Top Tips for framing Northern Ireland this World Photography

Belfast, Co. Down, Co. Antrim, Co. Fermanagh, Co. Londonderry, Things to do, Co. Tyrone, Causeway Coastal Route, Walking

Posted by Sarah

Published August 16, 2018

The 19th of August has been crowned World Photography Day, a day celebrating the power of photography, inspiring people around the world. It is the perfect opportunity to showcase your photography skills throughout Northern Ireland's great outdoors.

Causeway Coast

Causeway Coast, Photo courtesy of NI Explorer

To help you achieve that eye-catching Instagram-able picture, Northern Ireland influencer, NI Explorer, who takes breathtaking photography (many with his furry friend!) has revealed top photography tips, as well as some of his favourite places to capture across NI. Make memories right on your doorstep as you tick epic backdrops off your bucket list and take iconic snaps that jump out of your newsfeed.

1. Causeway Coastal Route

As Lonely Planet’s number one region to visit in 2018, there are plenty of iconic landmarks to snap along the Causeway Coastal Route, but also some hidden gems. Whilst the iconic Giant’s Causeway and Mussenden Temple bring the wow factor (especially at sunset), the drive along the coast also allows for stand-out photo opportunities. Travel to Ballintoy or Kinbane for secluded beaches and awe-inspiring views. Don’t be afraid to pull over and get snap happy!

2. Belfast Cathedral Quarter

For those who enjoy the buzz that Belfast has to offer, the Cathedral Quarter  is the perfect spot to capture a picture around every corner.  Pay a visit to the famous Duke of York alleyway, with cobbled streets, twinkling lights and unique street art. There’s a backdrop to suit everyone’s Instagram style.

3. Mourne Mountains

(Photo courtesy of NI Explorer)

The legendary Mourne Mountains   can provide plenty of photography opportunities, with each step creating more stunning angles to snap. Choose from the 15 surrounding peaks for views that go on forever. Stand on the tallest mountain in Northern Ireland, Slieve Donard, or ‘sweep down to the sea’ and take some stunning pictures along the Mourne Coastal Route.

4. Kilbroney Forest Park

Explore the deep, dark woods of Kilbroney Forest Park  to unearth a world full of quirky photo backdrops. Begin your explorations at Fairy Glen before walking through the wardrobe onto the C.S. Lewis inspired Narnia Trail. For those looking for a more adventurous photo, climb through the forest to emerge at the giant Cloughmore Stone and capture views of Carlingford Lough that will take your breath away.

5. Blessingbourne Country Estate

Blessingbourne Country Estate  has something for every keen photographer. Set against the stunning Sperrin mountains, the Estate boasts unspoilt views, woodland walks and even cattle grazing in the fields. With over 200 acres of mature woodland to explore, there are many creatures to pose as your subject – from dogs and chickens, to goats and horses.

6. Cuilcagh Mountain Park and Marble Arch Caves

Northern Ireland’s Cuilcagh Mountain Park  allows for majestic views and spectacular photos. Alternatively, if you don’t have a head for heights, slip underground to the nearby Marble Arch Caves  to capture fascinating formations of limestone in an underworld of rivers and chambers.

7. Rathlin Island

For those willing to go the extra mile for the perfect photo, hop on the ferry from Ballycastle and make the journey across to tranquil Rathlin Island. Keep your camera at the ready as you move across the sea, as you might be lucky enough to spot some dolphins! The island is also a favourite place for puffins and seals, offering another perfect opportunity to take a good snap.

NI Explorer’s Top Photography Tips


  • Get out and about – make a short break of it and discover what’s on your doorstep.
  • Consider investing in a smartphone. While digital SLR cameras are fantastic, modern smartphones are perfect if your photos will only ever be going on social media.
  • Find a buddy – someone who’s either equally into taking pictures, or someone who’s happy to be in the picture for you to practice on.  Even better, both!
  • Find light. Having natural light shining on your friend, dog, or mountain scene will make a huge difference to the quality of your photo. Sunsets and low sun also make for some great shots.
  • Just do it! As clichéd as it is, practice makes perfect. The sooner you start taking photos, the quicker you’ll see what works and what you enjoy. Your eye will soon be tuned into spotting something unique that you may have missed previously!


  • Don’t move! For a sharper photo, keep your feet planted and get both hands onto your phone.
  • Don’t be afraid of technology. While most have a simple ‘point and shoot’ set up, take some time to play with the settings, tap different parts of the screen for focusing and adjusting brightness.
  • Don’t zoom in! Nothing will blur your photos quicker. Walk closer to your subject instead.
  • Don’t use your phone’s flash. Find a window or go outside for better all-round light.
  • Don’t live your life through a lens (well, unless you’re getting paid for it). As much as practice makes perfect, photography lives on the fine line of capturing themoment and losing out on it.  You could quickly be the person that’s too focused on getting the perfect ‘Instagram snap’, rather than enjoying where you are, what you’re doing and who you’re with. 

Get out, explore and share your photos from your adventures with #Discover NI.

For more inspiration on where to find your perfect photo visit

Follow NI EXPLORER’s adventures at


Posted by Sarah

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