The Giant’s Causeway – Northern Ireland
Hello fellow photographers!
Let’s start the year with one of the most iconic place in Ireland: the Giant’s Causeway, rightfully considered one of the greatest natural wonder in the United Kingdom, and a world heritage site by UNESCO, located on the north coast of Northern Ireland.
This incredibly peculiar natural structure owns its origin to the intense volcanic activity which took place in Antrim around 50 to 60 million years ago, when fluid molten basalt formed an extensive lava plateau. As the lava cooled, an horizontal contraction occurred, originating the fractures still visible nowadays, which shaped the hexagonal pillar-like structures, making this site almost unique in the world.
Being one of the greatest natural wonder in Ireland, it is also one of the most visited tourist attractions of the country. Therefore, if you want to get some good pictures of this gorgeous place, avoiding the hundreds of people which daily crowd it, you’d better plan your visit accordingly (don’t despair, with a few tips it is absolutely possible).
See you next week, with another picture from the Giant’s Causeway, and more tips about getting the most out of your visit.
Location: Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland – UK.
What to shoot: The peculiar natural structure is undoubtedly the primadonna of this seascape and will have a prominent role in your shots. You will either focus on the hexagonal pattern of the basalt columns, or on the “pipe organ-like” shape of the coast. Of course other more common natural elements come in handy to boost your composition.
In particular water can help changing the mood of your picture. Try to catch the movement of a choppy sea, or use a calm, flat water surface to get the most beautiful colours out of its reflection.
And don’t forget the “ever changing” light of an Irish sky. Again, the movement of the clouds can be highlighted with a long exposure, or you can just wait for the right beam of light entering your composition.
Ideal time to shoot: Sunrise and sunset. I know it doesn’t come as a surprise, but these are really the ideal times to get both the most beautiful light and the less people around. Try to get there before sunrise, or to stay after sunset. The blue hour can add some extra drama to the place, and you’ll be probably the only one there.
There is an extra advantage to go there out of the operating hours of the visitor centre. Access to the Giant’s Causeway is currently free, but during the opening hours of the visitor centre you’ll be asked to pay a fee in order to park your car (and it’s quite difficult to leave your car elsewhere). But out of the opening hours you can actually park for free.
Gear: Wide angle lenses to standard zooms.
How to get there: By car: The Giants Causeway is on the B147 Causeway road. It is 2 miles from Bushmills village, and 13 miles from Ballycastle. Onsite parking is reserved for visitors admitted through the Visitor Centre.
There are Buses and a Park and Ride Service available. For more information click here.
Coordinates: 55°14′27″N 6°30′42″W