Category Archives: Landscape – mountains

Bertra Strand Again

I was back in Westport only a week after we finished the filming of episode 2 of Dynamic Range but this time with the family. It was the usual normal weather i.e. mixed. On the day we arrived a went out to Bertra Strand as it’s only 15 mins away from the hotel to try get a few images before sunset. I was hoping for the sun to shine on the side of Croagh Patrick Mountain.

Croagh Patrick Mt and Bretra Strand Grass blowing in the wind

It kind of worked for the lower slops of the mountain which now I think adds a bit more drama to the image. Also the strong wind blowing the grass on the sand dunes in the foreground was the key to this composition and the way the tips of the tall grass is lit up by the setting sun in contrast to the dark clouds over the top of Croagh Patrick.

I knew there was a reason why I always return to Westport and Bretra. You will never come away with the same image and I have being coming here for the passed 10 years now.

Looking forward to the next 10 years.

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Filed under Landscape - mountains, Uncategorized

Old Head, Co.Mayo

Westport was the location for filming of Episode 2 of Dynamic Range video series. The first day’s filming was from Old Head, Westport, Co Mayo. Using the famous Croagh Patrick Mountain as our bacground.

Old Head, Sunset, Co Mayo

During the filming of the introduction it started to rain and the clouds started to roll in thus putting an end to the planned sunset image. However, all was not lost and the clouds did break and the resulting image above was taken. Using the clouds to aid the composition and draw the viewer into the image is what makes this image.  The long shutter speed has added drama to the waves.

You can find out more about the resulting image on the video which can be purchased from Dynamic Range Website

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Filed under BW Conversion, Landscape - coastline, Landscape - mountains, Landscape - place

New Years Day 2012

A tradition in our household is to go for a walk on New Years Day. This time we went to Glendalough, Co Wicklow.

Glenealo River & Valey, Glendalough.

Normally this is a gentle walk but we ended up doing a 9km hill walk (follow the white dotted line on the map below) called The Spink & Glenealo Valley walk. I was fully loaded with camera backpack, the wife had the food backpack and the children had there rain gear. The dog, Fonzie, came along also but carried nothing.

Walks in Glendalough (map by Wicklow Mountains National Park)

On the drive down to Glendalough, which is about 1.5 hours, the weather was mixed. We left lovely pleasant conditions behind in Navan and were driving into overcast low lying raining conditions. A quick stop to check the satellite weather feed from sat24.com on the iPhone I decided to continue on down to Glendalough instead of a change to Howth. At this stage we were going for a walk and not a photo OP.

Ideal for a walk but not good for photography, but this is Ireland and that can change very quickly and always does. By the time we go up onto the summit of The Spinc  I could see the clouds starting to break up and the light was starting to work in my favor now. The image above was taken from P1 marked on the map and shows Glenealo River as it flows down the Valley into the Upper Glendalough Lake. This was a great bit of luck as we didn’t intend to do this walk.

The walk started to get very bussy by the time we stopped for some lunch down at the disused Mine  as all the Sunday walkers were out which made it nearly impossible to get any more images. We all made back to the car safe and sound. Mind you me poor dog was cover with mud and bog. This made for the comment of the year from my 9 year old Son –  “daddy Fonzie is now black and white so you don’t have to do your mononeil magic on him”.

I’m just starting to process the rest of the images and I will post them as they are ready. Like nearly all my image, this was taken using my Canon 5DMkII & 24mm TS-E MkII with a couple of Lee ND Grad filters to hold back the bright sky.

First day of the New Year done and I have a couple of “Keepers” in the bag already.

Hope the rest of the years goes like this.

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Filed under Landscape - mountains, Landscape - place, Uncategorized

Bridia Valley

It sometimes rains in Ireland !

This was one of those rare occassions of rain in The Bridia Valley, Co. Kerry. I was on my way home from a couple  days shooting and meetings with Peter Cox and Roger Overall about the next Episode of The Circle of Confusion video series. We will hopefully filming in the location for the next video, well that’s the plan. I didn’t drive fully into the valley as the weather was not  looking great. I did manage to take a couple of images in-between the showers with a little break in the clouds over the background mountains. This is a wonderful location which needs some side lighting and a better composition closer to the valley to  really show it as its best.

Maybe next time.

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>The Reeks

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The Reeks or there full name The Macgillycuddy Reeks Mountain Range on The Inveragh Peninsula, Co Kerry. This image above shows The Reeks and The Gap of Dunloe from the main road ( N71 ).
If you are one of the many people who have download the video ( Photographing The Landscape – Episode 0: Cork & Kerry ) then you will have seen how the image was captured.
And if you haven’t why not?
We had wonderful light and shadows with the passing clouds to play with at this time of the day compared to the weather conditions for the sunrise early that morning.
Listen the best thing to do is download the video because, well read the DVD cover notes :

“Follow Landscape photographers Peter Cox and Neil McShane as they plan a dawn shoot in Cork. Despite being frustrated by the weather, they will show you how to work with the conditions instead of against them and come away with some good images.
For the rest of the day, they take in some of the highlights of the Cork and Kerry landscape, revealing tips and tricks of the trade along the way. Oh, and there’s plenty of banter and good humor as well.
Some of the things you’ll learn in the episode:
-Ways to plan for the best photographs.
-Tips for getting great black & white landscapes.
– How to use graduated neutral density filters to balance exposure.
-How bad weather can make for good photographs.
-Shading your lens without a hood to prevent flare.”


So there you have it, all my secrets are out for you to learn from.
Over the coming weeks I will post more images for this trip which didn’t make it into the final cut of the video. Not that there not any good, it’s just we had to stop some where.
I look forward to your comments on the video if you have downloaded it and if there is anything would guys would like for us to cover in the next episode, please let me know.

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>Glenbeg Lough

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This is one of my favorite images from the four days down on The Beara Peninsula and it came out of disappointment. Let me explain:
The weeks leading up to the Beara Trip were spent looking over the Discovery Series of Maps from OSi (Ordnance Survey Ireland) to find suitable locations to shoot. One such place was Glenbeg Lough, Ardgroom. We have the lake surrounded by mountains a river flowing into the lake and a bridge over the river. All this looks like an interesting location. Looking at the details on the map and seeing the real life are two different things.
We had finished shooting up on the Healy Pass and Lauragh Forest and started our journey further west for sunset when hunger struck. Stopping at a coffee shop in Ardgroom, Peter noticed a painting on the wall of Glenbeg Lough. Now don’t get me wrong but painters have it easy. They start with a blank canvas and add or remove thing at will. Us photographers have a completed canvas and have to use whats in front of the camera lens. What greeted us on the drive up to the lake was nothing like the view in the painting. Missing was the car park, rubbish bins, public signs and the pipes going across the side wall of the bridge. And they say using Photoshop to edit your photos is wrong but…..
What a disappointment. We didn’t even get out of the jeep and to top it off low clouds started to roll in and this put a stop to sunset. We did however drive along the shoreline to find a point to turn the jeep around and head home. Oh, but wait. I spotted the view above with the reads in the foreground and Skellig Mt in the background.
Not the images I pictured a week ago looking at the maps but I think a came away with a much better image. Once again a portrait format helps in the composition. The slight blurring or the reads from the strong wind blowing down trough the valley and the dark clouds, helped by the filters, hanging over the tops of the mountains adds the drama of the image.
I have a hard drive full of image to post still from The Beara Peninsula.

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Filed under Lakes and Rivers, Landscape - mountains, Landscape - place

>Eagles Nest

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I’m back from a 4 day trip down to The Beara Peninsula with a good friend and fellow Landscape photographer Peter Cox. The weeks leading up the trip were spent looking over maps and we came to the conclusion that the Beara would be an ideal location.
The trip down is a 4.5 hour drive but I was going to make a detour on the way and stop off in Killarney. Leaving my home at 5:30 in the morning with clear skies above me. Short lived as I was driving into the bad weather.
If you are following me on Twitter or Facebook you will see some of the images taken with the iPhone. One such image link here was taken out the car window from the very same spot as the image above. However in that image the rain was coming down very heavy. Not a great start to the trip and was this a sign of things to come? You will just have to wait and see.
I have started the series of image posts with the last image taken on the trip. It’s an image of Eagles Nest in the Killarney National Park from Five Mile Bridge along the N71. This is a image I have being after for a couple of years now as conditions have not worked out in the past but this they were perfect. A clear sky with the cloud pattern following the lines of the mountain. Some ripples in the water made by me standing in the water ( wellies, a photographers best friend ). I like the way the ripples make your eyes flow into the image. The looks I was getting from the many tourists taking their snap shots. What must they have being thinking?
Did I get any more images? Just lets say it’s taken me a few days to go through the images and start the conversion process.
Stayed tuned over the next coupe of weeks to see the rest of “The Beara Trip”

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Filed under Lakes and Rivers, Landscape - mountains