Displaying items by tag: northern ireland

Monday, 11 April 2022 21:25

Spring at the Giant's Causeway

The Giant's Causeway needs no introduction here on Panoramic Ireland, it's a favourite place to photograph.

Here a quiet moment in spring looking up towards the headland along the basalt columns in contrast to the images below that show the columns and the dramatic, crashing waves of the North Atlantic.

Throughout 2022 I will be returning here to one of my favourite places to photograph, at the Giant's Causeway, many times.

Published in Photo Tours
Friday, 03 December 2021 00:21

Landscape of Smoke and Fire, Ireland

From a high vantage point in the drumlin country of County Armagh, I spotted a large plume of smoke heading into the atmosphere.

At first I thought it must be an industrial unit on fire, because of the sheer volume; this was no chimney fire.

As I descended to lower ground, I could see that it was coming from the direction of Newry, County Down, so I headed in the direction of the town and followed the dark skies close to main road.

Eventually I found a close place to observe and photograph the inferno.

Published in Miscellaneous

Today, August 31st, marks the end of summer - meteorologically speaking - as the three hottest months of the year have now passed.

The weather has already begun to change with cooler temperatures and full, grey skies overhead in recent days.

That of course doesn't mean that the good weather is gone for the year.

Oh no, we are just about to get into the brightly coloured season of autumn where we still get plenty of sunshine and all that character in the countryside.

Why not join me, Panoramic Ireland to photograph in autumn, winter, spring or summer in Ireland.

End of Summer Sunset, Elephant Rock, Antrim Coast, Ireland
End of Summer Sunset, Elephant Rock, Antrim Coast, Ireland
Published in Guide

July 2021 has brought some interesting weather to the island of Ireland with a new record for Northern Ireland set in Armagh at 31.4 degrees Celsius. Unusually for summer, Ireland has had warmer temperatures than neighbouring Britain for much of the month and a 'Tropical Night' was recorded when night-time temperatures didn't drop below 20C.

So far the hottest place has been Armagh with a recorded temperature of 31.4 Celsius on July 22nd 2021.

Known as the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland, with both the heads of the Catholic Church and Church of Ireland being based in the city founded by Saint Patrick in 444AD, Armagh sits in a drumlin belt (hills created by the movement of ice across the landscape) that stretches across Ireland from County Down on the Irish Sea to County Mayo on the Atlantic.

Here, overlooking the City of Saints and Scholars, both of Armagh's cathedrals dedicated to the patron saint of Ireland can be seen in the green landscape of the lush Irish summer countryside. In the distance the twin peaks of Sawel and Dart in the Sperrins - a mountain range running through Tyrone and Derry.

Published in Guide

Sometimes I get asked if the non-summer months, or at least October to March, are good for photography in Ireland.

And of course the answer is yes. The autumn, winter and spring months hold some fantastic clear light days, moody overcast conditions, fog, burst of colour and often storms.

These months also typically have fewer tourists around and so make a perfect time for landscape photography.

A case in point; travelling through Northern Ireland's Mourne Mountains in March I found this scene of large fields bounded by huge-granite-stone walls so typical of County Down, an old cottage the only sign of habitation here.

And in that field, an arrangement of sheep.

39 legs in all, if you count my two of course, and one for the monopod supporting my camera.

Strong sunlight is evident here with those short well-defined shadows and bright folds of wool.

Northern Ireland will reopen soon and Panoramic Ireland's tours and workshops will be available to book as soon as possible but in the meantime I am still taking no-deposit, fully cancellable and changeable bookings - just send me an email to enquire about locations and dates.

Published in Photo Tours
Monday, 19 April 2021 01:14

An Irish Waterfall in Summer and Autumn

Water falls over the waterfall, that's what a waterfall does; but sometimes in dry conditions, here during summer, it loses its scale.

In full flow, the waterfall fills this rockface with a powerful force of continuously falling water, flowing fast from the deep rock pool below.

Where water doesn't regularly flow vegetation can be found, green mats of bryophytes and bunches of ferns - sometimes tucked away in niches behind the falls as seen in the images above and below.

In full flow waterfalls are difficult to photograph, often generating a spray that can mist a camera lens in less than a second. Below the same waterfall with much more flow as autumn ends.

Join Panoramic Ireland in 2021 to photograph scenic Irish waterfalls and landscapes.

An Irish Waterfall Scene in Autumn
An Irish Waterfall Scene in Autumn
Published in Photo Tours

Northern Ireland's vaccination program for COVID-19 is gathering pace, with over 700,000 or close to 50% of the population having had at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

Some restrictions are lifting or easing soon, for instance an opening of many shops and businesses with schools also returning from the 12th of April.

However, tourism remains restricted with Panoramic Ireland's tours unavailable since mid-October 2020. Hotels are not currently open to non-essential guests. Close contact services also remain restricted and only up to ten people from two households can currently meet up outdoors. And from 12/04 there will still be recommendations to "stay local".

This means that, for the moment, Panoramic Ireland's photo tours remain unavailable to book for any period before, at the earliest, June 2021 including at the Giant's Causeway UNESCO World Heritage Site pictured above.

Published in Guide

County Antrim's Dark Hedges is by now one of the most famous avenues in the world. Made by a local landowner who planted the beech trees almost 250 years ago to mark the approach to his house; made famous by HBO's Game of Thrones as the King's Road over the past decade.

The fine scene has changed much since this image, in recent times (COVID excepting) most of this long scene would have been filled with throngs of people in on tour buses, as a result the nice and grassy verges have turned to mud.

The trees have diminished greatly, having fallen to storms in the intervening years and weakened as a result of vehicular traffic parking up on the verges, as I mentioned in a previous post about beech trees they do have shallow roots so are prone to damage.

Published in Guide
Sunday, 13 December 2020 01:11

Winter Seascape Photography in Ireland

It's winter now and my mind turns to coastal landscapes.

Here, one from the Antrim Coast of Sheep Island.

Crashing waves batter both sides of the small island, for millennia a well known landmark off this part of the Causeway Coast but now more famous from its appearance in HBO's Game of Thrones.

Sheep Island rises some 30 metres above the North Atlantic with mostly sheer cliffs, a thin layer of soil on top gives a green colour particularly in spring. In centuries past, local farmers would graze sheep out here being able to land only on the calmest of days.

Some doubt that landing a vessel here with sheep is possible, but on a calm day and good local knowledge this would be a difficult, but not impossible, task.

Sheep Island is home to a large proportion of Ireland's population of the northern European sub-species of cormorant and is a protected habitat.

You can just see the coast of Scotland, faintly on the horizon under the grey cloud to the right of Sheep Island in this image.

Sheep Island, Causeway Coast - Antrim
Sheep Island, Causeway Coast - Antrim
Published in Photo Tours
Wednesday, 05 August 2020 23:33

Carrickfergus Castle Aglow in Sunlight

Carrickfergus Castle was begun by John de Courcy in 1177.

De Courcy was an Anglo-Norman knight who came to Ireland at the behest of Dermot MacMurrough, King of Leinster, who sought the English King Henry II's help in becoming King of Ireland.

With no inheritance in England due, no lands and title - de Courcy set off from the southeast of Ireland to the north, and effectively defeated any opposition in County Down and County Antrim. Thus begins a turbulent millennium of English involvement in Ireland.

Published in Guide
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