A good photograph is knowing where to stand - Ansel Adams

Location Guide
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I've lost count of the number of times I've missed a photographic opportunity due to a lack of information about a location. Often it's a simple as arriving late due to a misunderstanding about train schedules, or it may be that I'm snapping away in blissful ignorance of the beautiful castle that is just a few miles down the road. So, frustrated by a seeming lack of dedicated UK location guides, I took the decision to collect together my notes from past trips, edit out the profanity and bad spelling, and publish them on the Internet. I’m just getting around to it now, which is about par for the course really.

I’ve often heard the advice “f/8 and be there” passed on by fellow photographers. It’s the basic intent of these guides to help out with the “be there” part of this equation. I've tried to be as exhaustive as possible in the information provided, and will of course try to keep the guides as accurate as possible.

You can use the interactive map to the right to find location guides in your part of the country, or you can find a complete list under "Other Locations"

NEW: Subscribe to the Location Guide RSS feed here, also available in Atom format.

ALSO NEW: The Location Database is a detailed database containing hundreds of UK photographic locations. For obvious reasons, there is less detail on the individual sites, but there are many, many more locations included. Each entry contains links to sites where you can gather more information.



Minard Castle, County Kerry
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 21:13

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Minard Castle, County Kerry

Quite regularly I'll lay siege to a castle armed with camera and tripod, only to discover that Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army has beaten me to it by a matter of centuries. Minard Castle, on the coast of County Kerry, is certainly no exception; their second visit in 1641 leading as it did to the destruction of the castle and the deaths of all inside.

Minard Castle today stands overlooking a small bay on the Dingle Peninsula of County Kerry. It is in a poor state of repair, and repeated signs warn of the dangers of entering the castle itself. In my view this is not such a great loss as you might think; photographically, it is much better to step back and view the castle in the context of it's dramatic surroundings. And Minard Castle is a dramatic place indeed, it's crumbling walls bear witness to the powder charges that were used to bring down one wall of the castle. What remains is undoubtedly in ruin, however three walls still stand to an impressive height. The huge breach faces the sea, and therefore the castle presents it's most photogenic aspect to the nearby beach.

 
Llanddwyn Island, Anglesey
Monday, 28 December 2009 20:48

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Llanddwyn Island, Anglesey

Llanddwyn Island (pronounced hlanthwyn) lies on the south-western coast of Anglesey, beyond the large pine forest and dune system known as Newborough Warren. While it is only truly an island during the highest of tides, it is connected to the rest of Anglesey only by a narrow spit of land. As such, and assuming you pick your visiting time carefully, the island has an atmosphere of tranquility that you may not expect from such a popular location.

The main photographic attraction is Tŵr Mawr lighthouse at the island's most south-westerly point. Modelled on the windmills of Anglesey, Tŵr Mawr does not have the appearance of a typical lighthouse; no obvious light is detectable from the landward side, and it's squat appearance obscures it's intended purpose. A set of sails would not look at all out of place on it's angled walls. As ever though, it is the location that makes the building so interesting; perched as it is atop a small promontory, more in the manner of a defensive position, and with a backdrop of Snowdonia and the Llŷn Peninsula.

 
Lindisfarne Castle
Monday, 21 September 2009 21:24

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Lindisfarne Castle

Lindisfarne Castle, and indeed the rest of Holy Island, is only accessible via a causeway at low tide. It is perhaps this fact as much as any other that lends the site so much of it's mystique. Certainly it's location, perched precariously atop a rocky outcrop overlooking the North Sea makes the castle alluringly photogenic, but the fact you are on a tidal island is always close to your thoughts. Especially if travelling back on foot, you'll have to be aware of the times of the tides lest you be stranded until the next low water. To some, it is perhaps an unwelcome reminder of the old adage that time and tide wait for no man, and nowhere is it truer than Holy Island; for there are no alternative crossings available. In an age where most of us have become so isolated from nature, I think it will do none of us any harm to have our 'busy schedules' at the mercy of the seas for a few hours.

 
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Suggest a Location

I am on a constant lookout for new and interesting locations. If you know of a potentially photogenic location you'd like to see included in the guide, please let me know.