Do your Research If you’re not able to scout out your location before you visit, be sure to do your research so that you don’t waste any time when you arrive. View other people’s photos of the castle and use Google Maps and Google Earth to plan where you are going to set up and take your shot. Apps like PhotoPills and The Photographer’s Ephemeris will help you determine the direction that the sun will light the castle, and you can check weather websites or use apps like Clear Outside to find out what kind of weather you can expect on the day of your shoot.
Lens Consideration Experiment with different lenses and focal lengths. A telephoto lens will allow you to get in close and capture details, whereas a wide-angle lens is better for capturing the castle in its natural surroundings. This gives context to the image and can help to tell a story about your subject.
Leading Lines Castles provide no end of great features that can be used as leading lines, directing the viewers attention to key parts of your photo. Look out for bridges, paths, walls and more, to guide eyes to your all important subject, the castle.
Create Atmosphere Photograph your subject at golden hour, or during dramatic weather conditions. Castles can look great under dark moody skies and fog or mist can help to create an element of fantasy in your image.
Verticals Finding an unusual angle to create your castle photo can really bring your image to life, but pay attention to how straight the vertical lines are in your scene. Shooting upwards or downwards at extreme angles can produce the effect of walls leaning inwards or outwards due to perspective. Counteract this by shooting from a more natural angle, using a tilt-shift lens, or adjusting your image in post-production.
Visit Germany! My latest video was made at Burg Eltz in Germany and the country is a fantastic place to find castles of all shapes and sizes. From medieval fortresses to 19th Century palaces, there’s an amazing array of opportunities for castle photographers.