The County Louth coastline around Salterstown is the latest location for my “In The Field” vlog. On this particular evening compositions were alluding me until the Sun went down, and things got interesting.
Back in April I returned to Donegal, where the weather was just a little bit changeable. The results of that trip can be viewed on my latest YouTube vlog.
Continuing my close to home theme, I paid a visit to the coastal village of Clogherhead, purely to get out and get the creative juices flowing. Conditions, weren't ideal, everything was to calm!! The sea thrift I hoped to capture amongst the rocky shoreline were about two weeks away from blooming. Still I made the most of it, the vblog and some of the images I captured can be viewed below.
Michael Melford has long been a favourite photographer of mine, if you get a chance sit back and watch his wonderful insight into the world of Landscape photography - https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5iLnn2VI2h4
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Exploring Inis Oirr
The Island is buzzing, tri-colors are flying, a TV crew has been spotted, and clinking champagne glasses can be heard in the pub. Sadly it isn't all for me!! The Irish president, Michael D is in town.
Despite the temptation of clinking glasses, I am off up a hill and down the winding dry stone lined roads to explore the Inis Oirr coastline.
The smallest of the Aran Islands it is probably the most beautiful. I was last here 9 years ago. It's coastline, and images I never managed to capture have haunted me over the years.
This evening, with the wind blowing across it's exposed rocky landscape, I am hoping to make amends.
Sheltered by a bluff, with the ocean trying its best to soak me I'm playing with my latest gadget, a cable release of sorts from Triggertrap. Like everything these days it's controlled by an APP, that allows the user to trigger the shutter by various means including sound and distance on their smartphone. In my case I'm using it to count down a 2minute exposure. Results to date have been pleasing, it's replaced the somewhat expensive canon invervalometer that I normally carry around.
Evening comes quickly, the walk back to the village is slowed by my foraging of the swollen blackberries that shelter among the dry stone walls. Near the village, the magnetic sound of traditional Irish music spills out the door of Tigh Rúairí's bar.
Inside, the soothing harmonies of the Murphy sisters from Mayo fill the bar. Families sing along as young lovers get lost in their own world. Moments later a joyous fiddle fills the bar as young girl dances a jig around a broom. A late night of song and dance has begun.
The following morning, with a slightly sore head ( yep, it was a late one) I'm peering through the viewfinder at the rusted hulk of the Plassy, a cargo ship that was ship wrecked here in the 1960s. The shore line and the surrounding fields are criss crossed with furrowed limestone that is reminiscent of the Burren. As the first rays of sun illuminate the ship, the moon dips behind the distant stone walls and I trip the shutter. Am I happy with the final image? I'm not too sure.
Somewhat of a tourist attraction, I wonder if the Plassy will survive many more wild Atlantic seas. It has deteriorated rapidly since my last visit and I wonder if it will be on my next visit . I can understand why the islanders are on the look out for a replacement :)
Iveragh Peninsula - Kerry
Many a trail, beach and hilltop has been explored, yet despite the beauty of the Iveragh peninsula in south-west Ireland I am yet to make an exposure. If the truth be told, panic is starting to set in.
Midge bitten and stubborn as ever, I am standing by a tripod as the last light of day creeps across the Peninsula. Above, the moon shines, and as the camera timer counts down 30 seconds, that mild panic slowly fades away, I finally have an image in the bag!.
The following morning, a little after 4a.m the boisterous sound of the dawn chorus stirs me. A short time later I am slipping off some rocks and prancing along the shoreline at Derrynane beach near Caherdaniel.
Surrounded by the Farraniaragh & Cahernageeha mountains, it is amongst the most photogenic beaches in Ireland.
After much prancing, I am peering through the viewfinder watching the cool Atlantic weave along the rippled shoreline. Tripping the shutter, I succumb to temptation, and add a Lee big stopper to the front of the lens. It is a filter I have a love hate relationship with. I find it fiddly, why oh why camera manufacturers never build neutral density capabilities into the cameras firmware I will never know. One frame later, the big stopper is off and replaced by a soft 0.3 Lee GND. The two resulting images are below! I'm not sure which one I prefer.
Further and higher along the shoreline, and against the magnificent backdrop of Derrynane Bay, I've got a tripod spread eagled on the rocks. Instead of concentrating on hyperfocal distance and composition, I'm shooting video on an iPhone. Like Windows 95, I don't do multitasking very well, so it is goodbye iPhone and hello live view.
The light is wonderful, my biggest question, which composition works best? Vertical to emphasize the Sea thrift or horizontally to show the beauty of the bay. Pixels are cheap, and as the sun paints the flowers I shoot a vertical composition. Something doesn't quite feel right.
Switching back to the horizontal composition, the shutter is tripped again. Yep! the horizontal composition works better. The cracks in the rock mirror the patterns in the sand, while the head of sea thrift stands out against the tide, while the water coming in from the left of the scene is just enough to emphasis the sweeping shoreline.
That mild panic is well and truly gone!.