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Dublin: 3°C Monday 25 January 2021
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Ireland from above: 12 jaw-dropping aerial shots from photographer Darren Houlihan

Take a trip around the country without leaving your seat.

WHILE YOU MIGHT be familiar with the sights of Ireland from eye-level, how many have you experienced from above?

Dublin photographer Darren Houlihan took up photography just two years ago when his friend asked him to keep him company while he was out shooting.

Since then, he’s started to specialise in landscape and city photography – but it’s his breathtaking aerial and drone shots that have garnered him the most attention.

“I just got hooked from my first picture,” he says.

For 34 years I didn’t really see much of this amazing country, but since I found photography I am constantly travelling around Dublin and Ireland looking for new locations to shoot.

Houlihan uses a Sony a7iii and DJI Mavic Pro drone to capture the epic aerial photos, taking shots of castles, lighthouses and other landmarks – with quite a bit of preparation done beforehand to make the complex process run as smoothly as possible.

“I usually go to the location to survey the area first and plan where I want to shoot as I don’t want to turn up at sunrise and not know what I’ll find,” he explains.

“It usually takes between 10 and 15 minutes to get the shot I want. I always make sure I have three batteries with me as you only get 20 minutes of use per battery, so I have to be very smart with my flight time!”

Intrigued? Here are 12 of Darren’s most awe-inspiring photos of our little island, all taken from above…

1. The breathtaking Cloughoughter Castle, Co Cavan 

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Location number 2 from Saturdays adventure with @dublincityshots Make sure to give him a follow 🤘👌. . . . Here we have Cloughoughter Castle in Cavan another hidden jem that I only found out about. It looks like the green colour is slowly making a return with December and January being so mild it's no wonder😅😅😅. . . . . . @beautifuldestinations @lensbible @shotzdelight @theimaged @moodygrams @visualsoflife @visualambassadors @artofvisuals @instagram @agameoftones @earthfocus @nature @ourplanetdaily @tentree #lovindotie #loveireland #djiglobal #mavicpro #ireland #natgeotravel#visualambassadors #moodygrams #instaireland#drone #lightroom #discoverireland#whpperspective #dronephotography  @earth #lonelyplanet#moodygrams #beautifuldestinations #thefullirish_#dronestagram  #travellingthroughtheworld @dronestagr.am  #passionpassport#travelphotography #visitdublin #ireland🍀 #instagram #discoverireland  @shotondji #shotondji #djimavicpro #irishpassion #sonyalpha @lovindotie @tourismireland @djiglobal Day 7 Post 7 💪🤣

A post shared by Darren 🇮🇪📸 (@dublinsnap) on

2. A shot of the River Liffey that has us dreaming of summer

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A clear chilly Dublin City morning 😍🇮🇪. . . . How many landmarks can you spot ? . . . . Denmark & Sweden tomorrow with work 30+ from @fmiltd & @jameson_ireland hitting up the Absolut Distillery and a few other exciting locations. Hopefully the weather conditions are decent try get a sunrise or 2. . . . #living_europe #lovindotie #irish_daily #instaireland #irishdaily #ireland_gram #irishpassion #ireland🍀 #ireland #djiglobal #djimavicpro #dji #thehub_ireland #thefullirish_ #photooftheday #picoftheday #beautifuldestinations #loveireland #ireland_insta #irelandgram #ireland🇮🇪 #dronephotography #dronestagram #dublinport #liffey #dublincity #dublinsnap #igersdublin #lovindublin

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3. The almighty Aviva Stadium in Dublin 4

4. An alternative view of Grand Canal Dock

 5. A ferry setting sail from Dublin Port

6. The iconic Poolbeg Towers

7. … and the Poolbeg Lighthouse

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Poolbeg Lighthouse with the iconic towers in the background. Welcome to Dublin. . . . Half way through the working week 2 days left till the weekend. Anyone heading anywhere exciting? . . .. . . @beautifuldestinations @lensbible @shotzdelight @theimaged @moodygrams @visualsoflife @visualambassadors @artofvisuals @instagram @agameoftones @earthfocus @nature @ourplanetdaily @tentree @fromwhereidrone . . . #djiglobal #lovindublin #lovedublin #loveireland #vscogram #thefullirish_ #ireland #moodygrams5k #visualambassadors #discoverdublin #visitireland #dublin #instaireland #igersdublin #lightroom #moodygrams #instagram #lovinireland #lensdistortions #lonyplanet #createxplore#liveforstory #passionpassport #travelphotography#shoot2kill #dublinsnap #moody_tones #hashtagdublin #irishdaily @lovindublin

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8. We’ll never get sick of that view

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Sunsets in Dublin are just 🤩🤩🤩. . . . Nice to be back shooting the city I was born and bred in, it is quite small in regards other cities, so every now and then I need to venture out of the city and into the countryside to recharge my creativity. Like any thing in life if you keep doing the same thing over and over it gets boring so it's nice to mix things up a little bit. . . . @beautifuldestinations @lensbible @shotzdelight @theimaged @moodygrams @visualsoflife @visualambassadors @artofvisuals @instagram @agameoftones @earthfocus @nature @ourplanetdaily @tentree @fromwhereidrone . . . #djiglobal #lovindublin #lovedublin #loveireland #vscogram #thefullirish_ #ireland #moodygrams5k #visualambassadors #discoverdublin #visitireland #dublin #instaireland #igersdublin #lightroom #moodygrams #instagram #lovinireland #lensdistortions #lonyplanet #createxplore#liveforstory #passionpassport #travelphotography#shoot2kill #dublinsnap #moody_tones #hashtagdublin #irishdaily @lovindublin

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9. A magical sight of Castle Island on Lough Key, Co Roscommon

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This morning myself and @dublincityshots set off at 5.30am to catch sunrise in Lough Key Forest to capture this amazing little island with the remains of a castle. The first ever reference of this castle Island is when the Annals of Loch Cé report that it was burned down in 1187 by lightning 😱😱😱. . . What a spot, will make a return again to shoot sunset this time.🌇 might even see about renting a boat to the island.bring the fishing gear and make a nice day put of it 🚣‍♀️🚣‍♀️🚣‍♀️. . . . This was the first of 3 castle island location hunting we went to. Make sure to turn on post notifications at the top right of my profile so you don't miss any 🤘🤘🤘. . . . #lovindotie #loveireland #djiglobal #mavicpro #ireland #natgeotravel#visualambassadors #moodygrams #instaireland#drone #lightroom #discoverireland #shotondji #dronephotography #bandorebelz  @earth #lonelyplanet#moodygrams #beautifuldestinations #thefullirish_#dronestagram  #travellingthroughtheworld  #passionpassport #twentyfpu #visitdublin #ireland🍀 #instagram #discoverireland  #rawireland #djimavicpro #irishpassion #sonyalpha @lovindotie @tourismireland @djiglobal

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10. The Baily Lighthouse in Howth

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Baily Lighthouse. . . Off tomorrow morning on a lil sunrise adventure hunt, 5am start on a Saturday morning am I mad 🤦‍♂️?.nope not one bit the love for getting out creating is back more than ever 🤘🤘🤘📸📸📸 . . Check out my stories tomorrow morning to see how I get on. . . Heading somewhere I've never been so can't wait. Will she light ? No one knows but a lil prayer to the cloud gods tonight might help🤞🙌🌤🌤🌤🤞. . . #lovindotie #loveireland #djiglobal #mavicpro #ireland #natgeotravel#visualambassadors #lovindublin #instaireland#drone #lightroom #discoverireland#whpperspective #lovinireland @earth #lonelyplanet#moodygrams #beautifuldestinations #thefullirish_#discoverdublin  #liveforthestory #passionpassport#travelphotography #visitdublin #ireland🍀  #instagram#discoverireland  #lookatthosecolours#howth #sonyalpha @lovindublin @visitdublin @djiglobal

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11. … and from another angle

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Happy New Year 🎉🎆🎉. . . . Unbelievable sunrise🌅 this morning at Baily Lighthouse with @rawdublin & @shotbymaguire. . Good start to the year for sunrise chasing as I done none last year so my new years resolution is to get up for more sunrises and just getting out more with the camera in general. Iv been very quiet the last 6 months or so only posting here and there. So, Iv set a target of minimum one photo posted every day no excuses, so let's see how I get on 🤞🤞🤞. . . Thank you all for the support over the last year it's really appreciated 🤘🤘🤘. . . #lovindotie #loveireland #dji #mavicpro #ireland #natgeotravel #visualambassadors #moodygrams #instaireland #drone #lightroom #discoverireland #whpperspective #lovinireland @earth #lonelyplanet #moodygrams #beautifuldestinations #thefullirish_ #voyaged #liveforthestory #passionpassport #travelphotography #moodyports #instagram #lovindublin #lookatthosecolours#down #sonyalpha @lovindublin @visitdublin

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12. Living on the edge at Coumshingaun Lough, Co Waterford

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Any one who knows me knows my fear of heights so for me to stand on an over hanging rock is a very rare sight 😟, I know I'm not all the way out but my feet would not move another inch and with the wind kicking up every few seconds I had to be quick🤣. . . . What a stunning location Coumshingan lake was, the hike is a tough enough trek and even more so when you've never been and end up going round the wrong way ,🤣 🤦‍♂️ . . . . All in all a savage day out exploring yet another stunning location iv never been with my man @dublincityshots always a day of laughter with this lad guaranteed 🙏🤘🤘🤘🤘. . . . #lovindotie #loveireland #teamkaptainkenny#vscogram #ireland #natgeotravel#visualambassadors #moodygrams #instaireland#mournemountains #lightroom #discoverireland#whpperspective #lovinireland @earth #lonelyplanet#moodygrams #beautifuldestinations #thefullirish_#voyaged #liveforthestory #passionpassport#travelphotography #moodyports #instagram#thediscoverer #lookatthosecolours# #exploreireland #sonyalpha #thenorthface @lovindublin @visitdublin

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