Dunluce Castle

Dunluce Castle is an iconic ruin that is situated on the coastal cliffs of County Antrim in Northern Ireland.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 6.7mm, efov 18mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO-400

The precarious position of Dunluce Castle may be one of the reasons why it was abandoned early in the 17th century. Local legend states that in 1639 the kitchens along with some staff working there fell into the sea during a storm. However the ruins do incorporate a kitchen with an oven and fireplace, so it makes one wonder about the accuracy of legend.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 18mm, efov 35mm, f/5.6, 1/1250, ISO-400

As you begin your self-guided tour of Dunluce Castle you immediately appreciate how important building defensive structures were in days gone by. Battles between warring clans were commonplace.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 6.7mm, efov 18mm, f/5.6, 1/500, ISO-400

From a photographic standpoint I found all kinds of complementing lines and angles to work into compositions.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 6.7mm, efov 18mm, f/8, 1/640, ISO-400

The access bridge to Dunluce Castle provides a very strong leading line.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 6.7mm, efov 18mm, f/8, 1/320, ISO-400

Dunluce Castle is comprised of the ruins of various buildings so you will find walkways that connect them. These can be used to good effect in compositions.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 8mm, efov 21.6mm, f/8, 1/400, ISO-400

You can use partial walls to act as foreground elements. These can help create added depth in photographs.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 7mm, efov 18.9mm, f/8, 1/640, ISO-400

Some archways still exist. These can be incorporated in ‘reveal’ types of compositions.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 13mm, efov 35mm, f/8, 1/320, ISO-400

Viewing portals in the some of the walls provide opportunities to frame some of the cliffs and coastline elements.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 7mm, efov 18.9mm, f/5.6, 1/400, ISO-400

I found the rugged terrain quite visually appealing. You’ll notice some brickwork included on the right hand side of the photograph above. This helps add some depth to the composition and guides a viewer’s eye towards the centre of the image.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 6.7mm, efov 18mm, f/8, 1/500, ISO-400

Strong vertical lines can be found. These can make for some dramatic images.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 6.7mm, efov 18mm, f/8, 1/640, ISO-400

Looking out over the rugged landscape it is easy to imagine pitched battles being waged against the Clan MacDonnell.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 6.7mm, efov 18mm, f/8, 1/640, ISO-400

As you look up and down the coastline from the ruins of Dunluce Castle you are afforded some spectacular views.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 10-100mm f/4-5.6 @ 79mm, efov 213.3mm, f/8, 1/500, ISO-800

Using a longer focal length can add some compression to photographs of the erosion along the sea cliffs. I find this creates a stronger feeling of immediacy.

Nikon 1 J5 + 1 Nikkor 6.7-13mm f/3.5-5.6 @ 6.7mm, efov 18mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO-400

If you visit Dunluce Castle I’d certainly suggest having a wide angle zoom lens in your kit bag. Many of my images were captured at 6.7mm (i.e. equivalent field-of-view 18mm).

Technical Note:
Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process.

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