Alight here for Little Venice… and don’t forget your camera!

The great thing about building a location finding app like SNAPP Guides is that you get to discover incredible new places to photograph on a daily basis. When creating destination guides for photographers you clearly can’t skip the iconic locations, nor would we want to. But what’s exciting about these guides is that our team of pros are also helping us discover many lesser known spots. Jon Reid of Nomadic Vision is creating our London SNAPP Guide and spent a year photographing different locations in and around the city. Here he writes about stumbling across Little Venice and how it inspired him as a photographic location. It’s made me think that the next time I hear “alight here for Little Venice” I might just hop off with my camera gear and try a few of these spots…

The following blog post and all photographs are by Jon Reid, Nomadic Vision

“One of my favourite features of the Underground is the “Alight here for…” announcement. On the way to the Neasden Temple, I passed Warwick Avenue station. The announcement said, “Alight here for Little Venice”. I hadn’t planned on photographing Little Venice, but the Neasden Temple was closed, so I headed back to Warwick Avenue station to see what I could find.

Exiting the station leads onto Warwick Avenue, a picturesque street lined with Georgian townhouses. The street gives a prequel of what is to follow.

My first sight of Little Venice was through Little Venice Gardens. The gardens are surrounded by more Georgian townhouses on one end and by a canal on the other end. Although it was very early in spring and the trees were not yet in bloom, it was quite obvious that the park would be beautiful in late spring all the way through until the end of autumn. This particular evening was a warm one, so locals were picnicking, adding to the relaxed feeling in the area.

Little Venice itself is indeed really little (Venice? Not so much!). It is formed where Regent’s Canal and Grand Union Canal intersect. The resulting ‘pool’ and the surrounding areas are referred to as Little Venice. It is a peaceful, park-like area that feels far removed from the city, even though it is almost in the heart of London.

Apart from an enticing looking pub, at first glance I didn’t notice much in the way of entertainment, but I’ve since discovered that the Canal Cafe Theatre runs a show called NewsRevue, the longest running comedy show in the world. A waterbus runs from Little Venice to the London Zoo and Camden Town. I imagine a great day out would be to start off in Camden Town, taking the waterbus to Little Venice, having a relaxing pint at the Warwick Castle and topping the evening off with a comedy show.

Colourful Reflections

When photographing any body of water, the surface of the water reflects the sky. As pictures of Little Venice will involve water, it makes sense to pick a time with a colourful sky. A bright blue sky will make the water appear blue whilst a warm sunset will give the water a golden shine.

A useful bit of gear to consider is a polarizer. This filter will remove glare off the surface of the water and the sheen of flora, leaving you with saturated colours.

Little Venice is a charming, peaceful little square that feels very British. Browning’s Pool (the name of the largest body of water) would perhaps have been a better name, given the association with Robert Browning, a notable English poet.

That said, I’m not sure I would have visited the area if the underground announcement said “Alight here for Browning Pool”!”


Originally published at blog.nomadicvision.com on May 8, 2013.

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