Advertisements

Creevy Pier – Donegal

Creevy Pier – Donegal

Hey fellow photographers,hope the summer has treated you well.

Summer break is over for me, time to go back and explore the Irish coast looking for hidden piers and cozy villages!! 💚📷 This is Creevy Pier in Donegal, I loved the calmness of that spot but I’m looking forward to get back in stormy season!

Location: Creevy Pier, Donegal, Ireland.

What to shoot: The pier is a great subject to add an interesting element to the foreground. The ocean and the sky will do the rest.

Ideal time to shoot: Sunsets.

Gear: Wide angle lenses to standard zooms.

Coordinates: 54.529603, -8.255547

Advertisements

Blackrock Diving Tower – Galway

Blackrock Diving Tower

Hello fellow photographers! This week photo trip brings us to Galway, one of the most visited city of Ireland. Galway city centre is particularly lively thanks to the many traditional pubs, stone clad cafes and an almost unlimited offer of Irish folk music. Galway is also an harbour city with a medieval inheritance and is, together with Dublin and Cork, one of the most photogenic cities in Ireland.

This time we move just a bit away from the city centre to photograph the Blackrock Diving Tower, an iconic pier whose history date back to 1885, when for the first time a structure to please the eager bathers of two centuries ago was built.

Today it remains an important meeting point for all the enthusiastic sea swimmers, and you will be surprised to see how many they are, even in a cold winter morning.

It is also a great subject for seascape photography, as it works perfectly to lead the eye through the composition, adding an interesting fore and middle ground, to a background made by ocean, sky and distant mountains.

Location: Blackrock Diving Tower, Salthill, Galway.

What to shoot: The Diving Tower itself, the people ready to take a plunge, beautiful dawns and sunsets.

Ideal time to shoot: Sunrise and sunsets, from autumn to spring (in summer it becomes more difficult to include a rising or setting sun into your composition).

Gear: Wide angles to Standard zooms.

Coordinates: 53.256660, -9.092353

The Milky Way over Lough Gill – Sligo

The Milky Way over Lough Gill

Hello fellow photographers! This time I tried my hand at one of the most fascinating fields in photography, in my opinion. It is also a field that requires a lot of commitment and experience, while I’m just a rookie. Night photography has the charm of bringing into view the unseen, it allows to capture through our lens and sensors something that is not visible to the naked eye. Of course, after the image is captured, post processing and editing will help emphasizing those elements that our eyes couldn’t see, and give to the composition a final ethereal touch.

In this case, the “unseen” I have tried to emphasize is the core of our galaxy, the Milky Way. To capture it a combination of factors is required: a dark night with possibly no moon or new moon, a place far from light pollution of urban centres, and a clear sky. The centre of the galaxy is not always above the horizon though, therefore you need to check when it rises and sets on one of the many apps for astrophotography.

Finally, a decent camera and a lens with a very wide aperture are a huge help in capturing the dim light of most distant stars during an exposure short enough to prevent the “trail effect” due to Earth’s rotation..

Yeah, as you can imagine, ideal conditions are not there every day, that’s why my alarm was set at 4 AM last night, to allow me to reach my location and try to capture as much as possible of our galaxy in its best moment, in one of the rare nights with a clear sky here in the west coast of Ireland.

I hope you enjoy the image and I would love to hear your advice before my next attempt to capture the stars.

Location: Lough Gill, County Sligo, Ireland.

What to shoot: From Hazelwood you can enjoy a nice view of the lake, surrounded by trees on both side, facing the hills. When the tide is low, surfacing rocks are a good element to add interest to the foreground.

Ideal time to shoot: Sunrise and nights.

Gear: Wide angles to Standard zooms.

Coordinates: 54.257863, -8.426491

Gondolas at St. Mark’s Square

Gondolas at St. Mark’s Square

For a change, a picture that brings me back to Venice, my hometown. It has been a while since I had the opportunity to take some photographs of its beauty and I’m starting to look forward to visiting it again next spring.

If you happen to be in Venice with your camera, you’ll be surely taking pictures of St. Mark’s square. It is difficult to be original, but giving it a try is always worth it, and most of the times it is also good fun.

To get “my personal” shot of a much photographed scene here I went for a portrait format image and a wide angle lens. The wide angle lens made the church and bell tower in the back ground look even smaller and more distant than what they actually are, but at the same time it allowed to bring into the scene other elements close to me, like the eroded steps in the foreground, adding an extra layer to the composition and more depth to the image.

Location: St. Mark’s square, Venice, Italy.

What to shoot: Plenty of choice, from the gondolas on the lagoon side to the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale), the lively street life of St. Mark’s Square and the Old Procuracies, or the still beauty of the Bridge of Sighs.

Ideal time to shoot: Sunrise and night.

Gear: Wide angles to Standard zooms.

Coordinates: 45.433292, 12.339987

Fanad Head Lighthouse – Donegal

Fanad Head Lighthouse

Dear fellow photographers, this week exploration of Irish best photographic spots brings us straight to the North, in Donegal, where one of the most beautiful lighthouses of the world stands. The Fanad Head Lighthouse marks the entrance into Lough Swilly, one of the very few Irish glacial fjords, and was built in 1812 following the shipwreck of a British Royal Navy frigate. Only one man made it to the shore alive, but he died soon after leaving no survivors out of the more than 250 members of the crew.

Now it is one of the 70 operating lighthouses illuminating the coast of Ireland, and a great subject for any lover of landscape photography.

Location: Fanad Head lighthouse, Co. Donegal, Ireland.

What to shoot: The operating lighthouse adds an interesting element to an already gorgeous coast.

Ideal time to shoot: This spot can be photographed at any time of the day and night. The first light of the day at sunrise can be easily captured just behind the lighthouse tower during summer. It is a great spot for night photography both for stars lover and northern lights seeker (with a bit of luck).

Gear: Wide angles to Standard zooms.

Coordinates: 55.276048, -7.632306

Mullaghmore at Dusk – Ireland

Mullaghmore at dusk

Dear fellow photographers, finally we were blessed with a gorgeous sunny day here in the north west of Ireland. After weeks of rain and wind, it’s really something, and even less excuses not to take your camera out.

This week image is one of the simplest composition I can think of. There is barely a subject! This can be quite a challenge most of the times, and could put us off from even trying and get an image. Nevertheless It’s always worthy to look for the elements of a possible good composition around us. An interesting sky at dusk and few rocks swept by the waves are just the perfect training ground for any photographer with an interest in seascape.

My tip: when you lack a clear subject, pay even more attention to the basic rules of composition. The rule of thirds for example. Make a decision about what you want to highlight in your image and compose placing the horizon line accordingly. In my image for example, I decided to give more importance to the sea and the rocks in the foreground, therefore I composed with the horizon line on the upper third.

Another key element of an image lacking a strong subject is playing with contrast. In this case the more obvious contrast is between the silky, white water licking the solid, dark rocks. A second source of contrast is given by the warm light of dusk and the gloomy clouds in the sky.

Location: Mullaghmore, Co. Sligo, Ireland.

What to shoot: Seascape offers many opportunities here. The rocky coast exposed to the west allows to play with its different shapes when the light of the setting sun throws a gorgeous glow on the view.

Ideal time to shoot: Sunset and dusk are probably the best moments to capture the beauty of this part of coast.

Gear: Wide angles to Standard zooms.

Coordinates: 54.464857, -8.467437

Twelve Pines Island – Connemara

Twelve Pines Island

Dear fellow photographers, this week our trip to discover most iconic photographic spots across Ireland brings us to another hidden gem in this fabulous country. If you made it up to Galway and really want to add some landscape shots to your trip, I strongly suggest to drive east for about one hour towards Connemara. The drive itself is worth the time, moreover you’ll come across to Pines Island, a tiny island nested on Derryclare Lough, which really seems to come out from a fairy tale.

My special tip: the path connecting Pines Island to the mainland works wonderfully as a guideline, leading the eye of the observer through your composition and adding an interesting contrast between the flat surface of the water and the rocky paving of the path. Take advantage of it!

Location: Pines Island, Twelve Bens, Co. Galway, Ireland.

What to shoot: The little island stands on a gorgeous background formed by the sharp peaks of a mountain range called Twelve Pins or Twelve Bens.

Ideal time to shoot: The blue and golden hours before sunrise are my favourite moments. A calm day offers the added bonus of flat water and gorgeous reflexions.

Gear: Wide angles to Standard zooms.

Coordinates: 53.462389, -9.795743

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

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.

Ponta de São Lourenço – Madeira

Ponta de São Lourenço – Madeira

Here we start with our mini photographic guide to Madeira.

Ponta de São Lourenço is one of the most photographed seascape of this fantastic Island. It is the most eastern part of Madeira and juts out into the Atlantic ocean with its volcanic rock formations offering an amazing opportunity for a hike or for a photo session. I thought it would have been great at sunrise, so I set my alarm very early in the morning and drove the 40 minutes to the car park. Unfortunately, the sun never really broke through the clouds, but the experience was absolutely worth the early wake up!

A short trip to Madeira

Funchal – Madeira

Just Landed in Madeira! After a few hours I’m already in love with this beautiful island. Really looking forward to exploring it during next week, finding as many photographic spots as possible and sharing them with. If you fellow photographers have any suggestions they are more than welcome!

St. Mark’s Square

St. Mark Square

Going back home soon. I’ll be there only for a couple of days, so I’ll have to choose carefully what to photograph.. St. Mark Square can’t be left out I guess!

Dun Briste – Downpatrick Head

Dun Briste Sea Stack

This impressive sea stack really looks as a sort of rocky platform rising from the ocean. All those clearly distinct layers of rock and its sharp edges gives it a robotic touch that makes it even more fascinating. I tried a long exposure to make the rock stand out more from the ocean, so to add a tad of surrealism to the scene. Then I played a bit in lightroom with vibrance and saturation slids to soften the colours, living just a touch of green on the top of the stack, so to increase the contrast between its rocky pillar and the grassy surface.

But there are thousands of different ways to photograph this amazing part of the Irish cost. Definitely worth a visit if you are travelling along the Wild Atlantic Way in County Mayo!

How to get there: Just 5 km Nord from the village of Ballycastle, you’ll find an headland called Downpatrick Head, in front of which stands 45 meters high rock: Dun Briste.

It’s a easy 5-10 minute walk from the car park, but the soil can be wet and muddy, therefore sturdy shoes are recommended as well as warm clothes, since it tends to be windy.

GPS: 54.322814, -9.345866

The Custom House – Dublin

The Custom House- Dublin

Since I moved to Ireland landscape photography has taken more and more space into my routine, and I love being there in the outdoors with my gear, walking or hiking while looking for some new natural spot. Still, cityscape keeps always a place into my photographic heart! And this year the Custom House in Dublin, finally free from scaffolding ruining its beauty, is just too good an opportunity to let it pass.

Fanad head


What a start today! Not exactly the smoothest possible.. I woke up at 5 am to try and catch the sunrise at Shrove beach, but the door of my hotel was locked and nobody was around to open it. I went back to my room, got out from the window (thank to my girlfriend who helped handling me all my gear!) and jumped a fence to get to the car. Opted to go to the closer Fanad Head. Typical ideal conditions.. splashy waves, wind and rain. I fought the elements for half an hour trying to protect my gear as much as I could, when finally it all started to turn for the better and gorgeous light conditions showed up. Right then my battery ran out of juice! I always have a spare one.. but today (left behind me during the “break out” from the hotel). This is one of the last shot I could get.

%d bloggers like this: