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Author Topic: Tips for cambridge university and suroundings  (Read 3372 times)
EinstStein
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« on: August 13, 2012, 10:55:05 AM »
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I will spend a day in Cambridge University next week.
I heard the security maynot allow tripod in the campus, including outdoors.
Any advise on to do and not to do?
« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 10:58:53 AM by EinstStein » Logged
kikashi
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2012, 01:48:42 PM »
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I will spend a day in Cambridge University next week.
I heard the security maynot allow tripod in the campus, including outdoors.
Any advise on to do and not to do?


There is no "campus". There are the colleges, most of which are clustered around the centre of the city. My experience is that you will be prevented from using a tripod within the grounds of any of them; if you smuggle it past the porters at the gate, one of the roving porters will tell you to stop using it; and within the colleges, which are private property, their Word is Law. I've only ever been allowed to use a tripod inside St John's, and even then only because I obtained special permission in advance. There's not likely to be any objection to your using a handheld camera.

You'll be able to use the tripod in public places, such as King's Parade, though.

You may find that some of the colleges are closed to visitors. Sometimes you can ignore those signs and wander quietly through; it depends on which college, exactly what the gate arrangements are and whether you look as if you belong there.

Of the colleges, my favourite is St John's, but I'm biased. King's Chapel is glorious, of course.

Generally, it's a lovely place. I go back as often as I can manage. Have a look at the Cambridge in Colour web site for some ideas of what can really be done there.

Jeremy
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texshooter
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2012, 07:05:19 PM »
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why so strict on tripods?  is it because a rifle can be disguised as a tripod, or somebody can trip over the tripod legs, or because they assume all tripod shooters are there for commercial enterprise?  are the gaurds this hawkish at state universities too?
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EinstStein
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2012, 08:18:47 PM »
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thanks for the confirmation, if my English does not fail me, I can bring a monopod?
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kikashi
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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2012, 02:18:19 AM »
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why so strict on tripods?  is it because a rifle can be disguised as a tripod, or somebody can trip over the tripod legs, or because they assume all tripod shooters are there for commercial enterprise?  are the gaurds this hawkish at state universities too?

I doubt they're worried about rifles; I suspect it's to do with a dislike of commercial photography. I pre-emptively promised when I asked to use a tripod in John's that I was taking photos only for my own use.

The distinction between private and state universities doesn't exist in the UK as it does in the USA.

thanks for the confirmation, if my English does not fail me, I can bring a monopod?

Your English is fine, but I've no idea. I've used a monopod in several colleges in Oxford without trouble but I've not tried in Cambridge. I'd probably give it a try; at worst, you'd be told to stop using it.

Jeremy
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AdamW
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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2012, 06:21:28 PM »
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As Jeremy says, Cambridge doesn't have a campus and instead colleges and departments are spread throughout the city. This means you can get some angles of most things from public land with no problem using a tripod except the hordes of other tourists. Don't expect the locals to go to huge effort to get out of pictures -- walking anywhere would take too long if everyone did all the time.

College security is provided by "porters" and these are the people to ask about tripod and monopod use inside colleges. Be friendly and they may say yes. Just stay off the grass.

As August is peak tourism and outside full term there aren't really any students in town so I'd imagine almost all colleges will be open to visitors. A few charge, but many don't. Departments are harder to get into and less scenic.

Sir Cam (camdiary on Flickr) is probably my favourite Cambridge photographer -- it's worth exploring his older work as well as the more recent pictures that more often include official events.

What sort of photos were you hoping to take?

Without more direction, I'd probably suggest starting from Kings Parade, Senate House, Trinity Street / Lane -- that part of town near the river and Kings, Clare, Trinity Hall and Trinity. The view of Kings College Chapel from across the river is worth looking at, even if the view is a well worn-photo. Garrett Hostel Lane is the public bridge over the river in the town centre so worth a wander, and Clare College has pretty gardens on the river but tends to charge. The tower ant Great St Mary's will provide a high view of Cambridge.

There are plenty of architectural details around and high up if that's something of interest. There's a well-stocked university botanic garden a little out of the centre if you want to see some flowers and plants (tripod may need permission). If you want more variety of angles for punt photos try Mill Lane and that part of the river.

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EinstStein
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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2012, 12:17:20 AM »
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I found to a lot pictures taken from the high point look very pleasing to me. Any recommendation where to find the accessible roof top or windows?
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kikashi
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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2012, 02:56:15 AM »
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I found to a lot pictures taken from the high point look very pleasing to me. Any recommendation where to find the accessible roof top or windows?

Try one of the many churches. I went up the tower of Great St Mary's church the last time I was there: it's at the north end of Kings Parade, so ideally placed. There's a modest charge. The view from the top was spectacular.

Jeremy
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2012, 03:08:38 AM »
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Great St Mary's is the ideal high point, and make sure you follow Garret Hostel Lane

I'd also agree about St John's, especially around the bridge and in the cloisters of New Court. I'm biased, but look at Queens' cloister court and see if you can go into the old hall. Even if you can't use a tripod, you may be able to get a decent shot of the medieval roof by putting the camera on the floor (same in Kings College chapel).

If you're there for an academic reason, you may be able to get a "Cam Card" which allows you to wander in and out of colleges.
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EinstStein
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« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2012, 11:00:12 AM »
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thanks a lot. I am interested in the Cam pass, I will attend an industrial conference, which is held in the campus. how and where do I get it?
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AdamW
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« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2012, 11:28:20 AM »
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I wasn't aware CAM Cards were available for conference visitors: they're usually an alumni thing.

If you at an event that is using a College as a conference facility you should have reasonable access to at least some parts of that college. The better conference colleges (en suite rooms, etc) also tend to be the less photogenic, though.

The town in pancake-flat. For height, I'd try and get into a college staircase, but being a member would help there. Most central buildings that aren't colleges are college-owned with student accommodation on higher floors, so no access there either.

Apart from churches, you could also look for rooftops like terrace at The Varsity Hotel. An open top bus tour will get you some height around the main tourist areas. My friends with certain first floor (ie second floor if you're American) used to hate those.

It may not help in this case (mostly full, wrong date) but there is an open Cambridge weekend where more tours than usual are available.

Most colleges with a published policy that I've seen are hand-held, non-professional photos only without prior permission.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2012, 12:20:33 PM »
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I know you can get the Cam Card as a member of the university - I think they are also available for academic visitors too, but I doubt an industry conference would be included.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2012, 12:24:13 PM »
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If you fancy a quick trip nearby, consider Ely Cathedral which is half an hour's drive away. You can park within 10 minutes' walk, and it's 2 for a tripod pass for inside. Its octagonal tower is wonderful.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2012, 03:12:22 PM by johnbeardy » Logged

EinstStein
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« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2012, 06:31:25 PM »
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Thanks for all the advices. I'm back, here're some of of trip shots. Hope you enjoy as much as I do.

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.389462537786584.85361.100001685225267&type=1
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