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.
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.
I had attempted to capture Doolough once before and hadn't been successful. I made a recce of the location in the summer of 2015 and having worked out the direction of the sunrise decided that it needed to be dawn when I returned. It was January of 2016 when I returned only to find that the sun rose in an awkward position behind a mountain, making for an uneven exposure. I ended up going for an exploratory drive and happening upon something else which I did successfully capture. On my way back I passed by Doolough again, the sun had now risen above the mountain illuminating the scene
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
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
I once worked as a butcher and during that time a stranger never told me what meat to cut. When I was a stock room manger strangers never told me where to put the stock, similarly no one suggested my route when I was a driver. However, when strangers encounter me in my role as a landscape photographer they feel it their duty to tell me what I should photograph. A lot of the time I'm advised to photograph something lame, like the sunset on Salthill prom. This kind of advice is always proffered like some valuable information that couldn't have possibly occurred to me. More recently people
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
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
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
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 him