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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

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

Landscape photographers love snow. When I heard the first reports of 'The Beast from the East' I was looking forward to the first proper snowfall in years. The initial reports were that the east coast would get the most snow and that Galway would possibly not be affected. Luckily for me (or so I thought at the time), I was going to a gig in Dublin on the Tuesday, with the snow to start that night and the worst of the storm to hit on the Thursday. I figured that I'd get to bed straight after the gig, rise early, get a few shots near where I was staying in Leixlip and from there head to

Posted on March 04, 2018 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

Saint Macdara lived on an island off the South West coast of Connemara in the 6th century, where stood a wooden church. At some point the wooden structure was replaced by a stone church which remains one of the best preserved examples of early Christian buildings. The island is only about a kilometer long and apart from a flock of sheep it's deserted. Every 16th of July (weather permitting) boatloads of people head out to the island to hear Mass outside the church. As it happens I have a friend who lives nearby so I asked him to organise a boat to take us out there. We made our way to

Posted on March 23, 2016 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

The image above is the first landscape photograph that I've captured since March. There have been a few changes since then. Since then there's been an addition to our family, so I'm conscious that I've left my wife at home with two young boys now, rather than one as before. How do you say to your wife 'I'm heading out for some solitary therapy while you stay at home amongst the bedlam'? I've also got a smart phone for the first time, meaning I can access information while out in the field. Previously I'd have to check the day's weather just before leaving the house in the morning and

Posted on October 19, 2015 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

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