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Benbulben – County Sligo

Benbulben – County Sligo

Hey fellow photographers! Last time we were in Donegal photographing the snowy summit of one of the most iconic mountains of the region: Mount Errigal.

This time we kept hunting for iconic mountains and we were lucky enough to find snow again, not so common in Ireland. Our shooting brought us to one of the most picturesque beaches in the north west, Streedagh beach, which is also a fantastic place for surfers and wild campers, with the added bonus of being still out of the most popular tourist routes.

The beach faces the ocean and the cliffs of Donegal on one side, on the other side it looks over a quite bay and the peculiar rock formation of Benbulben, the most recognizable mountain in County Sligo, and the objective of our photo session.

Streedagh beach is really a gorgeous spot both for action seeker photographers with surfers hitting the beach all year round. The rocks on the left offers a good vantage point to shoot the action in the ocean without getting wet. Landscapers can walk on the beachside, bay side and over the dunes to find the best views towards Donegal cliffs or the Dartry mountains towards Sligo.

Location: Streedagh beach, Co. Sligo, Ireland.

What to shoot: The Benbulben is a great photographic option thanks to its peculiar shape. Shooting from Stredagh beach adds the benefit of a flat water bay in the foreground. On a lucky day reflections are spectacular.

Ideal time to shoot: Sunrises and sunsets. It’s pretty dark here, night photography is also an option even though I have not tried it myself.

Gear: Standard zooms to tele lens.

Coordinates: 54.404753, -8.558747

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Mount Errigal – Donegal

Mount Errigal – Donegal

Hey fellow photographers, hope the beginning of the new year has brought you great inspiration and gorgeous pictures. I went back to one of my favourite places here in the North of Ireland, Donegal, to photograph Mount Errigal.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to plan before going for a landscape shooting trip. So many variables play a role when shooting nature and its beauties, it is really impossible to foresee all of them, but here I managed to get just a couple of them right and that was enough to make my day.

I got this image at the end of November. It had been a very rainy autumn, just perfect to raise the level of the water of the lake to reach those two bushes and give a nice reflection to create a more interesting foreground. Moreover the weather forecast suggested snow overnight and rain in the morning. All I needed to do was to be there before sunrise, equipped to protect my gear and myself from the rain, and hope for the sky to clear up and get my shot.

Location: Lake Delewey, at the bottom of Mount Errigal, Donegal Ireland.

What to shoot: Mount Errigal in the background, remember to look for some bush, log or rocks to enhance your foreground.

Ideal time to shoot: Sunrises and sunsets. A day with no wind is ideal to have flat water and better reflections.

Gear: Wide angle lenses to standard zooms.

Coordinates: 55.021319, -8.149150

The old Pier – Donegal

Rusty pier – Donegal

When it comes to hidden gems hunting, Instagram is a gorgeous resource. I had seen this rusty thing a couple of times on my Instagram feed before deciding it was worth a visit, last winter. It’s amazing how we can be happy with very little when we are behind a lens.

I liked the curvy shape of the old pier, which works well as a leading line, guiding the eye through the image. The solid structure and the rocks did the rest of the job creating a nice contrast with the ocean.

Location: This rusty gem here is in Shrove beach, at the very top-east of Donegal.

What to shoot: The old pier and rocks.

Ideal time to shoot: Sunrises and sunsets offer usually the best light and colours. Also, with a darker sky it is easier to play with long exposures. This place works better at high tides, when the water surface is closer to the pier.

Gear: Wide angle lenses to standard zooms.

Coordinates: N 55° 13′ 35″; W 6° 55′ 42″

Stormy day in Sligo

Mullaghmore during hurricane Ophelia

Windy days are quite common here on the Irish West coast. Even though they usually come with rain showers and a dull cloudy sky, it doesn’t mean that you can’t take your camera out and go for a nice landscape photo session.

In those days my preference goes to seascapes. Breaking waves are a great subject itself and can be combined with the other elements of the image to create different moods.

This time I took advantage of the waves breaking on the shore to add interest to the foreground. I used an exposure time of 30 seconds to give the white water that silky aspects and create a strong contrast with the dark solid rocks which, given the total lack of colours in the sky, is the key element of this composition.

Let me know what you think and what you prefer to photograph in windy, stormy days!

 

Lough Gill – Sligo

Innisfree Isle – Lough Gill

“I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree”, WB Yeats. The lake isle of Innisfree was one of the favorite places of the Irish poet Yeats. I went there yesterday looking for some “photographic inspiration” and wasn’t disappointed at all!

Location: Innisfree isle, Lough Gill, County Sligo, Ireland.

What to shoot: Lake Gill offers several photographic spots along his shore, including Hazel Wood, Dooney Rock, Doorly Park, and this little jetty in front of the Isle of Innisfree.

Ideal time to shoot: Sunrises and sunsets offer the best light and colours, but I wanted to capture the stillness and the atmosphere of the place after sunset, taking advantage of the blue hour and the calmness before hurricane Ophelia hit Ireland with its wind gusts and rain.

Gear: Wide angle lenses to standard zooms.

How to get there: Leaving Sligo town follow road R287. Just before R287 merges with R290 look for a road sign indicating “Innisfree Isle” and take a sharp left. There is a small car park very close to the jetty.

Coordinates: N 54° 14′ 38.7” W 8° 21′ 12.8”

Path to Pico Ruivo – Madeira

Pico de Arieiro – Madeira

After a short summer break here we are again! I’ve still a couple of gorgeous photographic spots from my last trip to Madeira I want to share before going back to wandering and photographing Ireland!
This is the the path of the beautiful hike from Pico de Areeiro to Pico Ruivo, at about 6000 ft, they are two of the highest and most impressive peaks of Madeira.

Ideal time to shoot: Every time of the day and night. Sunrises and sunsets offer an amazing atmosphere, rich in colours and details. Broad daylight is rarely my favourite but here clouds can play a great role creating interesting skies and surprising light conditions. Night photography is also a possibility.

Gear: Wide angle lenses to standard zooms. At night a very bright wide angle give you the possibility of capturing the starry sky as the light pollution is very limited. I suggest to travel light as the path is uneven with several slopes.

How to get there: There is easy road access to the summit, with a large car park, a restaurant with souvenir shop. and an Air Defence Radar Station. From there follow the path towards Pico Ruivo.

Pico do Arieiro – Madeira

Pico do Arieiro – Madeira

One of the amazing things of Madeira is the variety of scenery it offers. Not only that, also the weather can change a lot from one place to another. So much that should you wake up to a cloudy sky, you can go for a hike to one of the many amazing cliffs, like we did today, and simply leave the clouds below you.

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