This trip was planned at very short notice when I realised that I had a window of 24 hours of free time un-expectantly . Rather than the usual Copper Coast locations I taught I’d branch out and decided to give Connemara a try. I have been there before when running the Connemara marathon on a few occasions and know its stunning but have never been there with a camera. The aim was to get a sunset on a Friday evening and dawn the following day and maybe one or two other locations on the way home.
The trip took longer than originally planned and I found myself heading to the first location for sunset and the light show was already happening out my windscreen. It had just rained and there was beautiful light hitting the landscape as the sun was lower in the sky. I wasn’t in the most ideal of places and probably 20 minutes from my destination but I took 1 or 2 snaps at the side of the road just to frustrate myself even more. see below.
The First location was Doo lough and the plan was to take some of the typical shots of the pier but I should have the added benefit of a sunset behind it. 2 problems, the water level was much lower than I had seen in any pictures and the sunset was now obscured by increasing cloud cover. I was about 45 minutes from sunset so in some ways I had plenty of time to wait it out and something might happen. Eventually I got some light breaking through and allowed for about 2 or 3 exposures. The lower water level may have actually been a benefit as the boats were not bobbing around in the water causing them to blur during the exposure.
The light started to fade and then I just switched to shots that I taught would look better in B&W, Tried a few differnt angles but ended up coming back to the slightly elevated view as there was too much debris on the shore. During one long exposoure I heard a commotion behind me , a herd of sheep were heading up the road, slowly at first so a taught I had time to let the current exposure finish , I was wrong. One beep from the farmers land rover which was following behind sent them taring up the road. I quick scarper across the road to try and set up a shot ensued. The idea in my head was the shot I have seen on a couple of occasions of the sheep climbing up the road form Dunquin beach, a stunning image and trying to capture that movement of the sheep was in my head. Barely had time to get across the road while taking the 10 stop filter off the camera. No time to consider the composition, I was more interested in trying to capture the motion of the sheep. A guess at the exposure time of 0.6sec and shot off 3 shots before they were gone. A frantic chimp at the screen showed I might have something a little different. The big disappointment later on proper review was the ugly bush right in the middle of the scene , maybe a step left or right might have excluded it.
Light dropped fast and the rain started to come down, any taught of trying to do some astro photography went out the window. I resigned myself to trying to come back to the location the following morning as I felt there was more to capture here.
Day 2 , started with a dawn shoot at Derryclare lough, again a very popular place with photographers. The early rise at about 5:00 revealed rain pouring down , no light yet but not looking promising, this wasn’t in the forecast so I was a bit disappointed at that, seems Galway has its own weather. Gave it another hour and things started to change very rapidly, packed up and headed out. First few shots were to focus on the light on the lake and the back lighting of the Island l. There was a slight mist on the lake as well which I managed to catch an element of in some images.
I was trying the capture the image from a different angle to the classic take on this scene but was trying to rush too much while the light was good. I settled for the classic composition with the lead in of the path to the island. The final image here I ended up cropping to a 2x1 aspect ratio due to the reflection of the sun in the water in the bottom right corner, drawing the viewers eye away from where I wanted it.
I'll continue with a part 2 to complete the story of the trip , includes a return trip to Derryclaire and Doolough as well as a few other locations. The images can be seen in the Connemara Gallery in the website.