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.

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.

 

Dublin's Portobello is a large block of the south inner city stretching from the Grand Canal in the south to Kevin Street at Saint Patrick's Cathedral in the north and from Clanbrassil Street in the west to the eastern boundary at Wexford/Camden/Richmond Streets.

Comprising the leafy canal, leafy parks and leafy avenues this is one of Dublin's most desirable neighbourhoods.

Portobello lies within easy walking distance of the city centre, the Luas runs close by at Charlemont and buses head in and out along the south circular road.

Griffith College sits close by and anyone familar with the area will know of the area's regeneration over recent years.

Parts of Portobello have seen new developments, particularly in the east close to Richmond Street.

Portobello is definitely a sought after place to live.

Here's a fine property that I recently had the privilege of viewing, up for sale currently - but I'm sure not for long.

Colourful Interior of 25 Ovoca Road, Portobello, Dublin
Colourful Interior of 25 Ovoca Road, Portobello, Dublin

The beautifully proportioned front room is a perfect cube, looking out onto a quiet residential street with plenty of parking for residents.

This three bedroom, three bath villa-style house is on the market for €775,000 with Owen Reilly, find out more here: https://www.myhome.ie/residential/brochure/25-ovoca-road-portobello-dublin/4735851

Located just steps away from renowned eatery Bibi's, 25 Ovoca Road is a perfect location for those who want to be close to the action but live in a quiet, residential area.

Bibi's Cafe Portobello
Bibi's Cafe Portobello
Tuesday, 24 October 2023 14:06

Ballinastoe Woods, Wicklow

Wicklow is not short of scenic locations for photography and one of the most scenic of them all is Ballinastoe Woods.

Here, a boardwalk ascends through the forest, part of a long walking route through the mountains and Irish countryside.

It's easy to imagine this place as enchanted, inhabited perhaps by a púca, one of the mythological creatures in Irish and European folklore.

Soft clear light, soft red pine needles and soft green moss add to the atmosphere of the woods as a special place, as seen here in autumn.

Mischievous in nature and seen as wicked or benevolent depending on the story, there is no doubt that an encounter with a púca would be very eventful.

As we reach Hallowe'en, based on the Irish festival of Samhain at the end of October, we arrive at the traditional day of the púca on November 1st.

So, as you leave the brighter parts of the woods take care in those darker, quiet areas for it might not be a badger that you encounter but a naughty púca; treat it with respect and I'm sure you'll be fine.

Here's another enchanted woodland that I photographed: https://panoramicireland.com/photo-tours-blog/116-ancient-woodland-co-kerry-ireland

Wednesday, 18 October 2023 16:14

Colour of Autumn in Ireland

Lots of colour in places as we head towards the end of October, the recent good spell of warm weather is over and colder, more usual, temperatures have followed.

A proliferation of non-green colours, but actually there is still plenty of green after a summer without extreme heat or an overabundance of sunshine.

It's an incredibly scenic time of year here in Ireland and perfect for photography even if we can't guarantee the weather it's always possible to photograph interesting scenes in the right lighting.

Join Panoramic Ireland to photograph in Ireland, in autumn, winter, spring and summer.

Autumn is on its way here in Ireland, as we stopped to photograph the woodland stream beech leaves were falling constantly, not in large numbers but solely and constantly like the lightest snowfall.

Seen here, the bright reds of those fallen beech leaves lying on rich green moss-covered rocks alongside the woodland stream.

I'm sure there is some statistical analysis that can be done to predict whether a leaf will fall from its petiole, 20 metres to the ground, to land and become part of the photographer's image or be swiftly carried along by the stream which is fast-flowing and narrow, wide and slow in places, to flow towards the sea.

Or indeed to be thrown on to a rock and deposited there as higher water recedes.

The green moss here vibrant from recent wet weather, the same precipitation that feeds the stream and helps to bring those dried leaves to the ground.

And it's a scenic sight, reds and greens saturating this small corner of the Irish countryside.

Join me, Panoramic Ireland, to photograph in Ireland's woodlands in autumn, spring, summer and why not in winter too - literally all year round; improve your landscape photography on location.

Tuesday, 03 October 2023 00:35

Misty Woodland Corner, October in Ireland

I did say that Ireland is a scenic place in October in a recent post here and I did promise more from the October archives as well as current images from October 2023 as I travel throughout Ireland.

Here, a small woodland in rain and mist with autumnal foliage in a scene that could be from any era of photography.

The challenge on this morning was to keep the camera dry, but amazingly the afternoon turned to bright sunshine and all with a warm breeze.

Join me, Panoramic Ireland, to find scenes like these in different parts of Ireland from Antrim, to Cork, to Dublin to Galway.

It's well and truly that time of year again, Autumn is here in Ireland with clear blue skies and changing leaf colours.

That of course means colour, lots of it, as seen in this image.

A lone sycamore tree stands guard over the small stream as it flows through an empty landscape under a bright and colourful sky with white clouds and sheep grazing on grass nearby.

Of course we have heard a lot recently about a more famous lone sycamore, the one cut down at Sycamore Gap along Hadrian's Wall in England.

We enjoyed bright sunshine at the end of September here in Ireland's uplands as sheep grazed all around. 

Traditionally the start of August marks the begining of autumn in Ireland, meteorologically though September begins the season.

I have written before that October is one of my favourite months in Ireland and is definitely a time you should consider visiting the Emerald Isle.

Join Panoramic Ireland to photograph Ireland at its best in October, May and the rest of the year.

If you can't travel to Ireland, consider helping to keep Panoramic Ireland going by donating to cover the costs of maintaining the site and travelling through Ireland.

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