling I had on location in the photos, and it does take a lot of work. It’s definitely a labor of love, but when I get results like this one, I have the feeling every single minute I spent finding the perfect contrast was worth it.

I like how gloomy this photo turned out to be - it’s almost like you expect one of the Oxford ghosts to pop up any minute . Or if you’re more into contemporary film, it does seem like the perfect setup to an English “Blair Witch Project”. Not that I was aiming for that in particular! Britain is apparently one of the most haunted places in the world, I guess it does make sense for its weather to be a bit spooky from time to time!

Have you ever been to Oxford? What’s your favorite Oxford photos taking spot? Have you ever looked into the option of coach holidays by National Holidays to Oxfordshire? 

Related posts:

  1. Channeling Harry Potter at Oxford’s Christ Church College
  2. Monday’s Postcard: Liverpool, England
  3. Monday’s Postcard: Christmas Lights in London

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6 Responses to “Monday’s Postcard: Oxford, England”

  1. Laura

    09. Apr, 2012

    I love Oxford, too… but your pic seems to be taken in a very spooky place…

    Reply to this comment
  2. John

    09. Apr, 2012

    Marie, Lovely black and white composition. I always look for the opportunity presented by bad weather. Give me the drama of a stormy sky to a heat haze any day. I take bracketed photso to process as HDR if the conditions are poor.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Alexa Meisler

    09. Apr, 2012

    Looks like a scene from a horror movie. I meant this as a compliment by the way. It’s like something dark is about to happen. I like the vibe I get from this picture.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Laurence

    10. Apr, 2012

    Amazing photo, great atmosphere in this shot!

    Reply to this comment
  5. Pete

    10. Apr, 2012

    Really nice composition, and like the vignetting, nice touch!

    Reply to this comment
  6. Jeff Titelius

    11. Apr, 2012

    Hauntingly beautiful image my friend.

    Reply to this comment

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