These are the result of a weekend raid into Connemara. The colour image is of a view towards Lough Formoyle which I'd spotted months previously, but had been waiting for a clear, frosty winter day to capture. Unfortunately there'd only been three such days amongst the constant deluge of rain during what has since proven to be the wettest winter on record, and on each of those days I wasn't able to leave the house. But as I made my way there on a reasonably clear Friday morning, I realised that the location is so out of the way that I don't think I would have gotten there on a frozen road
Pretty striking church, eh? I don't know anything about it, other than it's in Recess in Connemara. With an unobscured sun high in the sky I was able to shoot this bright white church hand held at f/22 on ISO 200, which is the first time I've been able to do such a thing during an Irish winter. After taking this I found an amazing spot. Isolated, hidden away and with an outstanding 360 view, I hope to bring you some fantastic images from there soon.
I was expecting it to be taller, but then, despite the heavy rain over the last few months, I was expecting to be able to walk up to it too. Apparently an inland lighthouse is a rare thing, but I remember there's one at the edge of the lake in Roath Park in Cardiff, but then that was only for decoration. Ballycurrin Lighthouse, situated on the bank of Loch Corrib, appears to have been the real deal.
Every time I think of Roundstone I start signing 'like a Roundstone cowboy'; I can't help it. I wanted to photograph the harbour at sunrise so I stayed at a friend's house in Carna because it's closer to Roundstone, which meant I didn't have to get out of bed as early. It was while driving to Carna the previous evening that I thought to myself that my car really isn't cut out for Connemara. The headlights don't make much of an impression on the inky black skies, even on full beam, and when you have to dip for an oncoming car you practically have to guess where the road went. The
This image marks my first foray into North Connemara with the camera. My plan was to concentrate on South Connemara this winter but I'd spotted this ostensibly abandoned cottage with a For Sale sign in the window and I knew it would make a great image. I've seen it referred to as 'Bina's Cottage' online but the information is contradictory, so until I know better I'm not going to try to give you a history.
This was taken yesterday morning at Barna Quay. Whilst taking it, I was speaking to a local man. He took me for a West Connemara man, before I told him that I was actually from Wales. I was surprised by how pleased I was by his assumption. I mean, I'm very proud of being Welsh and have never pretended to be otherwise, but it's nice to think that I've settled into the area to such a degree that a Galwegian thought that I was from the same county. I was never mistaken for a Dubliner in the nearly 6 years that I lived there. I guess feeling at home in Galway must be starting to show.
I thought that it might be a good idea to put up a post that explains - as succinctly as I can - how I go about getting one of my landscape images. Step 1: Planning You'd think, living as I do in the West of Ireland, that finding subjects to photograph would be easy. But a great view does not necessarily translate into a great image. Lots of elements need to come together in an image to make it work, and that's what I'm looking for in a scene if I'm going to photograph it. I've also got to take into consideration that the mind sees what it wants to see. Many times have I gone to shoot
When I'm processing an image, I have to make a decision on whether it should be colour or black and white. There are some images - like these two - that pretty much tell me how they should be represented, and I don't even try to process them any other way. The monochrome image here would look flat in colour, much the same as the colour image would look flat in monochrome. Sometimes though, it's not an easy decision. Some people are inclined towards black and white and some towards colour. Personally I'm drawn to both. So there have been times when I've processed an image twice - one
I usually spend a long time capturing a landscape image. I didn't linger with these images though, they were the equivalent of a smash and grab for me. You see, I'd forgotten a piece of kit essential for an Irish winter - my jacket. I'd driven 45 kilometres, pulled over, put on my hat and gloves, turned round to reach for my jacket on the back seat and found myself wanting. I may have uttered a short statement that rhymes with 'clucking bell' and I spent half my time running back to the car to warm up a bit.
So you spy something that you'd like to photograph. You do the recce, working out your angle, where the sun's going to be, which lens and filter you're going to use, and so on. Then you turn up on the day to find that, actually, your plan's not going to work at all, and you end up shooting something completely different; and either end up with something better, or nothing at all. The former is what happened with these images. The first was taken in Spiddal. I'd actually planned to shoot from the other side of the quay, facing in from the sea. I was planning on the sun illuminating the