Over the years I have covered most of the coast on the south end of the country looking for surfable waves.
(its like an addiction, once you get locked into serious wave hunting, the tendency is to push it as far as you can….)
It’s these wanderings that really developed my love for photography. As the saying goes, pics or it didn’t happen! So I would always tote a camera with me to prove to my friends I wasn’t mad and there really were waves in some of these far flung locations. Over the years, it slowly started to becoming about the pictures and finding the waves wasn’t as important.
Well, the first time I stumbled across this location it had been on a real mission to find surf and we gave it no more than a passing glance, as pretty rocks were not as important as finding waves. I have been there once or twice since but in the middle of the day, or in the rain and it just had never really came alive for me as a image so it was always there in the back of my mind to try get back down that direction again and actually make an image or two.
No matter what, there is always some level of planning goes into a image, even if its just remembering to bring a camera with you, but this was going to be at best, a four and a half hour round trip, so a little more thought was needed.
There was going to be no point being there is the sunset and tides did not tie up, so the first stop was The Photographers Ephemeris an absolutely indispensable little bit of software for knowing sunrise/sunsets.
And I used accuweather to check the tides to make sure there would be plenty of water about. Accuweater was also fantastic to check we would actually have a sunset waiting for us. Interesting clouds, possible thunderstorms predicted, an ideal day out.
Next, was how long this was actually going to take to get there as the last thing you want is to be running round like mad as the light drops trying to find the best possible composition. So the plan was to tip away down for early in the afternoon so we would be under no pressure and be well set for that golden hour.
While it is always more about the journey then the destination, we still wanted to have time on our side when we got to that destination.
So as we pottered down a road I have travelled many many times, the van was pulled to a screeching halt. A field of wildflowers, a lone tree, mountains! If that didn’t deserve some attention nothing does!
It was mid afternoon, so not ideal, but its been filed away in the memory banks now for another visit on a more opportune time.
One of the best things about pottering is just having the time to stop and take in the details you might normally drive straight past. Like a man selling free range eggs from the door of his house. Now, it did help, this was the view from the door of his house. Up onto the roof of my van to try capture a panorama to really show the beauty of the road less travelled.
As we drove further still, I was becoming anxious of the building clouds. Maybe it was going to be too much and the sunset would be obscured. Thankfully, no. It was just perfect. The place is truly special, just an amazing geological formation that lends itself oh so well to the joys of landscape photography. Over the years the area was always synonymous for copper mining which means the rock really has some fantastic tones coming through.
Equipment wise, I used a Canon 5diii, a 16-35mm, a Lee Big stopper and a .6 grad and a arcatech head for the pano and a huge shout out to www.wildsidesport.ie who supply me with all my outdoor equipment but most important of all, the good pair of boots that are the most vital aspect of all your landscape photography equipment.