Our Ireland’s Atlantic Coast workshop covers some beautiful ground in County Clare, the Dingle peninsula, the Blasket Islands, and Killarney with its national park. Our first night is a short drive from the Shannon airport to Dromoland Castle. We had a great time photographing the castle while staying out of the line of fire—the castle sits on a golf course! It may seem like an odd place for a landscape photography workshop, but it was a great way to dust off the cameras and get all our settings dialed in.
The following day, we were up early and on our way to Innisheer (Inis Oírr), the smallest and most easterly of the Aran Islands. All the sights on the island are within walking distance. If you don’t want to walk so much, you can hire one of the many horse-drawn carriages for a small fee.
The shipwreck on Innisheer was a blast to photograph!
Walking along the stone fences was breathtaking. All the work that went into these fields over the centuries!
In this workshop, we only spent the day on Innisheer. Still, we enjoyed it so much that we’ve updated future itineraries to stay overnight in one of the small hotels on the island—giving us more time to explore and enjoy the sweet light of sunrise and sunset!
Dingle offers an incredible variety of experiences and scenes.
Doonagore Castle, Conner Pass, and Coumeenoole Bay.
Photographing from above Dunquin Pier gave us a view into our future — the cottages on the Great Blasket Island, where we would stay for two nights!
With the grey weather and the lenticular clouds at Clogher Head, I had a good opportunity to break out my infrared-converted body.
We continued along the cliffs above Clogher Beach as the rain and wind continued to pelt us. But such drama in the landscape!
The following day took us to the most breathtaking location of our journey, and no wonder it was used as a location in Star Wars!
Great Blasket Island
The experience on this island was truly sublime. From the ferry ride out to the island, the rustic and beautiful cottages, the incredible hosts, the sheep, the seals, the scenery, the history—there was so much to take in. And since there were no vehicles, and we were the only overnight guests, we were largely undisturbed. Day trippers would come out to tour the abandoned village, but there were not enough of them to be a bother.
The population of this island rose and fell over the decades, with many escaping to the island after being evicted from their holdings on the mainland. Island life was tough. Seeing a priest required a three-mile crossing and another five miles overland. A doctor was 12 miles from the ferry.
The island was inhabited until 1954, when the Irish government decided it could no longer guarantee the safety of those who remained. At the same time, the islanders had been petitioning for relocation.
The buildings are in various states of decay, and several have been maintained for use.
Of course, there were sheep everywhere! This little lamb’s mother had rejected him, so he would come to the cottages for daily feeding. The caretakers were happy to share the feeding duties with any of us.
It was a short walk from the cottages, and everything changed. It was a wonderful way to experience the island.
Our stay on the island included a boat ride around the neighboring islands.
We timed our visit just right for the blooming bluebells and wild garlic in Ross Island Natural Area.
And there were plenty of opportunities to play with long exposures for water movement (and people, too!)
We’d love for you to join us on this workshop in 2024!