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.
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
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
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
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