A photo on Lincoln Brayford with the sun low in the sky

The Instagrammers guide to Lincoln

Lincoln is a very photogenic city! There’s the Brayford, the castle and cathedral, Steep Hill and the aged features of the high-street; they’re are all beautiful spots. You can walk for five minutes in any direction and there’s something Instagram worthy.

So, in this list, we’re breaking down some tips for capturing Lincoln at its most beautiful, in some ways you might not have thought of.

1) Using the light

Most people seem to know about ‘golden hour’, or even if not by name, have used its glorious lighting in your photos. Golden hour is the time around sunset and sunrise when the light looks warm and golden. The exact time of golden hour changes every day as it relies on the sun, but it’s usually around 1 hour after the sun starts to rise or set. This light is soft, warm and directional, so it gives a crisp, warm tone to your pictures and adds nice shadow.

Less people seem to know about ‘blue hour’, another perfect time for taking pictures! Blue hour, or magic hour as it’s sometimes known, is usually a shorter period of time, often only actually lasting half an hour. It’s the time just after the sun has set, or is about to rise. This is when the sun is still below the horizon, but close enough to it, to give the lighting a cooler tone. Blue hour is supposed to be the best time for city photography too, so perfect for capturing Lincoln.

2) Lincoln beauty spots

In Lincoln we’re lucky to have so many beautiful and photogenic spots that offer a range of different photo opportunities. The castle and cathedral, as well as the old architecture of the cathedral quarter, are gorgeous time capsules of texture that in particular lend themselves to black and white photography. As well as these famous parts of the Lincoln skyline, there are also areas of natural beauty in the Brayford’s banks and the various green spaces in the city. The university’s campus also offers a more modern style of architecture for photographing, or to use as backgrounds. Try wandering a little off of your usual path, to see what you can find to photograph in the city – you’re bound to stumble across something new!

Lincoln cathedral in black and white

3) Photography apps

You don’t have to spend money to try out a great range of techniques, both in taking your photos and editing them. Some well-known examples of free editing applications are VSCO and Adobe Lightroom. VSCO in particular is easy for beginners as it has pre-set filters you can apply to photos, as well as other editing features you can control with easy to use sliders.

Other apps that give you more of a digital lens to use while taking your pictures include Dazz Cam, which offers a range of different vintage, film and polaroid lenses. David’s Disposables is an app that mimics an old-style disposable camera – you can take as many photos as you like but you don’t get to see them until 9am the next morning…perfect for parties or nights out!

Particularly during our current lockdown, it’s a really good time to try out new things you might not have had the opportunity to get into before. So, if you’re self-isolating in Lincoln, take your phone or camera with you out on daily walks and try out some of these tips! (Of course, making sure that you are social distancing and sticking to the latest guidelines.) Instagram is a great place for sharing your progress, photos you’re proud of and finding other tips too. Plus the University runs a “picture of the week” competition under the hashtag #UniLincolnPOTW. Winners have been paused for a little while due to Covid-19, but you can still use the hashtag and @ to show off your photos!