Panoramic Fuerteventura

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The stunning panorama of Fuerteventura as seen from the Mirador Morro Velosa – six vertical frames each at 70mm taken and stitched together in post to create this kilometer long view across several barranco’s.

It’s actually not that long ago, that I owned a computer with a hard drive of the size of the original file of this image. It brought the old laptop I had with me on the trip to Fuerteventura down to its knees processing it.

On top of Fuerteventura

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On top of the world…. or at least Fuerteventura. A few steps more and from there it’s pretty much 807 meters straight down! It was the rewarding end of a 30 kilometer hike starting at sea level in Morro Jable under the grueling midday heat.

From there it went along the beautiful Jandia beach all the way up to the summit of the highest mountain of Fuerteventura – the Pico de la Zarza, offering the most stunning panoramic view over the beach of Cofete.

Wicklow Panorama

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8mm, ISO 100, f/8, 1/100s – Nikon D7100, Sigma 8-16mm

It looked simple enough on the map. The reality was steep. And windy. At least not rainy. That was for later. Hiking up to the Djouce Mountain in the Wicklow’s isn’t a big deal, though the last bit is steep enough for untrained legs.

Add some high winds and it makes for a stern test on a weekend’s afternoon. It was too windy up there and the looming rain clouds made sure I only stayed for a brief period until making my way down again.

Light was sparse, though the shapes of the different mountains, hills, the wide panoramic view of the Irish coastline makes for an image where you can’t do much wrong.

The wonderful 8-16mm from Sigma in the back delivered once more. I wanted to capture the atmosphere felt on the mountain in a wide panorama to show the contrasts of the scene. It’s not the most special image I’ve ever taken. Still, It was worth to get out there and take it.

Old Man’s Evening Sun

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Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye, Scotland –
116mm, ISO 100, f/7.1, 1/60sec; Nikon D7100, Tamron 70-200mm G2

Fairy Pools

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8mm, ISO 100, f/11, 1/25sec – Nikon D7100, Sigma 8-16mm f4.5-5-6 DC HSM, 

The Fairy Pools are one of THE highlights on the Isle of Skye. Everyone has heard about them, everyone wants to see them and everyone has most likely seen these dreamy, colourful, long exposed images of the pools and waterfalls.

When I was there it was crowded and the light was little to non-existent. That’s a shame. You can wait and you can come back, but things did not really pan out for me during my stay on Skye if it comes to the Fairy Pools.

That doesn’t mean I’m unhappy with the end result. In fact I do love the image. The colours of the grass, the most beautiful blue in the water – all there. Though a bit of proper light, a bit of sun shining into the pools…. it would have been too nice.

Kilmuir Cemetery

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Kilmuir Cemetery – where Scottish heroine Flora MacDonald is buried. 

Beauty of the Isle of Skye

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The week here on the Isle of Skye is flying, so is the wind…. or the rain and sun in an ever evolving game of who wins the battle for supremacy for the day.

So photographing Skye isn’t an easy thing. The light changes constantly. The same moment you find a composition the rain may well force you away from it as soon as you have your gear ready.

I haven’t taken many photographs so far. But the ones I got are meaningful. None more so than the image of the Old Man of Storr – of course – but this one here is also an image that evoked emotion when processing the RAW file in Adobe Lightroom.

It’s an image with  a small story behind it. As it goes I was taking in a smallish hike along the ruins of St. Mary’s church outside of Dunvegan. During the way up I looked back down into the valley and immediately the vista stroke me as the perfect picture of what Skye is all about. Rolling hills, lush green grass, rain clouds and fog hanging low in the mountains….

But the light wasn’t there. It was a nice vista for the human eye to see in flesh then but appeared flat and dull as a photograph. So I finished the hike which was a loop and lead me back to where it began. All the way promising myself to head back up again if the light would change to see whether I could capture the image as envisioned in my mind.

The outcome is the lead photo above. It started to rain minutes after pressing the shutter.

The Old Man of Storr

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Old Man of Storr

I am currently on the Isle of Sky. A week long holiday, immersing myself in the spectacular landscape this part of Scotland has to offer. High on the “must see” list is – of course – “The Storr”. It’s the one image many will most likely have in mind when they think of Skye. So do I.

Photographed in the millions, to get an image of the “old man” that is unique seemed a distant dream. My idea of getting a sunset image went to pieces the first evening I tried. Masses of people hiking up there, the mountain top hardly to see under a thick cover of fog.

Getting up early the next morning, the hope of a beautiful sunrise image with soft light and sunrays  illuminating the mountain – shattered upon arrival. No light, only fog. At least no other people around. Now I’m here, let’s get up anyway.

Efforts were rewarded. Eventually. It took a while and it was only a brief moment. Yet a moment of glory. The sun breaks through the clouds while the fog gives way – a matter of seconds. The world around me is glowing in the most beautiful flush green. I get my shots away, a pano in mind, and bang gone is the light as quickly as it came. It never came back….

Ashbourne International Baseball Festival

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It was a rare trip to a game I admittedly only watch occasionally – here and there a bit of MLB on TV, however it certainly was the first time live in flesh here in Ireland: off I went to Ashbourne, the International Baseball Center a leisurely 20 minute drive from my Drumcondra home. In prospect was a full afternoon at the finals day of the Ashbourne International Baseball Festival.

It’s been fun. Despite the fact that the final to crown the overall winner of the tournament dragged on long into the evening I really enjoyed the thriller that was the game between the Irish national team and a selection of the best international players of the Irish Baseball League.

The day was also another good opportunity to test the new Tamron 70-200mm lens in a real-life situation. The light and weather was changing constantly, in fact it was actually rainy and dark towards the end, as well as fast moving subjects made the G2 work hard.

Australia 2017 – A Photographic Journey

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It’s always been a dream to travel to the other side of the globe. Finally here was the chance. Booking the flights in early January I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. Full of clichés in my little head I started the journey through Australia.

To put it short and sweet: the experience of three weeks ‘Down Under’ has blown me away. The sheer beauty of vibrant landscapes, cities, nature, wonderful people and very different wildlife, sights and sounds was refreshing in so many senses compared to the daily slug in good old Dublin.

To say it with a bit of Aussie slang: it’s been a ripper!

As a photographer the camera has been a loyal companion on this trip. A trip that brought me from the west to the south to the east all the way around the coastline with its flush green landscapes. So let me take you on my photographic journey.

It all started in Adelaide. Where dark, rain filled clouds welcomed me on the very first day. Disappointment initially. Little did I know that the very same evening rain and sun fought out an epic battle for supremacy in the sky – a blessing for photography.

The sea is a prevalent scene in and around Adelaide. So are the hills that rise high right on the door step of the city that’s widely mocked as the “boring city”. Not so boring in my mind, at least if you’re into landscapes, nature and hiking.

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On to Perth in the west. Quite an isolated place, far away from the next big city centre. In fact Perth is actually closer to Jakarta in Indonesia than Sydney.

For all of that it offers white sand beaches, plenty of sun (that alien yellow thing in the sky that’s sighted way too little over my beloved Ireland) and as a consequence a laid back atmosphere- and of course only a short ferry ride away wildlife paradise Rottnest Island.

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From one side of the continent to the other one. Sydney, the vibrant metropolis. Where to start, where to end? Simply spectacular. Harbour Bridge, Opera House – sure, but there is so much more.

It wasn’t all plain sailing. It actually were quite wet days in Sydney. I couldn’t do, see and photograph everything I would have wanted in an ideal world. There will be a next time, though. Hopefully with a little bit less torrential rain.

However those conditions can often set up the most stunning scenes. On the Circular Quay ferry, having endured another downpour, there it was, a massive double rainbow spanning all the way from Harbour Bridge across to the city center. A moment I won’t forget anytime soon.

And there was ‘Vivid Sydney’. As if Sydney wasn’t spectacular enough during the day, it transformed into a sea of lights and digital art during the night.

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Spectacular nature isn’t too far away from Sydney either. On the downside I didn’t see too much of it. The Blue Mountains were covered in fog so thick I could barely see the hands in front of my eyes. Though, for a brief moment the cover broke and gave way to the stunning landscape.

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Finish with a bang: the Great Ocean Road. This part of the world left a lasting mark on me. Hard to find words for its beauty. No photo can do it justice. Sunset at the Twelve Apostles – a dream of oh so many nights became reality.

A final view on the last day over the lush green hills of Apollo Bay before real life bites back. It’s been an amazing ride. I’m in love. I’ll be back. Soon.

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Equipment used:
– Nikon D7100
– Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM
– Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2
– HOYA PRO1 Digital Filter Circular Polarizer
– Rangers Clarity Series ND Filter kit
– Koolehaoda Portable Camera