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Dunguaire Castle

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
ballynahinch lough

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
tintern abbey wexford

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

Posted on March 30, 2014 by aledowenthomas in Landscape
submerged rock connemara

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

Posted on March 10, 2014 by aledowenthomas in Landscape
recess church

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.

Posted on February 28, 2014 by aledowenthomas in Landscape
owenmore river and ben lettery mountain

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

Posted on January 12, 2014 by aledowenthomas in Landscape
leenane connemara bina cottage

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.

Posted on December 22, 2013 by aledowenthomas in Landscape
St Canna church

I recently spent 10 days in my old home town of St. Clears, where I had the chance to take these below. I was perusing my OS map when something called St Canna's Chair caught my eye. I looked it up and found it to be a stone in the shape of a chair, situated near a church, on which people suffering from 'ague and intestinal complaints' would sit in order to be cured. The sufferer of the ailment would throw pins into a nearby well, drink of the water and sometimes bathe in it. If the patient were able to sit in the chair for a length of time (sometimes the process was repeated for a

Posted on September 19, 2013 by aledowenthomas in Landscape