Inside the Art – An Irish Man’s Diary

Natures Blanket – Glenmacnass, Wicklow, Ireland

It’s the very first post in the series so I thought I better start with a photograph that’s gone over well before. An image made in some of the finest landscape Ireland has to offer – Wicklow National Park – shot on 67 transparency from the Wild Garden Project. Irish art at 6 am.

heather-sunrise-glenmacnass=026

But there’s more. The art of landscape photography in Ireland or anywhere for that matter, is at its best during those short periods of time when colour is in full bloom. I find intensity of colour for heather to be at its best for photography in Wicklow at the end of August.

I had wandered this stretch of river numerous times looking for some great foreground shape to compliment the intensity of the heather colour. After some searching I came across this little stretch that spilt in the centre bringing the eye beautifully through the scene. I knew that first light would hit the distant mountains so now all I needed was the perfect conditions.

Checklist for Sunrise late August 2009

I had:
–       good foreground interest with dynamic colour and shape
–       a previsualised idea with desirable outcome for completed Irish art
–       motivation and desire to get up at silly o clock to get the job done

I needed:
–       sidelight at sunrise
–       a balance of clouds and light
–       no wind so the heather in the foreground would stay still during a long sunrise exposure at ISO 50

The weather forecast wasn’t looking good during my optimum time frame. I visited the location 3 times in 2009 but just didn’t get the right light for the shot. The colour faded to Autumn and no shot materialised.

Checklist for Sunrise late August 2010

I had:
–       good foreground interest with dynamic colour and shape
–       a previsualised idea with desirable outcome for completed Irish art
–       motivation and desire to get up at silly o clock to get the job done

On my second visit in 2010 everything just came together. The sidelight was perfect, the clouds were present, the wind sat down and the colour was intense. I just let the velvia do the rest. Sometimes we just turn up and everything comes together at once. Where landscape photography is concerned its more likely that you need to turn up lots of times to get the desired result. So if you have a shot in mind don’t give up after the first attempt. Trek through the bog at ridiculous hours of the day on numerous occasions. You never know it might just be worth it!!

Technical Specs:   Pentax 67, Velvia 50, f16 at 4 seconds, 3 stop hard graduated neutral density filter

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One thought on “Inside the Art – An Irish Man’s Diary

  1. Great -and you use proper stuff–Velvia 50–“artist’s film!”–lovely scene-and cloud “balance!”
    Until very recently I was printing Velvia slides on Ilfochrome polyester paper!
    Sadly the demise of the chemistry put pay to the fun! –(digital–?)

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