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When I first saw Clonmacnoise Castle I knew that I had to photograph it. I really like how it looks as if it is just at the point of toppling down the mound that it sits upon. Because of the motorway it's only an hour from my house, which is handy. But what I've found is that when a location is in close proximity I have a tendency to wait until conditions are perfect for the image that I have in mind before heading out to it. The problem is conditions seldom are perfect. This is why it was late November when I actually made the journey that I'd been planning to make since late September.

Posted on November 29, 2017 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

I started doing this whole landscape photography thing properly when I moved to Galway, which next month will be 4 years ago. In that time I've been photographing locations within a certain radius of my house. The radius being the length of time it takes to drive there, and ergo the time I have to get out of bed. That radius has been steadily expanding. At the start I thought an hours pre-dawn drive was long, but pretty soon a 2 hour drive wasn't uncommon. But it was fine as it was all still manageable. On turning my attention to Achill Island I understood that I was at the limits of

Posted on January 27, 2017 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

I had attempted to capture Doolough once before and hadn't been successful. I made a recce of the location in the summer of 2015 and having worked out the direction of the sunrise decided that it needed to be dawn when I returned. It was January of 2016 when I returned only to find that the sun rose in an awkward position behind a mountain, making for an uneven exposure. I ended up going for an exploratory drive and happening upon something else which I did successfully capture. On my way back I passed by Doolough again, the sun had now risen above the mountain illuminating the scene

Posted on January 23, 2017 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

December is the busiest time of year where I work meaning I hadn't had the chance to get out and about with my camera, so I was looking forward to getting some new images while I was in Wales for Christmas. I had a few places marked on my map from previous recces and a few that I'd researched online which I hoped I'd get a chance to take a look at. Conditions looked good for the afternoon of the first day so despite being worn out from the long journey from Galway and seriously lacking sleep thanks to a child that doesn't sleep at night I headed towards Strumble Head lighthouse. On the

Posted on January 16, 2017 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

When I frame one of my images - many months after taking it - and stand back to admire my work, I think about what I went through to get the shot. How I got out of a warm bed far too early, drove for 2 hours in the dark on increasingly treacherous roads, then stood in some exposed spot behind my camera; and how I got a rush of excitement as all the elements combined in the way I'd been waiting for and I hurried to capture the scene, before eventually walking back to my car satisfied that I'd gotten what I'd come for. What I don't ever think about is all the times that I did all the early

Posted on November 26, 2016 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

I have a hard drive that I back up my photographs on to. There is stuff on there that dates back to 2003. I didn't go digital until 2005 so they're digital scans of negatives. Below is one of those scans, and I rather like it. It's one that I would like to recreate but I haven't stumbled upon a comparative scene. It was shot around the end of 2004 on a field trip my year went on when I was studying photography. I have no idea where this is other than in South Wales.

Posted on September 06, 2016 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

Saint Macdara lived on an island off the South West coast of Connemara in the 6th century, where stood a wooden church. At some point the wooden structure was replaced by a stone church which remains one of the best preserved examples of early Christian buildings. The island is only about a kilometer long and apart from a flock of sheep it's deserted. Every 16th of July (weather permitting) boatloads of people head out to the island to hear Mass outside the church. As it happens I have a friend who lives nearby so I asked him to organise a boat to take us out there. We made our way to

Posted on March 23, 2016 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

At times I've been asked how I process my images and I've not know what to say. If the person asking isn't a photographer themselves how do you straddle the line between being too simplistic and too esoteric? I'm going to break down the process I go through to attempt to give an idea of what's involved. I've picked the last image that I worked on because it was convenient. By no means do I do the exact same thing with each image but this should give some indication of how I go about things. Just like the actual taking of the photos it has taken many years of failures and successes,

Posted on January 14, 2016 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

I once worked as a butcher and during that time a stranger never told me what meat to cut. When I was a stock room manger strangers never told me where to put the stock, similarly no one suggested my route when I was a driver. However, when strangers encounter me in my role as a landscape photographer they feel it their duty to tell me what I should photograph. A lot of the time I'm advised to photograph something lame, like the sunset on Salthill prom. This kind of advice is always proffered like some valuable information that couldn't have possibly occurred to me. More recently

Posted on November 03, 2015 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

The image above is the first landscape photograph that I've captured since March. There have been a few changes since then. Since then there's been an addition to our family, so I'm conscious that I've left my wife at home with two young boys now, rather than one as before. How do you say to your wife 'I'm heading out for some solitary therapy while you stay at home amongst the bedlam'? I've also got a smart phone for the first time, meaning I can access information while out in the field. Previously I'd have to check the day's weather just before leaving the house in the morning and

Posted on October 19, 2015 by aledowenthomas in Landscape