A change of pace…

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dunmore head re-do

I had been searching for the original RAW file of this scene for a while. This is a blend of two exposures… one for the land in the foreground, and one for the much brighter and sun-reflected light on the ocean. I wasn’t thrilled with my first go at blending the two exposures, but for the life of me I couldn’t seem to find the original files to give it another try… until recently. Maybe this is one that would look good printed on metal?

This is from the last trip I made home to Ireland (with Sam), and shows The Great Blasket Islands from Dunmore Head in County Kerry. Here’s the original post… taking the Slea Head Road west out of Dingle, we spotted a little harbor tucked into the rocks with a pretty beach. From a distance it was beautiful, and up close… even nicer. Looking over our shoulder though, we saw what looked like a path winding its way up the hillside toward the ocean. Eager for an adventure and the possibility of a nice view, we started hiking.

I thought I was going to have a heart attack… too many Irish breakfasts and too much Guinness lately had me struggling to keep up with Sam. When I finally did get to a flat spot, I dropped my backpack and told him to go on ahead… I needed a rest.

So… in the photograph above you can enjoy the view I had from the spot I decided to rest. The headland we were on was called Dunmore Head, and you can see Great Blasket Island straightaway, Inishnabro and Inishvickillane off to the left, and to the right is Beiginis and then Inishtooskert. This was classic windblown and rugged Irish coastline, and as has been the case most everywhere we went on that trip… it was totally deserted and ours alone.

Here are a couple more photographs to help give a sense of where we were. The first shows our first look at the scene (the arrow shows where we were when I made the photograph at the top of this post), the second is a more intimate view of the harbor and beach, and the third is the view from the other side of the headland in the late afternoon sun. After out hike we headed back into the town of Dingle for dinner, and you can just imagine how good Guinness Stew for Sam and Shepherd’s Pie for me tasted in a local pub… all washed down with a nice pint of course. Beautiful.

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St. Patrick’s Day

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March 17 holds significance for me in two ways. First of all, and most obviously, it is Saint Patrick’s Day. Growing up in Ireland I can remember many a day spent very unproductively celebrating whatever it was we were celebrating… usually from an early hour too! Last year Sam and I were lucky enough to be in Dublin to join in with the locals as they did what they do best… great experience. If you want a quick fix from the Emerald Isle, check out my gallery of Ireland photographs, including the one below from Dunmore Head looking out toward Great Blasket Island.

Secondly, as I check the weather forecast for the coming week, I am pleased to notice that we are expecting a brief spell of almost 70 degree temperatures here in Maine. While definitely abnormal for this time of year, March 17 and St. Paddy’s Day always spell the end of winter for me. The clocks have just sprung forward, we are in the throes of March Madness, and in a couple of weeks we get to enjoy the dogwoods of Augusta during The Masters golf tournament. For me… this is a good time of the year, so cheers!

Shiny and silver…

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Every now and then I get the urge to print something, and I figure if it’s worth printing then it’s worth printing BIG! I just sent this one off to be printed on metallic paper at 24 x 36, and I have a feeling that when it comes back I will like it. I love how landscape photographs appear almost 3D when printed on metallic paper, and the black and white processing should make this one really pop.

If I ever got serious about this whole photography thing I would love to spend some time learning about what goes into making a really good print… but in the meantime, I will trust (and pay) those with the ability and resources to take care of such a task. I am definitely developing an attraction to large prints, and I can’t wait to see this one up close 🙂

From Dunmore Head near Coumeenoole, you can see Great Blasket Island straightaway, Inishnabro and Inishvickillane to the left, and to the right is Beiginis and then Inishtooskert – just off the Dingle peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland.

Dingle

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With a population of about 2,000, the town of Dingle (Irish: An Daingean) is nestled into a local harbor and is an absolute gem of a place. Sam and I stopped of here as we toured the Dingle Peninsula, and after a great day of sightseeing and hiking, we enjoyed one of the best pints of Guinness I have ever had. Both of these photographs were made by Sam, and as you can see, Dingle is quite striking. And speaking of Sam’s photographs… just wait until you see one of the upcoming posts with a selection of his photographs!

Great Blasket Island

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Taking the Slea Head Road further west out of Dingle, we spotted a little harbor tucked into the rocks with a pretty beach. From a distance it was beautiful, and up close… even nicer. Looking over our shoulder though, we saw what looked like a path winding its way up the hillside toward the ocean. Eager for an adventure and the possibility of a nice view, we started hiking.

I thought I was going to have a heart attack… too many Irish breakfasts and too much Guinness lately had me struggling to keep up with Sam. When I finally did get to a flat spot, I dropped my backpack and told him to go on ahead… I needed a rest.

So… in the photograph above you can enjoy the view I had from the spot I decided to rest. The headland we were on was called Dunmore Head, and you can see Great Blasket Island straightaway, Inishnabro and Inishvickillane off to the left, and to the right is Beiginis and then Inishtooskert. This was classic windblown and rugged Irish coastline, and as has been the case most everywhere we have gone… it was totally deserted and ours alone.

Here are a couple more photographs to help give a sense of where we were. The first shows our first look at the scene (the arrow shows where we were when I made the photograph at the top of this post), the second is a more intimate view of the harbor and beach, and the third is the view from the other side of the headland in the late afternoon sun.

We headed back into the town of Dingle for dinner, and you can just imagine how good Guinness Stew for Sam and Shepherd’s Pie for me tasted in a local pub… all washed down with a nice pint of course. Beautiful.

Dunbeg Fort

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Dunbeg Fort is a promontory fort that dates from the iron age. It is preserved beautifully, and you can see why it was located here. The views are expansive, and on a clear day they are absolutely spectacular! Looking across Dingle Bay, in the far distance you can see the Ring of Kerry and the mountains of Macgillycuddy’s Reeks. For those of you unfamiliar what you are witnessing… let me confirm that yes, the sun was indeed shining!

The Connor Pass

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We had to cross some of the highest mountains in Ireland to get to Dingle, and the steep, narrow road that led us toward the Connor Pass was an adventure! As we climbed into the clouds, the wind and rain picked up considerably, but we still enjoyed the magnificent views along the way.

The Connor Pass is the highest mountain pass in Ireland. It is situated on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, on the road that crosses the peninsula between Dingle Town and the coast the other side. The Mountains the Pass crosses are the Brandon Mountains and contain Ireland’s second highest peak Brandon Mountain at 3127 ft. From Dingle Town the road runs some 4½ miles rising to 1500 ft as it winds its way to the pass. (Irishtourism.com)

Based on the current – and likely normal – climate, the pretty waterfall found about half way up the Connor Pass probably isn’t just seasonal, and when we stopped here to enjoy a sandwich lunch, it was cranking.

Even on an overcast and soggy day, the views from the top of the Connor Pass toward the Atlantic Ocean were stunning. This imposing and impressive road only added to our excitement, and as we hurtled down the other side toward Dingle, we both agreed that there can’t be many stretches of road like this one!