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Ireland is a country on the very western fringe of the European continent. On moving to Dublin, its capital city, I found that things I was able to obtain easily when living in the UK were either not available or could only be obtained at great expense. When I moved to Galway, despite it being a city I found that certain other things weren't available outside of the capital. I then discovered Connemara, an area that covers the western tip of County Galway, a place which at first seemed impossibly remote and although it's become far more familiar to me and therefore less remote, I still

Posted on March 07, 2015 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

The weather forecast predicted early morning fog up at Renvyle, so I left in good time to catch the dawn. I was hoping to see a bank of fog seeping in from the sea from a high vantage point I'd selected on the coast. I opened my front door to a real pea-souper which I didn't drive out of for several miles, and as I drove cross country I'd go from perfectly clear patches where I could see the stars in the sky to heavy fog where I couldn't see much more than the road. I got to the location but there was only a small sliver of fog - not enough for what I had in mind - so I headed for

Posted on February 09, 2015 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

I'm a sucker for a road that ends in the middle of nowhere, especially if it ends because there's a mountain in the way. It was on such a road that I was driving along at sunrise. I had planned to be there when the valley was covered in snow, but I got fed up waiting and thought I might get lucky with a layer of frost at least. That didn't happen either so I was driving along the road just to see what was at the end, getting in the way of a farmer who was driving up and down in his van, checking his sheep. The farmer was a friendly fellow though and he didn't seem to mind when I told

Posted on January 21, 2015 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

After the longest absence yet since I left for a new life in Ireland, I recently visited my hometown in Wales for a week over new year's eve. It being winter I was going to be spending as much time as I could get away with taking photos. The conditions on the first 3 days were outstanding and I would have happily spent all day snapping away, but I'd decided to limit myself to one location at each day's dawn in order that I'd still be able to spend time with family and friends. Before moving to Ireland, when I lived in West Wales, I only worked 3 days of the week and spent the remaining

Posted on January 13, 2015 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

This has to be one of the most photographed castles in Ireland, which is usually enough to stop me from going anywhere near with my camera. But there is something about the towering edifice that I like and I knew that I could capture it differently. I had a clear idea of the image that I wanted to capture and I needed specific conditions to come together. I needed a day with plenty of rain clouds (for the dark background) but still a decent amount of sun poking through (to light the castle), along with high tide (because it looks a little manky at low tide) occurring around the same time

Posted on December 21, 2014 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

I set off along the trail for Cillin Phédraig church in Mauméan. The Catholic Church was outlawed during the 17th and 18th centuries and during that time mass was held there in secret. People would climb the mountain from the Maum and Inagh Valleys on either side to practise their faith. As I puffed up the steep and rocky climb I thought about how devoted to their religion the locals must have been to have done this whenever it was time for mass. Then it occurred to me that I was carrying a rucksack weighed down with camera equipment on my back... at sunrise... while my family slept

Posted on December 14, 2014 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

I'd overestimated the length of the journey and parked outside an abandoned church at the foot of the Maumturk mountains shrouded in pitch darkness and absolute silence. As my eyes adjusted I saw the light of farm houses dotted around the landscape. Dawn wasn't long in coming and I set off along a muddy track towards the shore of Lehanagh Lough. My way got progressively more waterlogged until I could go no further and all I managed to do was get my feet wet (I later read that Maumturk Mountains are one of the two wettest places in Ireland). I had intended to climb up a mountain to

Posted on November 09, 2014 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

Menlough Castle I don't like it when there are people around when I'm photographing something, and whether you go to Menlough Castle itself or view it from across the river Corrib, both are very popular spots. It was for this reason that I hopped over a fence to try and find somewhere more secluded. I didn't succeed in that aim, but I did discover this angle of Menlough Castle that worked far better for the image that I had in mind. Derryclare Lough Another popular spot beside the N59 that's been photographed by everyone (in fact, another photographer arrived as I was leaving). I

Posted on October 30, 2014 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

When I was around 23 years old I worked in a Cash & Carry in Cardiff and one day I was taken from my normal job on the tills and told to accompany the delivery driver on his rounds instead. I liked my job as it was, but being given a different role to do for the day was very enjoyable; and I didn't even have to drive! We spent the morning delivering to shops in the Cardiff suburbs, but in the afternoon we headed out towards businesses in the Wye Valley, somewhere I hadn't been to previously. We rounded a corner on a road high up the valley and there at the base of a sweeping view I

Posted on April 24, 2014 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

So there I am standing on one side of the Inagh Valley. A huge expanse bordered by mountains. I'm up a lonely farm track with not a soul near me when I hear a cough from behind. Startled, I spin around, but there's no one there. It took me a while to realise that the noise came from a lone cyclist who - from my vantage point - is but a speck on a thin grey line of road several hundred metres distant. A lesson in how far sound can travel. A few weeks later I was walking along the other side of the valley. The only sound my own foot steps. Just as I was thinking how I was in a very remote

Posted on March 30, 2014 by aledowenthomas in Landscape