As ever, I’m standing by a tripod watching the first light of day creep down the steep sides of Mweeelrea. Through the viewfinder four rocks peek out from the frigid waters of Doo Lough mirroring the distant hills.
Tripping the shutter I can't help think of a well-known photographer who recently proclaimed that Doo Lough in County Mayo is not a morning location. As the drama unfolds I can't help but disagree. The location and light are simply stunning. Controlling the exposure is a pain in the butt. To ensure, I have no blown highlights or blocked up shadows, I am bracketing my exposures. A quick glance at the histogram tells me I’m fine, and before the clock strikes 7.30am, I’m back home, dreaming of an Irish fry.
Later that evening, I am running late, chasing the light, a situation not helped by the posse of sheep being shepherded down the country road I am travelling on. Still, I’d trade this any day for the traffic chaos of Dublin.
A little later I'm peering down a Canon 70-200mm lens at backlit waves breaking on against a backdrop of a silhouetted Inishturk and Cahir Island. The location? Carrowninsky strand, a beautiful beach in County Mayo.
The shot I am chasing is one which sees waves breaking in the centre of the frame, with the Islands forming a distant backdrop. With waves breaking everywhere but centre that was easier said than done. Many frames and a soaking later, one wave finally hangs in the centre of the frame. Getting low to juxtapose the wave and the Islands and with an exposure of F8 @ 100th of a second set the shutter is tripped, and I get get my shot. The deep blue tone of the wave contrasts nicely with the pink hues of the sky. The light just clipping the spray at the top of the wave is then the icing on the cake.
Later that evening, and perhaps somewhat unbelievably I meet an elderly local out to watch the sunset. After a bout of small talk, and as the Irish often do, a game of “Do you know this person” breaks out. Minutes later I am talking on a strangers phone to a man 200miles away and who I last met 20 years ago. A nice ending to a memorable evening.