Kyoto Gardens, Holland Park

After recommending it as a good photo spot (while admitting I had yet to go there) I thought it best to actually visit this park and double check that it was indeed a good place to take photos. I was not disappointed! Heading out in a cloudy day I felt a little unsure that the weather would do the place justice, but I needn’t have worried.  Getting off at Holland Park tube station (on the central line, just past Notting Hill Gate; see tube map) the park was a 5 min walk away, with an impressive entrance gate.

Kyoto Gardens, Holland Park

Kyoto Gardens, Holland Park

Among its many attractions, the park is also the site of the Kyoto Japanese Garden – an ecology and rose gardens built for the 1991 London Festival of Japan (with a beautiful waterfall). Other facilities in the park include an adventure playground and café, a giant chess set, several multi-coloured tulip beds and peacocks! Yup, running around free as, er birds!  With the beautiful tulips about, the ponds, and tranquil Kyoto Gardens, it is no wonder the park is regarded as one of the most romantic and peaceful spots in London.

Effect of the water was captured using a Neural Density (ND) filter and a 2 sec shutter speed. The camera was on a tripod.

Effect of the water was captured using a Neutral Density (ND)* filter and a 2 sec shutter speed. The camera was on a tripod.

Photo opportunities are plenty- you can practice using your neutral density (ND)* filter on the waterfall for some cool shimmering water effects (see image above), your polarising filter for an extra edge on water reflections and the fat koi carp, and your macro lens for close ups of the tulips, and peacocks (although a zoom may be better!).  As with all public places there are great spots for people in sweet secluded benches as well as the wonderful ruins of Holland Park House, and the Orangery to explore. A wonderful place for photographers and families with small children (the adveture playground is a big hit with kids!), Holland Park is ideal for capturing some vibrant photos on a leisurely day out. Here are a few of my efforts below!

And spotted by the tulips this beautiful male peacock, extravagant eye-spotted tail covert feathers!

And spotted by the tulips this beautiful male peacock, extravagantly displaying its eye-spotted tail covert feathers!

Orange/Yellow Tulip, one of thousands at Holland Park!

Orange/Yellow Tulip, one of thousands at Holland Park!

Kyoto Gardens, Holland Park

Another view of the Kyoto Gardens, Holland Park

All finished off with a lovely tea and cake at the coffee shop next to the open air Holland Park Theatre, which is the home of Opera Holland Park.

*(N.B. A Neutral Density ND filter is a filter that reduces the amount of light entering the sensor of your camera – like sunglasses for humans – which allows greater flexibility to change the aperture, exposure time and/or motion blur of the subject in different situations and atmospheric conditions. If you would like to know more about how this works, or which ones to get please let me know – otherwise I recommend Peter Hill’s article “The Ultimate Guide To Neutral Density Filters”)

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2 thoughts on “Kyoto Gardens, Holland Park

  1. I love your blog! I really want to take the children to Holland Park when we are next in London. It looks amazing! Thank you for bringing this location to my attention, and so glad you got to capture its perfection before my kids descended upon it! 🙂

    Tracie. Stoke-on-Trent

  2. Dear Tracie, thanks for commenting on my blog! I am glad you liked the post – hopefully you will get to visit it soon – the kids would love it 🙂

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