We are pretty lucky in the UK to have so many iconic buildings and landmarks to shoot, providing a great opportunity to sharpen our photography skills without the expense and hassle of jumping on a plane. However, when shooting The London Eye, Edinburgh Castle or Stonehenge, it can be hard to know where exactly is best to take your shot.
Professional photographer Daniel Lewis and Premier Inn have teamed up to provide some useful advice and insights, so here is a selection of tips for dear old Blighty’s most popular structures, landmarks and beauty spots.
1) The London Eye
Don’t have a wide enough lens to capture all of it? Shots of the London Eye don’t need to include the entire wheel, but can be a lot more effective when they partner the historical architecture of the city, with the glass capsules of the Eye. Head to the Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall for this photo of London both new and old.
2) Buckingham Palace
Head to The Mall to get that iconic, tree lined shot of the Queen Victoria Memorial and Buckingham Palace in the distance. The Mall is pedestrianised apart from for Royal occasions, so you’ll be sure to get a great photo whether you’re close up or far away. As with many of the other landmarks, veering away from a traditional head on shot can add atmosphere and perspective, as shown in this image of Buckingham Palace in the evening. The reflections on the pond in St. James Park add depth, and the clever positioning also captures the Queen Victoria Memorial through the trees.
3) Tower Bridge
The banks of the Thames offer multiple opportunities to photograph Tower Bridge but the view from Butler’s Wharf is a winner for many reasons, as you can frame the likes of the Gherkin behind Tower Bridge, while also bringing in the likes of an anchor and chains into the foreground.
5) Durdle Dor, Dorset
What landscape photographer in the south of England hasn’t had a stab at the ‘Dor? The problem is, you can end with very generic shots. The majority of Durdle Door shots are from the bay, pinpointing the famous Jurassic cove, but actually stepping back up the steps and framing the shot with them leads the eye down and makes the most of the full bay and the archway, too.
5) Stonehenge. Wiltshire
The closest you can get to this ancient monument in public opening hours is around 10 yards away, but special access visits outside these hours allow you to get that all-important inner circle photo. As with other large sites surrounded by land, gaining some perspective by including people (yes, that means other visitors) within the shot is a good idea. Part of Stonehenge’s charm is the mystery surrounding how the stones were gathered with no engineering help, so a size comparison helps to illustrate this.
6) Hadrian’s Wall, Carlisle
This 73-mile wall stretches from the east to the west coast of England, and would take over a week to walk. But with some inspiring historical points along the way, you can focus on a small area to get the perfect shot without having to tackle the whole distance. Stepping back to include as much of Hadrian’s Wall as possible definitely yields the best shots. Taking a photo from the Housestead Roman Fort (the best-preserved fort in the country) allows the frame to show the winding wall as well as its untouched surroundings. Utilising the signage around Hadrian’s Wall also creates an ideal focal point and gives the wall an interesting perspective. This image leads the eye off into the distance and beyond the blue sky.
7) Edinburgh Castle
Placed atop Castle Hill in Scotland’s capital, its elevation means you can capture it from all angles from many different spots in the city. this vantage point from the graveyard of St Cuthbert’s Church captures Edinburgh Castle in a new light, set against a shadowy foreground. This angle is best shot at night to take advantage of the atmospheric up-lighting of the castle.
8) The Bullring, Birmingham
Inspired by a Paco Rabanne sequinned dress, the Selfridges store is clad in 15,000 aluminium discs, which makes for some intriguing photo opportunities. This shot only shows one side of the building, taken from the ground up, just touches on a small section of the surface but is instantly recognisable. The carpark of the Bullring shopping centre is very futuristic too, so can generate some interesting images.
9) Angel of the North, Gateshead
According to Daniel Lewis, it’s tricky to name specific vantage points as it’s surrounded by fields for miles, so it’s more about the angles when it comes to capturing the perfect photo. This shot taken from behind the sculpture and from the ground up shows off the striations of the body thanks to some strategic sunlight. Move around the sculpture to make the most of the natural light. With most landmarks being busy with tourists these days, try to use them to your advantage, rather than waiting it out for a clear moment to take your picture.
10) Blackpool Tower
The archetypal northern seaside resort not only includes Blackpool Tower, but a glorious sandy beach and a classic pier. This vantage point out on the shore at low tide means you can capture all three in one shot, and the reflection on the pools of water add depth. The North Pier dates back to 1863, making it 40 years older than Blackpool Tower and a great viewpoint to capture some of the traditional seaside town from far out into the sea, with the tower in the background.