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I could just make out the outline of Errisbeg in the darkness as I approached Roundstone, and when I parked I started to doubt my own plans. My intention was to climb Errisbeg in the twilight in the hope that I may get high enough to get a shot of Dog's Bay and Gurteen Bay as the dawn broke. But it was only just getting light and the mountain looks far more formidable  when you're looking up at it than it does on the map. Having recently borrowed a digital luggage scale I knew that my fully laden camera bag weighs nearly 11.5kg so I left the tripod and one camera body in the car to

Posted on October 21, 2020 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

After the usual false starts and frustrations around this time of year I finally got up early one morning and headed out with my new camera. I wasn't going far, just 20 minutes west to Spiddal. I had planned to get a long exposure of the pier under an overcast sky, but when I arrived at the location during the blue hour, before I'd even parked the car I could see that I wasn't going to be able to get the shot that I was after as I'd neglected to notice that street lights run the length of the pier. The lights would create several blown-out orbs in the image. The desire to try out my new

Posted on October 08, 2020 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

I'd first attempted to photograph the jetties on Lough Derg at Twomilegate almost a year previously and it hadn't gone well. At the time I'd decided not to attempt it again but eventually I changed my mind and thought it would look good in thick fog. Two of the three weather apps that I use predicted fog at dawn. I awoke before my alarm and prized my eyes open to check the weather once more. It seemed that the fog was predicted to move to the west of Lough Derg, but the conditions for fog were still present so I thought that I had a pretty good chance. When I turned off the motorway I

Posted on December 02, 2019 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

I knew I was going to be at my first location too early and that the sun would be in the wrong place but I'd deliberately picked a day of rain showers in the hope that I'd get dark clouds with a few spotlights picking out the landscape. I stood at the side of Lough Fee and watched what the light was doing. It was windy enough that I had to wrap my arm around my tripod. I watched as the wind created whirlpools on the lake's surface. They were large and impressive and when one dissipated another would start up in a different spot. I'd never seen it happen before and it made up for the fact

Posted on November 15, 2019 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

After a summer of late night carousing I find I have to gently ease myself back into my landscape photography regime. I try to pick from my accumulated list of locations somewhere that won't require me getting up too early or driving too far. I'd had two false starts already - one where I didn't have money for diesel and one where I had to be in work on the day that I had picked out - but I was headed north west from Galway on a whole day of my favourite weather (rain showers). Unfortunately I had only got as far as Maam Cross when my wife phoned to tell me that she was sick and that

Posted on October 13, 2019 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

Shortly after passing through Tuam the sky darkened, turning almost purple, while a low and intense sunlight made everything before me really vivid. It was spectacular but somehow conditions like this seem to only happen when I'm in the car, or looking out through the window of my house, not when I'm pointing the camera at something. I was on my way to the north coast of Mayo for the first time, specifically Downpatrick Head. When I arrived I was assaulted by wind that seemed to be seeking out gaps in my clothing. I had to clip the sleeves on my jacket shut which I've never done before.

Posted on January 23, 2018 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

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

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