Harrogate Stray Cherry Tree Walk

May 24, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I have a list on my ipad of locations which I think would justify one or more photographs in my portfolio, but which i haven't yet captured. Sometimes I may miss the right conditions because I am unable to visit at the right time. alternatively, I may visit the location but find that the conditions on the ground weren't right, or the weather wasn't what I was looking for.

One of the shots which has been on the list for a number of years is the cherry tree walk at Harrogate stray. The cherry blossom is at its peak for only a few days each year, and can be quickly ruined by heavy rain or strong winds. I envisaged a shot in full sun to show the colour of the blossom to best effect with dappled sunlight to give interest under the avenue of trees. Each time I tried to capture the shot either the cherry blossom was past its peak or the clouds rolled in as I arrived in Harrogate.

This year I passed through Harrogate a couple of times in the weeks before the cherry trees came into flower, and guessed when the blossom would put in an appearance. The weather forecast was kind  for just one day during the week I had chosen, so I packed up and set off. When I arrived I was relieved to find the sun was still shining, and the blossom was showing, so I could get to work.

The cherry tree avenues in Harrogate were apparently planted to celebrate the Queen's coronation in 1953. Some of the trees have been lost subsequently, but fortunately Harrogate Borough Council has planted new trees to fill the gaps. The varying size of the trees gives opportunities for images setting the blossom against the sky, as well as images focusing on the tunnel of blossom underneath the trees.

These are four of the images from the morning, each with the path leading under the tunnel of cherry blossoms, but with variations from different viewpoints along the walk.

Cherry Tree Walk ICherry Tree Walk I100 of the cherry trees forming Harrogate's spectacular Cherry tree Walk were planted to mark the Queen's coronation in 1953. For a few days in May the abundant blossoms provide an explosion of pink colour along the paths crossing Harrogate's famous stray. Cherry Tree Walk I

Cherry tree Walk IICherry tree Walk II100 of the cherry trees forming Harrogate's spectacular Cherry tree Walk were planted to mark the Queen's coronation in 1953. For a few days in May the abundant blossoms provide an explosion of pink colour along the paths crossing Harrogate's famous stray. Cherry Tree Walk II

Cherry tree Walk IIICherry tree Walk III100 of the cherry trees forming Harrogate's spectacular Cherry tree Walk were planted to mark the Queen's coronation in 1953. For a few days in May the abundant blossoms provide an explosion of pink colour along the paths crossing Harrogate's famous stray. Cherry Tree Walk III

Cherry Tree Walk IVCherry Tree Walk IV100 of the cherry trees forming Harrogate's spectacular Cherry tree Walk were planted to mark the Queen's coronation in 1953. For a few days in May the abundant blossoms provide an explosion of pink colour along the paths crossing Harrogate's famous stray. Cherry Tree Walk IV

I have my own preferences among these photographs, but thought it would be interesting to carry out a straw poll at a recent craft fair to see which were favoured. Interestingly there was no clear consensus, and each of the images had its champions. However the most popular were II (with the daisies in the foreground, and a definite left to right journey along the path) and IV (with the greatest "tunnel of pink" impression).

Do add a comment below if you have a personal fovourite among the images above or any thoughts on this.

In addition to the "along the path" shots I also planned some images from outside the avenues of trees with a more panoramic feel. These are the results:

Cherry tree Walk Panorama I

Cherry Tree Walk panorama II

The contrast between the mature and more recently planted trees is much more noticeable in these images. I think that this composition will probably work much better when the more recently planted trees have grown more, so that, for example, the buildings do not show through in the centre of the second image. So, even though I have added some new photographs into my portfolio, the cherry tree walk will stay on my list of locations to visit, and hopefully I will be able to return and re-photograph this attractive location in a few years time.


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