Belfast Photography

Belfast: A guided tour of top photography locations

11th January 2021 by Neil Hunter Share

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My trek begins at Belfast’s famous HMS Caroline battleship, finishing at City Hall.

I like to make multiple stops along the way to take in many views, ranging from ground level to 17 floors up on the recently built multi-storey car park overlooking the M3 motorway. From here, it’s nice to stop a while and enjoy views of Cavehill, Divis mountain and Belfast city centre. If blessed with a clear day, you can see as far as Scrabo tower in Ards.

SHOP: Belfast H&W Patch by Sasha Ferguson Art.

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The route

My route begins at the HMS Caroline, situated at Alexandra dock, Queen’s Road.

From here I head for Titanic Studios, a former industrial hangar and now film studios where many a blockbuster is produced, which leads me to ‘The Great Light’. This 130 year old former lighthouse beacon stands at an impressive 7 metres and weighs in at 10 tonnes. From this site, views of Titanic Belfast appear flanked by Ireland’s tallest building, the Obel tower.

On reaching the famous Titanic slipways via the Titanic walkway, I am greeted by the sixth ‘Glass of thrones’ window. This final window in the series is dedicated to the Iron throne.

Following on from the slipways, I make my way to Titanic Belfast and wonder at the architecture and design of this famous visitor attraction, a location where I have taken many photographs.

Located in the shipyard towards the East of the city, I head to view the massive Samson and Goliath cranes and which serves as good reconnaissance for future photo shoots, looking for new viewpoints and angles.

A walk towards the city now sees me pass the SSE arena and arrive at the Millennium footbridge at the Lagan Weir.

On crossing the bridge, I now find myself at the ‘Salmon of Knowledge’, better known as ‘The Big Fish’, sculpted by John Kindness in 1999. I give this beast of a fish a kiss (as is tradition) and cross the road to Customs House Square, home to the building which bears its name and venue for many outdoor concert events.

If I’m feeling particularly energetic, I’ll head towards the Waterfront Hall and Queen Elizabeth bridge and pass the impressive ‘Beacon of Hope’ sculpture (also lovingly known as ‘ Nuala with the Huala’, ‘The doll on the ball’ etc etc!) and take in the sites along the river leading to the railway bridge in the distance.

Heading back to look at the (rather wonky) Albert Clock, I am always drawn to the subway that leads to the mouth of Ann Street and titter as I read the somewhat brutal but humorous graffiti on show.

Via High Street, I then arrive at the subject of many Instagram posts, Commercial Court, with it’s now famous red benches adorning both sides of the famous lane-way. These meandering streets lead conveniently to St Anne’s cathedral and St Anne’s square and both the old and new architecture on view here greatly impresses and provides many photo opportunities.

My final leg of the trek takes me to the claustrophobic alleyways linking Anne Street with High Street, including Joy’s Entry, which is home ‘The Jailhouse’ and ‘Henry’s’ bars. From Anne Street, a short hop to the ‘Victoria Square’ shopping mall leads me out into daylight again and to Cornmarket, with its impressive modern sculpture.

I window shop as I walk up Castle Lane to Donegal Place and on turning left at the end of this junction I see another architectural favourite – the imposing City Hall and the final stop in my trek.

This trek brings back memories of nights spent in good company, both on social events and photographic outings with #instameetni members and the historical aspects of Titanic Quarter, coupled with old and new architecture, always impresses.

Every new instance of this trek yields new viewpoints and inspiration for my #imagenhphotography Instagram page.

READ: 8 Great Christmas Hike Ideas in the Mournes.

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I have taken part in this trek on many occasions and find that night-time can yield just as much enjoyment and inspiration as daytime, perhaps even more, as my Instagram page testifies.

It is always better to partake in this trek with good company at night and not just in a social manner but with safety in mind too.

The time it takes to complete the walk would normally be between 1 hour and 2.5 hours depending on the amount of photos I stop to take. It needs an early start for night time and warm clothes (especially at the lough-side locations in Titanic Quarter) are required to keep warm as it can always be breezy there even in Summertime.

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