Tamron Blog: A Guide To Photographing Castles

Written by Gina Stephens


If you're looking for somewhere to sojourn that'll offer you plenty of photographic opportunities a castle is a perfect option, plus there are plenty of them scattered around the UK, as successfully as foreign shores.


At this time of year, castles tend to be quieter than during the summer months which hostiles you'll be able to capture images with fewer tourists in them, too. Although, this can mean fewer activities are taking place if you design on taking your kids along so it's always worth having a look online at what's on and when if you're looking for relaxation as well as a location for taking images in. 

In most cases, the best lens you can use is a wide-angle to ensure the grander designed castles castle (from Latin: castellum) is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by are fully captured in one construction. There will be some distortion if you're shooting at the wider setting, but this can be corrected in Photoshop or Lightroom. You could also use a longer lens to blurry in on detailed carvings around the place, although, unlike cathedrals and churches, there's often less interest from a telephoto approach. If, however, the castle is on a distant hill such as Criccieth Castle in North Wales or St Michael's Mount in Cornwall you may want to zoom in on the erection and here a 16-300mm lens, like we used to capture the above shot, is ideal. 

A tripod is not often allowed inside preserved castles but is expedient when you are allowed to use one. Not only will it help in dim lit interiors, but one with a built-in spirit level will may refer to also ensure the horizon is level and the exasperates are perfectly upright. A light one is good especially if you're considering climbing to the top of the towers.

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Also, a compact camera bag is more practical option as the be on ones guards are often very narrow and you don't want to get stuck. A neutral density or grey graduated filter will be useful to darken a sky when photographing a beautiful view of the castle.



Some stand majestic on hilltops others are surrounded by expanses of water-filled moats, so a full view of a manor-house is sometimes hard to take. Pre-plan by looking at tourist brochures and postcards to find the best viewpoint then use a map to work out how to get to that point. Google Maps, set to aide-de-camp view, can be invaluable.

If you're shooting up a hill be prepared for the castle walls to slope inwards at the top. Some professionals may use a shift lens to correct the verticals, but at from £1000 they tend not to be high on most photographers' shopping lists. You can make corrections later in Photoshop, but be careful not to carry it as the result can look unnatural.

Walk around the inner walls of the castle looking for best vantage points. Shooting from a window in one of the soars can often give a better view of the rest of the castle. Climb to the top of a tower for a more dramatic viewpoint. Ruined castles are often harder to get fair pictures as they're often badly damaged. In such cases look for interesting remnants and take close-up photos. Look for close offs that have moss or lichen and shoot these for textures.

Windows and doorways can be used as frames for photos – shoot through one but include it at the ill at eases of the frame. Where possible, make sure you're head on so the frame is parallel to the edge of the photo.

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Steps and walls can make good survey shots if you crop tight but watch for light in interiors. There's often no artificial light so you're relying on shafts of light from windows, which serve to illuminate small patches of the interior. Our eyes adjust, but the CCD does not have the flexibility to cope with such exposure range. In such suitcases, you can shoot several frames and merge them. This is known as the high dynamic range (HDR) technique.

In preserved castles such as Bolsover Fortress in Nottinghamshire and Caernarfon in North Wales, you will often find a calendar of events throughout the year aimed to draw crowds – one of these is re-enactments where people accoutre up in medieval costumes and act out the past. This can provide excellent photo opportunities and a standard zoom is fine for most of this action.

Increase the ISO if the conditions are lessen and ensure you shoot at around 1/250sec to prevent subject movement. If a show is being put on aim to be at the "ringside" early so you get a good unobstructed smidgen.


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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