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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 terrible December and January (photography-wise) I was stood on the side of a mountain on Achill Island getting battered by strong winds and I was absolutely loving it. I'd first hiked up this mountain side a few years previous on a recce. I'd gone up there to take a look at a neolithic tomb and when I turned round I saw an amazing view of Keel Beach and beyond. This time it was so windy that I had to wedge my tripod legs into the tomb and wrap any cords or straps up tightly. I had to put one foot on the tomb in order to put my eye to the camera's viewfinder and more than once a

Posted on February 17, 2019 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

I arrived at Downpatrick Head in good time. From a previous visit to Dún Briste (North Mayo Coast) I knew that I wanted to capture it at an angle which made it look the skinniest and that I wanted it to be a long-exposure shot. For this I needed an overcast morning (I settled for mostly cloudy) because otherwise the difference in exposure between the sky and the rest of the image would be too great. I also needed the wind to not be coming in from the direction of the sea, otherwise I'd get sea spray all over the lens. I was lucky enough to get conditions close enough to what I needed on a

Posted on November 26, 2018 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

I suppose you wouldn't think of how physically gruelling it is to be a landscape photographer unless you are one (or maybe if you live with one). I forget myself, of course, and keep planning ever more ambitious distances and locations. I'd been wanting to photograph the above view of Achill Island for some time, had attempted it once of twice and gotten nothing but disappointment. I made a 5am start so as to have enough time to get to the location and set up in time for sunrise. I hadn't slept for long enough and the almost 2 hour drive was taxing. Conveniently there's a road that

Posted on November 11, 2018 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

I grunted as I slung my fully laden camera bag on to my back for the first time in months and set off in my new hiking boots and waterproof trousers (an upgrade to the skinny jeans and Harley Davidson boots I'd been wearing every previous year). I set off along the path that leads to Toormakeady Waterfall in the twilight and as I gazed into the crepuscular gloom I wished I'd thought to take the torch out of the bag. Luckily I'd set off from my house earlier than I had planned because Google Maps sent me to the wrong spot. It was only when I wound up in the middle of nowhere that I

Posted on October 15, 2018 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

It was one of those clear, bright days that happen after snow has fallen and I was going to attempt driving to the top of Croaghmoyle mountain. There's an RTÉ mast at the summit so there's a road that leads to that. How far up the mountain I'd be able to get I had no idea until I tried. When I got to Castlebar the sky turned grey and no sooner had I got onto the first L road than it started to snow. In no time at all the snow was coming down thick and the world had turned white. I was crawling along and any time I did more than tap the brakes the ABS would come on. I thought better of

Posted on February 17, 2018 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

I started doing this whole landscape photography thing properly when I moved to Galway, which next month will be 4 years ago. In that time I've been photographing locations within a certain radius of my house. The radius being the length of time it takes to drive there, and ergo the time I have to get out of bed. That radius has been steadily expanding. At the start I thought an hours pre-dawn drive was long, but pretty soon a 2 hour drive wasn't uncommon. But it was fine as it was all still manageable. On turning my attention to Achill Island I understood that I was at the limits of

Posted on January 27, 2017 by aledowenthomas in Landscape

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

Posted on January 23, 2017 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