For many of us, the greatest joy in photography is to travel to far-away lands, seeking idyllic locations, that we can only dream about, and then do our very best to capture them. But do we need to travel to capture perfect sights? All around us are places of beauty waiting to be captured and we pass them every day.
We don’t need to go to great expense or travel thousands of miles; dramatic places are found in every corner of every land. But then I do have one of the world’s best locations on my doorstep: the west coast of Ireland.
While the wet weather can keep me indoors for weeks on end, the winter months bring harsh, but inspiring light, where a rugged Irish Landscape thrives.
No more so than a scenic National Park, five miles outside Killarney town, on the west coast of Ireland. Killarney National Park, filled with towering hills and romantic lakes, still remains one of Irelands most unspoiled treasures.
It’s one of those places where my senses come alive; its varied landscape and rugged, yet accessible, mountain range, is a favourite spot with many and a place where I like to spend a lot of time. Its shapely mountain peaks make it a perfect spot to photograph, especially during the cold and icy winter months.
All we need in photography is a different approach. Each season brings its own elements, and winter is no exception. Using our photography skills at the correct time of day can vastly improve our pictures. If you are serious about photography, dawn is the time to be up and about. At this hour, the colours of the sky cast a brilliant orange-red hue that will add mood and character to any setting.
There are also other elements which make winter special. An early morning ramble through the woods can be a perfect start to any day. Our forests are full of great photo opportunities, and an early stroll around deserted woodland can be a remarkable experience.
Rivers and valleys are also prime locations for early morning snaps. If a damp day is followed by a cold night there may be some low-lying mist hanging around. Mist or no mist, an early start works best.
Last light of the day is also an excellent time to be out and about. The evening sun can explode a variety of colours across the sky as it sets for the day. If the sun shines at the beginning or the end of the day, the colour of the light will be much warmer, and will lead to a much more dramatic scene.
So as winter looms, I gather my belongings and head west to capture the mood of the harsh Irish winter, and start the quest for new seasonal images. It certainly isn’t time to put away the camera. Winter brings plenty of great photo opportunities, tougher conditions to work in, but just as satisfactory as any other season.