Belfast Telegraph

Photographer with unique perspective on Northern Ireland Game of Thrones scenes

By Claire McNeilly

German photographer Andrea David believes the real stars of movies are the locations.

And, with Game of Thrones, she had plenty of A-listers to capture when visiting Northern Ireland recently.

From the iconic Dark Hedges to Tollymore Forest Park, the 40-year-old was in her element - and, as you can see, the results speak for themselves.

Andrea has become one of the world's foremost exponents of what can be described as "integration" photography, where pictures are taken from the exact spot a scene was filmed and then "aligned" with the original footage.

Her work has earned her a huge following on social media, with the Northern Ireland-based Game of Thrones pictures proving particularly popular.

Andrea has always been interested in how movies and television shows can influence where we'd like to travel, and indeed did a college thesis on that subject prior to turning her hobby into a profession.

"I've always been a film buff and this thesis, for my tourism management diploma, combined my love of cinematography and film with my background as a former travel agent," she said.

"I started travelling to various film locations, and kept doing that after my thesis because I really enjoyed it.

"Eventually I decided to share my experiences and adventures with others, and got a terrific response."

She gets around 185,000 monthly hits on her travel blog, and has 90,000 followers on Instagram, many of whom are seeking inspiration for their own journeys following the trail of movies and major TV series.

"In addition to travelling, photographing and writing I give speeches about the phenomenon of film tourism, so four years ago I managed to turn my hobby into a profession," she said.

Her popular series of 'alignment' pictures began in Cambodia three years ago, while visiting the location for the Lara Croft Tomb Raider movie.

"I thought it would be fun to try to align the image with its real background, to mix up fantasy and reality in one picture," she said, adding that some are a lot easier than others to produce.

"Sometimes it takes me only five minutes and sometimes it's nigh on impossible because I just can't reach the exact spot (too little time, traffic, private properties, construction sites and other obstacles)," she said.

"It would take me hours to think about what my favourite photo is. I love them all, because behind every picture there's a little story."

Andrea has visited more than 50 countries already and has many more lined up.

"There are a lot of cool trips on the horizon, I'm pleased to say," she said. "My next adventure will lead me to Dallas, to the 40th year reunion of that iconic TV show. I can't wait!"

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