landscape photography

The Cliffs of Moher, Ireland’s best

Cliffs of Moher

Towering 700 feet above the Atlantic the Cliffs of Moher is one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring tourist attractions in Ireland. And a tourist friendly too. If you are fit and experienced you can take a two hour cliff walk from Doolin to the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Center. The trail is remote and exposed. In some places there is very little space  between the path and abyss: it could be a challenge in bad weather. You can learn more about the trail and guided tours on http://www.seaview-doolin.ie/news/. You can take a shorter and easier walk from the Visitor Center to Hags Head, two hours return, yet it is not suitable for little children, especially in bad weather. If you are not fit, traveling with a baby or simply have no time, do what I did: just walk up to O’Brien’s tower from the Visitor center and enjoy the view on your way. All your questions about the Cliffs are answered here:  http://www.cliffsofmoher.ie/

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

The view from O’Brien’s tower is magnificent, but you are getting a better sense of scale looking up rather than down. We took a boat trip from Doolin, one hour both ways, to get closer to the Cliffs and to see how high they really are.

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

One of the caves was featured in Harry Potter movie:)

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

Branaunmore sea stack, a nesting place to a variety of sea birds.

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

If you have more than one lens it makes sense to take another camera with you on a boat trip. The scenery and lighting are changing rapidly while on a boat,  and you can miss good shots,  as I did…

Doolin is a spectacular village worth to visit. All the travel guides mention Gus O’Connor’s Pub, and it is a great and very atmospheric place well known for its traditional Irish music sessions (they say that Doolin is a capital of traditional music). If you only want to get some today’s catch fish and some chips and a quiet place to enjoy your lunch, go to Fitz’s Bar: it is as good as O’Connors, and their food is excellent!

Cliffs of Moher

I have been visiting the Cliffs of Moher more than once. There are a few pictures taken in 2004 and 2005. Not always the weather was as welcoming as this time…

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher are 300 million years old, but they don’t look the same now as they did then. Coastal erosion undermines the base of the bluffs causing the upper parts of the cliff to collapse. In fact, people walking on the top of the Cliffs are risking their lives without realizing it. They can slip, they can get blown off by wind and they can go down with a collapsing piece of path, at any time. To stay safe, we have to be respectful to Nature, and never reckless or disruptive. This is the way that balances the world.

Photography tip of the day: To take pictures from a boat use a very fast shutter speed ( or “sport” setting), stand with your legs spread and your knees slightly bended.

inesemjphotographyHave a great day!

 

Narrow roads and pink mountains

Last week I visited a friend in Burncourt, Co Tipperary. I chose a narrow country road for fun and delightful drive. Didn’t know it would be that narrow… When I startled a pheasant sleeping in the middle of the road and he lazily walked away, I thought I got lost… I didn’t take any pictures, but this one ( shared on Facebook) gives you an idea:)

keep going

After the visit I thought I might better go up the mountains on my way home. My initial plan was to stop by the ruins of Shanbally castle barbarically demolished in 1960, but I changed this plan in favor of driving South towards my favorite Old Clonmel-Cork Road.

This area lies in the Galtee-Vee Valley (Golden Vale) with the Galtee Mountains to the north and the Knockmealdown Mountains to the south. I love the rolling hills and open pastures with the breathtaking hilltop views, and I love the gradual transition from the green sunlit Knockmealdowns to the dark and lonesome Comeraghs.

In Clogheen I turned to the Vee.

The Vee Pass in Knockmealdown mountains (refers to the V-shaped turn) is a beautiful place to visit all around the year because of its stunning panoramic views, but in June the wild rhododendrons bloom in the hills, and it is the view you will never forget.

the vee

In the picture above you can see the Galtees framing the valley from the North.

the vee

the vee

the vee

the vee

the vee

The blossoms are of the color of frothy foam on the top of boiling raspberry jam. I imagine a gigantic cauldron in the hills above the Bay Lough, and the jam overflowing the cauldron and making its way down through the woods, dripping from the rocks and making puddles in the hollows. A waterfall of pink. I am overwhelmed by this breathtaking beauty.

The Bay Lough lake.

the vee

Biological function of a flower is reproduction. Mother Nature made it beautiful.

the vee

On my way down the mountain I took a few shots to make this crooked panorama:). Didn’t bother to set a tripod: I was afraid to shy away that young couple. Love is beautiful!

Untitled_Panorama1dres

Photography tip of the day: to make a panorama take as many pictures as you need to have a 40-50% overlap. Use portrait format. And a tripod:)

inesemjphotographyHave a wonderful weekend!

Magic Hour

I woke up at about 6am and just on impulse went out to catch the sunrise. Not having any plans I just crossed the bridge and headed up the hill for a greater view. After taking a few shots I looked down and saw that beautiful fog over the river near my house. Should have walked there first! Hurrying down the hill I reflected with a slight annoyance on so human “the grass is always greener” concept. Now my magic hour was running out!

Nevertheless, I still have got a few minutes of magic.

river_suir_spring

river_suir_morning

river_suir_fog

ireland_daffodils1

ireland_daffodils

spring_catkins

When I move around making compositions and keeping my eye on the settings, somehow I always manage to think about the matters that seem not to be related to the subject of photography. So, I cannot tell now how I ended up thinking about forgiveness. I was walking around the willow tree, shooting close-ups into the rising sun, and thinking about hate, broken relationships and general chronic unhappiness we humans sometimes experience. They say that there is a universal cure: we have to forgive to free ourselves and be happy. That is nothing new, and many of us practice forgiveness for the wrongdoings on a daily basis. Is there anything else we fail to forgive?

Perching on the rock I was looking through the viewfinder trying to make a composition of the willow catkins. And then I knew it. Humans are forever unhappy when they don’t forgive each others differences. It is nothing new either, but usually differences are “accepted” or “tolerated”, and this doesn’t make anybody happier.

Differences can be strange and annoying. Differences just don’t fit! This person is doing it wrong! I do it right! Differences can trigger arrogance or envy. This person is plain stupid! That person is just being lucky! Differences take our focus away from the things that truly matter. It won’t work if we only accept them.

So, I am making a statement here. I am forgiving your differences, people. Please, forgive me for being different and let’s move on and enjoy our life!

I had a wonderful morning. I found magic so close to where I live. A different kind of magic.

ireland_morning

Photography tip of the day: First hour after the sunrise is the best  time for landscape photography. Fog is a bonus. Fog softens objects in the background, mutes colors, and makes everything look mysterious.

inesemj_photographyHave a great day!