The Landscape Photographer's Cat

Sunset in the west of Ireland with its pink skies Sunset in the west of Ireland with its pink skies Darren McLoughlin

White clouds at sunset tinged pink and orange by the last rays of the setting sun in Ireland's West, blue sky behind; this is a landscape photographer's ideal.

I had made the short trek down to this lake in the west of Ireland, with very changeable conditions earlier in the evening there wasn't much to hope for in terms of landscapes but just as I arrived the skies cleared and some colour burst forth.


With a few options available and dry conditions it was easy to set up the camera, only the quickly fading light presented any reason to work quickly. I took many versions of the familiar landscape presented, a landscape with a multitude of variations and feelings at this time of the day.

And in the middle of all this, the movement of a small animal caught my attention, almost perfectly camouflaged by the rocks and grass it was hard to clearly identify. It slowly made its way towards my position. It couldn't be anything dangerous, we don't have bears or wolves or other such animals in Ireland, our ancestors took care of that unfortunately.

The Landscape Photographer's Cat

As it turned out, it was a stray cat.

A cat that had recently waited for me as I came in off the lake on a recent canoeing trip after following me along the shore - video coming soon for that one but here's a group portrait I took.

I have photographed cats before, pine martens and other animals but to be followed by a friendly feline who spent the next 30 minutes with me as I waited for better light was quite an experience. Alone on the shore of the lake with a furry four-legged companion.

He certainly won't make a good assistant, attention to detail isn't his strong point. But as an expeditionary assistant and location scout, he's pretty good so maybe he will feature more in my landscapes of Ireland.

Now, where did those tuna sandwiches go?


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