There’s really nothing new about portrait style photography. After all, artists have been using that method to capture images for hundreds of years. Some images are simply better in portrait mode. Tall buildings for example, lighthouses, castle turrets, the list is endless.
1. The Dark Hedges, Armoy County Antrim
A bewitching promenade of serpentine beech trees near Armoy, County Antrim.
This intriguing natural sight was used as the Drive along the King’s Road in the series ‘Game of Thrones’
It is probably one of the most photographed landmarks in Northern Ireland.
2. The Giant’s Causeway
Now declared a World Heritage Site and a National Nature Preserve, the Giant’s Causeway is named the 4th greatest wonder in the World
The Giant’s Causeway is made up of over forty thousand basalt columns.
The columns are formed as a result of a volcanic fissure eruption. The tops of the columns naturally form steppingstones, making it easy to navigate about them. Located in Country Antrim, the Causeway sits on the very tip of Northern Ireland.
Portrait mode allows the camera to concentrate on a particular, more interesting section in the viewfinder. Human head-shot in black or white or colour take on a different dimension when viewed in portrait fashion.
3. Glenarm Castle & Barbican Co. Antrim
Glenarm is a little village on the County Antrim coastline which lies on the North Channel.
The Castle is 6 miles north of the town of Larne and south of the village of Carnlough. Glenarm is first of the nine Glens of Antrim and is said to be one of the oldest towns in Ireland having been granted a charter in the 12th Century.
Glenarm Castle is the family seat of the MacDonnells, who occupied Dunluce Castle on the north coast. The village is now a Conservation Area, and its main street (Altmore Street) leads directly to Glenarm Forest. The magnificent Glenarm Castle can be seen from the forest. The Castle dates back as far as the 1750’s. The entrance to Glenarm Castle is the Barbican Gate which spans the river in the heart of the village.
4. Glenarm Castle Co Antrim
Glenarm ‘meaning ‘valley of the army’ is part of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council. Glenarm takes its name from the glen in which it lie, and is the southernmost of the nine Glens of Antrim.
How many times have you taken a shot in landscape mode and then noticed ‘something special’ to the left of center. With the benefit of today’s wonderful high definition you can move onto that ‘something special’ image, change format to portrait and capture an image which was lost in the original busy landscape. Goodness knows how many ‘something specials’, there are to be discovered.
5. Doe Castle
Doe Castle is located on the shores of Co Donegal. It was built in the early 15th century in the style of a Scottish tower house and is one of the better fortalices in the west of Ireland. The castle sits on a small peninsula, surrounded by water with a short moat in the rock of the landward side.
The Castle was built by the O’Donnell’s in the 1430’s, but in the 1440’s it had come into the hands of the gallowglass MacSweeneys and remained in the family for nearly two hundred years. In the Plantation of Ulster in the early seventeenth century, it fell into the hands of English settlers.
The castle changed hands repeatedly during the 17th-century for control of Ireland between the English and the Irish. It is known that in 1655, Sir Charles Coote, Londonderry, took ownership of the castle. Eventually, the castle was bought by George Vaughan Hart and inhabited by his family until 1840.
6. Killybegs Harbour Co Donegal
Killybegs is a small town in Co Donegal Ireland. It has the largest fishing port in the country home to some spectular fishing trawlers and is located on the south coast of Donegal near Donegal Town.
The town is situated at the head of the scenic harbour and at the lower of a vast mountainous tract extending northward. Every summer there is a festival celebrating the fish catches and incorporating the traditional “Blessing of the Boats”.
There’s no doubt that ‘portrait mode’ is hot at the moment and everyone should take advantage of this opportunity. All the major internet platforms are asking for portrait photographs. ‘YouTube Shorts,’ ‘Pinterest’ and TikTok among them.
7. Colourful houses on Rathlin Island of Co. Antrim Northern Ireland
Rathlin Island is an island and civil parish off Co Antrim in Northern Ireland. The island has a population of 130 people and is the most northerly island off the coast of Ireland.
Rathlin Island is 3 miles from east to west, and 2.5 miles from north to south.
The highest point on the island is Slieveard, 130 metres above sea level. Rathlin is 13 miles from the Mull of Kintyre to the southern tip of Scotland’s Kintyre. Rathlin is part of the Causeway Coast and Glens area and is represented by the Rathlin Development and Community Association.
Rathlin is part of the district of Moyle.
8. Mussenden Temple
Mussenden Temple can be found among the beautiful surroundings of Downhill Demesne Castlerock in Co Derry.
The building sits dramatically on the top of a cliff high above the wild Atlantic Ocean, on the north-western coast of Northern Ireland. It offers spectacular views westwards over Downhill Strand towards Magilligan Point and Co Donegal. To the east is the beaches of Castlerock, Portstewart, Portrush and Fair Head.
9. Whitehead Co Antrim
Whitehead is a small seaside village on the east coast of Co Antrim Northern Ireland, between the towns of Carrickfergus and Larne. It sits within the civil parish of Templecorran, the historic barony of Belfast Lower, and is part of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.
The town of Whitehead sits in a small bay between the limestone cliffs of Whitehead and the black cliff of Blackhead, with the Blackhead Lighthouse at its height, marking the entrance of Belfast Lough. Whitehead is arround 19 miles from Belfast city. Whitehead also marks the entrance to the world famous ‘Gobbins toe path’.
The Gobbins path was created by an Irish railway engineer Berkeley Wise, who built the path as a tourist attraction for the Belfast and Northern Railway Company. The Gobbins had many visitors in the first few decades of the 20th century. This picturesque location is where you can enjoy a two hour personally guided walking tour arround the rugged coastline.
The Gobbins experience takes you along a narrow path across tubular bridges among the crashing waves of the Irish Sea up and down rugged staircases carved into the cliff face and arround caves that were once home to smugglers and pirates. From Blackhead lighthouse on the edge of Belfast lough, to the colourful dwellings in Whitehead Bay displays a stunning photogenic landscape.
10. Kilwaughter Castle County Antrim
Kilwaughter Castle is sits close the town of Larne in County Antrim and was designed and built in 1619 for Sir Patrick Agnew, 8th Sheriff of Galloway.
In 1805 Edward Jones Agnew inherited the estate. Edward employed one of the best-known architects John Nash, (who is famous for his work at Buckingham Palace,) adding an extension to what was the original Tower House from the 17th Century.
This Tower House can still be seen within the Castle footprint. When Edward died in the 1830’s his son William inherited the Castle and its estate. He also purchased more land so that it became one of the largest landholdings in Ireland at around 10,000 acres.
The castle has now fell into disrepair with collapsed floors and roof. It is now privately owned and is not open to the public. A charitable trust was formed to help stop further deterioration of the castle.
11. Donaghadee lighthouse Co Down
Built in 1836 this active light has a focal plane of 17m and its white light is 2 s on, 2 s off with a red light shown over shallow water along the shore to the southeast. The 15 meters limestone tower, lantern and gallery is painted white. A fog siren blast every 11 s sounds only when ships are expected.
The lighthouse was repaired after being heavily damaged by fire in the early 1900’s. In October 1934 the light was the first in Ireland to be converted to electric. Located at the end of the South Pier at Donaghadee, 9 miles east of Bangor. Accessible by walking the pier with the site is open and the tower is closed. Its operator is The Commissioners of Irish Lights.
12. Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
The most famous bridge in Northern Ireland is undoubtedly the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge Co. Antrim.
The world famous rope bridge near Ballintoy links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrick-a-Ried where fishermen used it to access their nets. It spans over 20 metres and is 30 metres above the rocks below.
The bridge is mainly a tourist attraction and is owned and maintained by the National Trust and welcomes over 200,000 visitors anally. The bridge is open all year round and people may cross the bridge for a small fee. Amidst the rugged landscape of this isolated island, you can let your mind wander and discover a tranquility and beauty that is so unexpected.
13. Blackhead Lighthouse Co. Antrim
This Lighthouse was built in 1901 by Sir William Douglass which is still to this day. A 15 meters octagonal cylindrical granite tower with lantern and gallery. It has a covered walkway to a two story keeper’s house with a few other buildings preserved. Three keeper’s houses are now available for vacation rental.
In January 2010 the Environment Agency announced plans to list the station as a historic site. In 2013 CIL announced plans to designate the light as one of the Great Lighthouses of Ireland and to develop the light station. The Lighthouse is located on a high cliff on a sharp headland at the northern entrance to Belfast Lough. Its accessible by road and is about 2 miles north of White Head. Its site is open but the tower is closed.
A sunny day in East Antrim Northern Ireland, is a photographers delight. From Blackhead lighthouse on the edge of Belfast lough, to the colourful dwellings in Whitehead Bay, excites the creative imagination to experiment with such a stunning photogenic landscape.
14. Belfast Castle
Belfast Castle sits on the slopes of Cavehill mountain towards Belfast City and Lough.
Built in the early 1220’s by the Normans who invaded Ulster in the twelfth-century. By the early 1300’s a small settlement had been built in front of the castle.
The castle was rebuilt on several occasions between 1221 and the 1553.
Belfast Castle was eventually seized by a branch of the O’Neill’s in 1400.
The O’ Néill of Clandeboye used Belfast Castle as one of their main residences throughout the fifteenth and sixteenth-centuries.
In 1602, Sir Arthur Chichester offered to rebuild the Castle if he was given Belfast and its surrounding lands by the Crown. This grant of the castle and its surrounding lands was reconfirmed by the Crown the following year.
The Castle accidentally burnt down in 1704, with the death of 3 sisters and a servant and rather than rebuilding on the same site, a new castle was then built on Cave Hill in 1859 designed by Architect Sir Charles costing over £12,000.
Lord Ashley (who later became the eighth Earl of Shaftesbury), paid for the reconstruction and later inherited the castle, in October 1880. Lord Shaftesbury, Harriet Augusta, and their family are remembered in the form of street names through the city.
The Shaftesbury family were also generous donors to the City of Belfast. The 9th Earl of Shaftesbury became Lord Mayor in 1905. The Shaftesbury’s also developed the grounds of the castle into sports and recreation areas such as tennis courts, open-air theatre, clay pigeon shooting and bowling green’s costing well over £170,000
Since the mid 1940’s, the castle has been a popular spot for weddings, and other events.
Belfast Castle is open to the public most days with an antique shop, visitor centre, restaurant, and a playground. Visitors can enjoy viewing one of its bedrooms, set up in the style of the 1920’s.
Since the castles construction in the 1860 its sandstone walls and towers have been restored. It is built in the Scottish baronial style, from the Gothic styles of the 16th C.
The castle has a beautiful winding staircase at the main entrance and stands out against the sandstone and red brick finish.
15. Ballycastle County Antrim
Ballycastle is a small seaside town placed on the most north tip of county Antrim, Northern Ireland. The town is best known for the street festival ‘The Ould Lammas Fair’, probably the largest of its kind in Ireland with its ‘dulse’ and ‘yellowman’. Ballycastle is the perfect central location for day trips. Go west along the Causeway coast to Kinbane, Carrickarede Ropebridge, Ballintoy, Dunseverick, Portbraddon, the Giant’s Causeway, the Bushmills Distillery. Or you can go east through the Glens of Antrim to Cushendall, Cushendun, Glenariff, etc.
A ferry service is available Rathlin Island where you can find wildlife such as puffins and seals, or just enjoy the warmth of the island and its people.
Ballycastle is the ideal holiday spot for the family or explorer with many activities and accommodation to suit a weekend break or summer holiday.
The harbour town and holiday resort of Ballycastle is a pretty town with a family friendly promenade, and has good bucket-and-spade beach as seen in this portrat aerial photo.
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