Embracing Everything – Donegal Part 1
Im going wild and embracing all before me where the landscape is concerned.
It was just fantastic to be back out shooting this past weekend in the majestic Donegal. For those of you unfamiliar with our fair Isle (that’s Ireland by the way), Donegal is located right in the north west. It’s totally and utterly underrated as an area of natural beauty in Ireland. We have so many great locations to shoot here. Kerry is amazing, the Cliffs of Moher will knock your socks off and no question Giants Causeway is a unique area of stunning natural beauty. But Donegal has the beaches. World class cove after cove. Really its totally relentless and I was in my element this weekend.
Let’s be honest here for a moment. 4.50am sunrise is just not pleasant. The alarm rings in your ear at 3.30am and I’d only got back from sunset at 11pm. It took me a few minutes every morning to process the sound, contextualise where the hell it was coming from, figure out why the hell it was ringing, then push through to get up and get going. Post breakfast naps (like 3 hours essential). Then again it hasn’t been an ordinary year, the hotels in Ireland only opened in early June and this was our only window to get out and get going. And man did I enjoy it. Despite the bleary eyes, and hints of exhaustion the weekend for me was sooooo enjoyable. Being with people again, really good people, out shooting in the landscape, what more could you ask for?
The Crew in Action in Donegal
There were a few tired heads after a long day but we were treated to some amazing light. Great to be with other humans in the landscape again.
And that brings me neatly full circle. I’ve been shooting super minimal and low sat during lockdown working on some specific new exhibitions. I’m going to continue to work this way but what this weekend brought me back to was the sheer transformative effect of nature, I want to embrace it all. Gentle and pastel, low sat and high sat, epic and minimal. It all has a place. I love it all and I want more.
So watch this space over the coming weeks. Blogs of contrasting style coming soon. Different styles but all unmistakenly connected to the raw beauty of Donegal and a homage to freedom and nature
The Epic Beaches of Donegal
There’s nowhere quite like the beaches of Donegal. We were getting cut off by the incoming tides but we managed to shoot some of these stunning rocks with a great sky before the tide cut us off and we dashed across the beach.
Tech Details: f11 at 1/4 of a second, Nikon d850 14 – 24 lens. Lee Filters .9 soft grad ND. Also blending for the highlight as the sun was too intense to hold in. I used some minus clarity and dehaze in this bright area to soften things up a bit and make the blend easier.
The Subtle Beaches of Donegal
Here’s a quick edit epitomising for me the perfect beauty of Donegal’s clean coastline. While the light can be transformative, even on overcast days there is a gentle beauty to these locations that is simply soothing to the soul.
Tech Details: f11 at 30 seconds. Nikon d850 and 70 – 200 lens. I used a Lee 10 stop Stop ND to get the 30 second exposure. Plus my Lee .9 soft grad to hold in the sky. Getting the white balance right and some extra contrast in the foreground was key in terms of finishing the image in Lightroom and Photoshop.
Apps, weather, clouds, predicting colour, tides, what light, what technique, backlight, sidelight and more.
A hugely detailed examination of the factors to consider when planning your landscape shoots plus what techniques you should employ to deal with what conditions.
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