A Waterford Seascape | The Land that Time Forgot – Waterford, Ireland

In the early morning light a gentle sea mist roles in obscuring Burke's Island from view, on Kilfarressy Cove on the Copper Coast of Waterford in Ireland

Burke’s Island, no more than a large sea rock, it carries such a presence in Kilfarressy Cove; it’s the first thing you see when you pull up the car in the carpark. While I have visited this cove numerous times, and have already published images this image is actually from my very first trip, back in October 2014. And how lucky I was, not only arriving during a perfectly calm dawn of beautiful muted colours, but to also witness a low lying gentle mist rolling across the sea, partly obscuring the Island. Anytime I see this island now I am reminded of this moment, and my first thought of “The Land that Time Forgot”. Those white flecks perched on the top of the island are actually birds, and if you were to zoom in to the image you can make them out clearly, and I confess that every time I do I half expect to see some dinosaurs! 🙂

I think this is a good example of where I needed time and space to figure out how to prepare this image for print. I loved the frame from the moment I captured it, and no doubt a lot of that is wrapped up to the full experience of being there. I took it 2.5 years ago though, so why did it take me so long to process and publish? The question I asked myself every time I reviewed it was, How?; how do I process this image to draw out the emotions I felt when shooting it, to portray to the viewer the idea that this is indeed The Land that Time Forgot

For a start it’s a low contrast image, unsurprisingly. But beyond the low contrast scene, I shot it with a Mamiya Sekor 80mm Medium Format lens, and while this lens is beautifully sharp it tends towards a low contrast rendition, particularly with long exposure times; the resulting file was much lower contrast then the actual scene. When I eventually felt ready to sit down and process this frame my first decision was how much contrast to reintroduce. I knew I wanted to draw out the island, and also highlight that gorgeous glowing mist, but I did not want to create too much contrast in either the sky nor the foreground sea; however I did want to create a little body in the clouds. And that is precisely where I started, adding a little contrast and clarity to the island and mist, and some additional contrast to the clouds.

I would love to hear your thoughts.

A Waterford Seascape | Sunset over Sheep Island – Waterford Ireland

“Give light and people will find the way” ~ Ella Baker

I am, without doubt, in love with the stunning Copper Coast. It is like a candy store for me, full of rugged coastline, rough-edge cliffs, sea-stacks, and little islands standing close to shore. Oh and sea-stacks… did I mention the sea-stacks? 🙂

This image is from one of the many easily accessible coves dotted around the coastline, called Caher Cove. Captured this time last year during a beautifully calm sunset, it shows Sheep Island in the background. I cannot wait to get back to the Copper Coast, and will be co-leading a Workshop with Athena in April. Why not join us and book your place.

An Antrim Landscape | Faded Glory – Antrim, Northern Ireland

Storm clouds sweep overhead, above the ancient ruins of Dunluce Castle located close to the Giants Causeway on the Antrim Coast in Northern Ireland in the Black and White image.

We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” ~ Jawaharlal Nehru

The medieval Dunluce Castle is fascinating, perched on the very edge of the dramatic coastal cliffs of the Antrim Coastline in Northern Ireland. It’s physical drama is matched by it’s tumultuous history, dating back to around 1500. The castle is surrounded by extremely steep drops on either side which provides some super photographic opportunities. I published an image in 2014 entitled Storm Clouds Gather showing just how much drama those steep drops provide. Today however I am sharing an image taken from within the ruined castles itself.

I can’t believe I will return to this location, and others along the stunning Causeway Coast later this month, to lead with Athena Carey the first of two Photography Workshops we have planned for this location in 2016. Why not join us?

Copper Coast Sunset

We’re starting to get excited about our next workshop in the Copper Coast!  Join us for some gorgeous seaside sunsets April 22 – 24, 2016. 🙂

Find out more and register

Ominous cloud over Caher Cove.

Can’t make it in April?  We’ll be back in the Copper Coast September 16 – 18, 2016.


From Instagram – Copper Coast Sunrise

An Antrim Seascape | Morning’s Light over Ballycastle – Antrim, Ireland

Morning's Light over Ballycastle

“Ideas are one thing and what happens is another.” ~ John Cage

I cannot believe we are only 5 months from Light, Land & Sea’s first Photographic Tour, to the stunning Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland. On May 31st Athena Carey & I will be collecting our guests from Dublin Airport and sweeping them off to spend 6 days photographing along the beautiful Co. Antrim coastline. You can find out all you need to know over on Light, Land & Sea’s June 2015 Photographic Tour page.

This image was captured during our September trip while we were finalising all the details with our Hotel, Executive Coach Company and Blue Badge Guide. I took this during a somewhat changeable morning where we had a beautiful soft sunrise followed very quickly by some heavy rain clouds sweeping in, making for some dramatic skies. This old Fisherman’s Pier is just one of the exciting locations on our tour, and I am really looking forward to returning to shoot it again in a few months. Will you be joining us?

An Antrim Seascape | Dusk at Ballintoy Harbour – Antrim, Ireland

The sun sets over the peaceful Ballintoy Harbour siutated along the Causeway Coastal route in Northern Ireland

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going” ~ Beverly Sills

I am really excited to publishing this new image today as it was captured during my recent trip to the beautiful Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland. In my last post I spoke briefly about the trip I had taken with my good friend Athena Carey, and alluded to something exciting in the works. Today I’d like to talk a little more about that something.

Say hello to Light, Land & Sea, a joint venture between Athena and I, and our aim is to offer Unique Photographic Adventures.

What is this all about John? Photo tours, with a difference, that’s what! So what makes this so different? Quite simply because we are offering the best of both worlds – photography focused but so much more. You will have the opportunity to photograph some of the most beautiful locations, both well-known and special “hidden gems”, while simultaneously receiving insight into the heritage and history of these locations through expert local Guides. We believe that getting to know places in this way affects your reaction to them and results in photographs with more depth and intensity. In addition to all the great photographic opportunities we will have many cultural activities such as local entertainment, wine and whiskey tastings, cultural performances and the very best in authentic cuisine.

Our tours are aimed at everyone interested in photography, from the average ‘Point & Shooter’ who would like to learn to take better photos, to the experienced photographer looking for ways to refine his craft.

And guess where our first tour takes place? Yup, in my very own country of Ireland; along the stunning Causeway Coast in June next year. You will photograph some of the most iconic locations such as the Giants Causeway, as well as some lesser known local gems, stay at the very best hotel, be transported in a luxury coach, be immersed in the history and folklore of the region by our expert Blue Badge Guide, enjoy dining at some of the finest restaurants, enjoy a private tour of Bushmills Whiskey Distillery, and so much more.

I am so excited about this new venture, and feel Athena and I are offering something truly unique. We cannot wait to share it with you. We will announce the details of the tour including opening it up for registration in the coming weeks. For now why not pop over to the Light, Land & Sea website and sign-up to the newsletter so you can be first to know.