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.

Tickets for Ireland's biggest music festival, Electric Picnic 2023, will go on sale this week on Friday 9th of December.

Some of the headline acts for EP23 have been announced and include Billie Eilish, Lewis Capaldi and Niall Horan.

Find more information on tickets here.

 

Tuesday, 06 December 2022 23:48

Colourful Christmas in Dublin

I have written about Dublin at Christmas before, the city is of course well known for its nightlife and vibrant culture but recently Dublin has made it on to the Conde Nast Traveller best cities for Christmas list.

And I would have to agree, there are plenty of bars, lots of great museums and sights to see.

Strangely though the authors did suggest that it is somehow typical here in Dublin to eat black pudding on a night out "There’s no better way to warm up on a cold Christmas night than with some black pudding and a few pints—"  and this very line has raised a few chuckles from many Irish people, because no one eats black pudding in this way.

Of course, when you are here why not take a Dublin Photography Tour with Panoramic Ireland, it's one of the best ways to see Dublin and is an activity that doesn't involve drinking.

Thursday, 01 December 2022 22:40

Reflections from Dublin's Custom House

Dublin's Custom House is no stranger to the pages of Panoramic Ireland, the iconic structure was finished in 1791 and has been probably Dublin's most recognisable building ever since.

Architect James Gandon designed and oversaw the construction of the Custom House, literally the place where taxes or customs were paid on good coming in to and out of Dublin.

Built with Portland stone, a fine white limestone from the south of England, the Custom House exuded a strong sense of authority over the merchants in Dublin yet the location was obsolete by the time it was finished as the main port operations had moved much further downstream to accommodate larger ships of the late 18th and early 19th century.

The Custom House is seen here with half reflections on a calm River Liffey affected by a little wind.

Panoramic Ireland's Dublin Photo Tours are the original in Ireland and run all year round - learn how to improve your photography with a private experience from an Irish photographer who has worked for the biggest names in the travel and publishing world.

Wednesday, 30 November 2022 23:48

Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin

Sunset on Saint Patrick's Cathedral, one of Dublin's most famous buildings.

Founded on the site of Saint Patrick's conversion of a local pagan to Christianity in the 5th century, the first reference to the site dates from the 9th century but it is 1212AD before the church becomes a cathedral.

The original tower was destroyed and rebuilt in 1370, the spire as seen here pointing skywards was added much later.

Interestingly there was a university founded here at Saint Patrick's in 1320 that, had it still been in existence, would be the 10th oldest university in the world.

Join Panoramic Ireland to photograph Irish, and Dublin, scenes.

Photography workshops and tours available all year round, throughout Ireland.

Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland
Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland

Panoramic Ireland's Dublin Photo Tours don't stop during the winter, we enjoy photographing all year round in Dublin and throughout Ireland.

Just have a look through the Blog section for more.

Here from one of our photography workshops in Dublin this week, the colours of the Convention Centre set to those of the Irish Tricolour - Green, White and Orange.

And of course, this time of year is a good point to think about buying a voucher for friends and family to use throughout the year.

Tuesday, 15 November 2022 13:38

Get Up and Get Out, Photography at Sunrise

There can be no doubt that the best times of day to photograph are around sunrise and sunset with the combination of colours and gentle light.

But if I had to choose one of these, it would be sunrise.

The day is just getting started and there is a sense of privilege to be had when standing in the countryside or by the coast welcoming the warmth of the morning sun. Birds are chirping and chattering, calling to each other and on most occasions there are so few people around it's a solitary pleasure to view and photograph.

Even in the city sunrise can be a good choice.

It does obviously depend on what you want to photograph and its location, whether sunrise or sunset works better but sunrise is definitely my preference.

Of course, some locations really do suit only one or the other, Ireland's famed Cliffs of Moher one.

And it doesn't always follow that east is for sunrise and west is for sunset. Direct light from the sun is not always required for a colourful sunrise photograph.

Sunrise photography does involve getting up and getting out early, or sometimes in summer, staying out during the night for the early light in Ireland's northerly latitudes but it's always worth it.

Join Panoramic Ireland to photograph in the Irish countryside at sunrise.

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Monday, 14 November 2022 15:46

Golden Colour on the Autumn Road, Ireland

Bright golden autumn colour on one of Ireland's many back roads.

While some Irish thoroughfares get all the attention, The Dark Hedges and Grafton Street being two prime examples, the country is accessible from a dense network of small back roads that, in many places, are incredibly scenic.

Just colour here beside a small river, enough to make you want to stop and just take it all in for the few weeks of autumn every year.

The season is changing now and after lots of windy but warm weather recently most of the leaves are off the trees. The bare season of winter is nearly here.

Scenic and Colourful Irish Road in Autumn
Scenic and Colourful Irish Road in Autumn

Polarising filters are probably the most important filters in photography. 

To understand when to use polarisers, it is important to understand reflectance.

Simply put, reflectance is defined as a "measure of the ability of a surface to reflect light or other electromagnetic radiation". 

While the polariser hasn't changed the amount of light leaving the surface of the an object, in this case bracken on the hillside, it has remained the same - but the polariser has prevented some of that light from reaching the lens and sensor.

In this case, the striking green landscape of Ireland's Wicklow Mountains, we can easily see the difference between the polarised and non-polarised image.

Blue hour and golden hour are the ideal times of day for coastal landscape photography.

Here, a small sea stack and vertical cliffs on Ireland's Atlantic coast catch the end of the evening's direct light, the warmth of which lends its name to the time of day - the golden hour as the light half of the year ends in Ireland.

Panoramic Ireland run seascape and landscape photography classes, workshops and tours all year round and right through the winter in Ireland.

To find out more use the contact page or email me.

There's a magic to be had photographing landscapes, a dependence upon the weather and, at the coast, the tide.

Planning for time of day, to catch the golden hour and the tide at the right time of course takes some of the uncertainty away but the Irish weather can provide interesting challenges.

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Seascape Sea Stack at Sunset, Irish Coast
Seascape Sea Stack at Sunset, Irish Coast

Users of Serif's Affinity Photo software have something big to look forward to in the coming week. 

The company have announced a major update of some kind coming to the line-up.

"...a next-level creative experience..."

Speculation is that it could be a video editing program that would add to the company's current photography, graphic design and desktop publishing offerings.

Or it could be an Adobe Lightroom style addition to Affinity Photo, a program that really has no competition yet.

 

 

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