Darren McLoughlin

Irishman and International travel photographer in search of the best bits of Ireland. Leading photography tours and experiences in Ireland.

Contributor to New York Times / Sunday Times / Irish Times / Echtra Echtra and Eonmusic

Cancer survivor.

Ask me about travel in Ireland or about photography in Ireland.

Keith Cronin of Cork took victory in the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship opener in Galway on the 3rd and 4th of February 2024 as the Galway International Rally, Ireland's oldest, took place east of Lough Corrib.

The two day event on twisty, bumpy and jumpy roads took place around Headford, north of Galway City and saw Keith Cronin take top spot in his Ford Fiesta after recording fastest times on seven of the event's thirteen stages sponsored by Corrib Oil.

Panoramic Ireland was there to photograph the competitors, see our gallery below.

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The floorboards creak and squeak underfoot and the room echoes to conversations about David Bowie and the images presented on the panels in an upstairs floor of Dublin's Rathfarnham Castle.

This is A Portrait in Flesh, a photographic exhibition by David Bowie's favourite photographer, Denis O'Regan. 

Denis photographed Bowie at more than 200 concerts but also captured many candid scenes on travels with the music legend.

After an extensive look at the various concert scenes and the behind the scenes in black and white and colour, I chat for a time with Denis.

He tells story after story and we chat about various topics photographic from camera bags to digital vs. film photography as well as anecdotes from his time touring with and photographing numerous rock bands including Thin Lizzy and Duran Duran.

A favourite of mine comes from Bangkok 1983 and it features Bowie brandishing a guitar, wearing a cyan blue suit, his left leg aloft and the top of the guitar out of frame. There's a whole load of empty space but his raised left foot and sock matches his guitar and right shirt cuff. We see enough of his face to know it's Bowie, an image full of energy.

But there's something special about the images of Bowie relaxing in boats, walking through a flooded Bangkok showcasing O'Regan's travel documentary style and the Bowie's innate ease in front of the camera.

The exhibition ends on the 11th of February so get a move on to see it or else why not pop into O'Regan's gallery in London at 271 King Street, W6 9QF where his images of many of the 20th century's (and 21st's) greatest musicians are on display from Phil Lynott, Bob Marley, Mick Jagger, The Who, Marillion etc. to Amy Winehouse and Beyoncé.

Thursday, 08 February 2024 16:22

Pine Island, Connemara or Somewhere Tropical?

It was a warm evening in the west of Ireland last summer when we stopped to photograph at the famous Pine Island in Connemara, the western part of Galway.

There wasn't much sunlight left as clouds rolled in for a wet and windy finish to the day but the calm conditions we encountered here made the day's photography more than worthwhile.

An almost perfect reflection, low cloud wisping across the mountains and colourful sunset skies created an image that many say remind them of other places, not so much Ireland.

Even from those who have been here, the scenery is more reminiscent of tropical locales such as the Serengeti in Tanzania.

Pine Island is a place I visit often, join me to improve your photography in Ireland this year - places available throughout 2024.

Pine Island, Connemara, Galway - Ireland
Pine Island, Connemara, Galway - Ireland

Peace descended over the west of Ireland at the end of yet another fine January day.

There was no direct sunset, instead a bank of cloud moved in and the sun slipped in and out of the grey band stretched across the sky, crepuscular rays emanating in many directions for 30 seconds or so at a time.

Ducks quacked, geese honked as the countryside began to darken before the long night, the time after sunset that we call the blue hour.

After many storms Ireland is experiencing an extended calm with respite from the incessant rain and wind of the last week of December which saw several storms including Gerrit, Pia, Geraldine and Henk.

I have been out photographing in the countryside and in Dublin this week and Panoramic Ireland's photography workshops and tours are open to book every day of the week throughout Ireland, subject to availability.

Join me to photograph in Ireland.

It's no secret that the West of Ireland is one of Panoramic Ireland's favourite places.

Join me in 2024 to photograph in the beautiful scenic surroundings of Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Donegal.

Here, the first sunset of 2024 in the west as the sun heads for the horizon. 

We've had the solstice on December 22nd, 2023 and around now, early January we see the mornings getting brighter earlier here in Ireland.

The winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year and from then on the sunset gets a little later until the start of January when sunrises also become a little earlier. 

So, lots to look forward to even though January and February are the coldest months on average in Ireland.

The days continue to get longer.

Panoramic Ireland's photography workshops and tours are running right through the coldest months, the spring and the warmest months of the year in Ireland - all year round - Join me when you visit Ireland.

Storm Gerrit has raged across Ireland bringing stormy winds and rain in December 2023.

Here, a flooded landscape with water levels rising rapidly, covering ground passable just the day before as sunset approaches along with crepuscular rays in the colourful but ominous sky.

Storm Gerrit has brought severe winds, flooding and downed trees across Ireland as well as snow across parts of Scotland.

Storm Henk it seems will also be an incredibly windy event happening from Saturday December 30th bringing up to 100mph or 160km/h gusts of wind across the west of Ireland.

This will mark the third named storm, includig Pia, Gerrit and Henk to hit Ireland over Christmas and the New Year.

And expect more flooding.

From a photographic point of view, storms can provide opportunities to photograph amazing and incredible scenes but always with caution, particularly near the coast and watercourses.

Panoramic Ireland photographs in all weather, from the west of Ireland to inner city Dublin. Join me to learn more about landscape, street and architectural photography.

Storm Gerrit rolled in after Christmas this year, but in the calm between the storms with Pia denying Ireland a white Christmas, a break in the weather to give a beautiful Christmas Day sunset here in the west of Ireland.

Colour and cloud combined in the sky over Ireland's wild west as seen here.

2023 saw me photographing sunsets, sunrises and scenery from January to December.

Above, the latest gorgeous sunset and here another two.

One from the start of the year when there was little snow but enough here to be obvious in the landscape even if only at altitude.

Above the Snowline in Ireland, Winter in the Mountains
Above the Snowline in Ireland, Winter in the Mountains

 

And in the middle of the year, a late evening sunset of mountains, lakes and wooded islands.

Summer Scenic Sunset in the West of Ireland
Summer Scenic Sunset in the West of Ireland

 

Panoramic Ireland will of course be photographing throughout 2024 and you can join us on a photography workshop or tour in the Irish countryside.

I don’t think County Antrim’s Dark Hedges need much of an introduction. The visually stunning avenue of beech trees have arguably become one of the most famous stretches of road in the world.

Certainly, it must be Ireland’s most photographed road.

Having appeared for a few brief seconds in HBO’s Game of Thrones the once unknown row of 300 year old beeches are now often overrun by tourists, many thousands arriving throughout a typical day en route to the Giant’s Causeway, Dunluce Castle or covering a dedicated Game of Thrones tour.

The tree tunnel is surely a photographer’s dream with its intertwining overhead branches and large tree trunks of silvery bark that take on the colour of the weather and lighting.

Originally there were around 150 beech trees planted along what was the avenue to Gracehill House at the end of the 18th century, built by the Stuart family - now almost 250 years old there are only 86 mature beech trees left.

And as of next week, there may be 11 fewer; after examination more of the Dark Hedges will be cut and significantly or taken to the stump leaving at least 75 healthy trees. Six are to be removed for definite.

This work is being carried out because of the age and neglect of this man-made natural wonder over recent decades, with lofty boughs breaking and posing potential risk to the visitors underneath.

 

Dark Hedges with Damaged Trees
Dark Hedges with Damaged Trees

 

So, will the Dark Hedges still be worth visiting in 2024? Yes I do think so, if you can get here without the crowds then yes. The location has lost a lot of its charm, having gone from grassy and shrubby verges to muddy and unsightly but for the photographer there are still elements worth photographing here.

 

Large Gaps at the Dark Hedges
Large Gaps at the Dark Hedges

 

And it will be a long time yet before all of the trees reach end of life. Of course the new trees being planted will take a longer time again to develop into what has been a quiet tourism site for decades.

 

 

Join Panoramic Ireland in 2024 to photograph the Dark Hedges, the Antrim Coast and all of its beauty spots.

 

An ominous start to the week with Storm Debi set to blast Ireland with storm force winds.

A status red warning, the highest level in Ireland for weather events, has been issued for Clare, Galway, Roscommon, Offaly and Westmeath.

Interestingly they have singled out East Galway and South Roscommon even though it looks from the map that North Tipperary, formerly an actual distinct part of the Premier County, should also be included. Especially as Nenagh in North Tipperary is forecast to get 68km/h winds while Birr in County Offaly is only expecting 57km/h and Ballinalsoe, East Galway is only forecast to get 50km/h.

There has to be a better method rather than relying solely on county boundaries, especially as places like Birr in County Offaly is only 1km from County Tipperary.

Anyhow, an orange weather warning is in effect for Tipperary, Carlow, Laois, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Longford, Louth, Meath, Cavan, Monaghan, Kerry and Limerick with the rest of Ireland under a yellow weather warning.

**Update** And indeed, as of 20:32 this evening, Met Eireann have updated more counties to red including: Clare Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, Galway and Roscommon from 02:00 - 05:00 Monday 13/11/2023 with Dublin, Kildare, Laois, Louth, Meath, Wicklow, Offaly and Westmeath under a red warning from 05:00-08:00. Orange is in effect for most of these counties as well until 10:00.

Keep an eye out on met.ie for updates including upgrading and downgrading of weather warnings.

There is also a status red marine warning, get those boats into harbour.

Keep safe and dry, best not to make any unnecessary journeys.

Thursday, 09 November 2023 00:12

Adobe Lightroom - Finding Previous Import

I read recently online, someone asking for help to find previously imported images in Adobe Lightroom. They had set a location, imported and after changing folders couldn't find where they had imported images to.

It sounds like a simple fix, and in a way it is, but sometimes it can be confusing and until you get to know your software there is that time when this kind of thing can occur - is it on an external drive, date based folders or all thrown together in one big folder? Or indeed a combination of these.

Thankfully Lightroom has a few ways of helping out in this case.

 

I'm in a folder in Lightroom, but not the images I'm looking for
I'm in a folder in Lightroom, but not the images I'm looking for
  • Go to Library (G) or Loupe (E) view and in the Catalog panel on the left column look for Previous Import, this will bring you to your most recent import.

 

Previous Import in Adobe Lightroom
Previous Import in Adobe Lightroom
  • And if you need to find the location that these images are stored in, right click on any of the images and choose Show in Explorer

 

Adobe Lightroom - Right Click > Show in ExplorerAdobe Lightroom - Right Click > Show in Explorer
  • This will bring up in Windows Explorer the actual folder that the images are stored in.

That's it, now you know how to find your most recently imported images in Adobe Lightroom, like this one of a colourful autumnal woodland path from Ireland.

 

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