An Unsettling Night on The Cooley Peninsula / by admin


The stunning view from on top of Flagstaff

As I was leafing through my blogsite today I realised that I had a draft post, which I had left asa draft and never finished.  Normally I will get images processed and up online fairly quickly.  (more recently I've not shot a lot of landscape, hence my absence...) 

However, I suddenly remembered why I had delayed posting much about this trip.  We had arrived in the Carlingford / Omeath area on the 10th October, 2015.  It was an area that we had never spent any time in before and as always, we had our wee cairn terrier Bonnie with us.  She'd started to really slow down and wasn't just as spry of late, so we ended up not going out shooting just as much.

In the end we decided we needed a break and decided to visit Omeath.  We stayed in a beautiful cottage, up in the Cooley Mountains.  It was beside another house but at the same time quite remote.  We loved it.  I remember telling Rosemary it was the nicest little cottage we'd stayed at... ever....   However, on the 2nd night, we were awoken by next doors dogs barking uncharacteristically.  We ensured that everything was secure and went back to bed.  I'd earlier walked down and closed and secured the double gates in the drive.  We needed up woken a few times and in the end got up early as we couldn't really sleep.  It was then that we noticed that the gates were wide open.  That's why the dogs had barked.  Someone had been right up to the house, prowling around.  They'd tried breaking into my car and the motion sensor lights had been going on and off too. 

Needless to say this was unnerving.  I contacted the landlady and she was very sympathetic.  This had really unnerved us and Rosemary wanted to leave.  It was then that the landlady told us about the murders in the village.  We thought she was talking about something a while ago but when we checked the BBC, we found out this had just happened the night previously!  There had been a murder/suicide down in the village.  This was a terrible atrocity, that this country has seen all too often over the years.  I could comment much more on this but, my site isn't really the place for politics. 

We packed up and left... driving up the road into the Cooley Mountains...  I'd been thinking of finding some singular trees to photograph as this is something I love to watch out for.  Then I saw the sign for Flagstaff.  I'd no idea what it was, so we stopped off to have a look.

The photograph you see at the top, is the view that awaited us.  It was really bright and sunny, but I decided I'd be adventurous and shoot directly INTO the sun.  This was the result.  To be honest, I've spent quite a bit of time post-producing this image.  It needed it.  Its times like this, that I am glad that I shoot in RAW.  Despite the awful shooting conditions, I was able to achieve what I consider a beautiful shot.  I wanted to work super hard to get something from this shot as it was very damaged.  When you shoot into the light, you can lose a lot of detail and certainly contrast and colour but I just felt this was such a gorgeous view that I just HAD to try and get something from this.

 Let me share another image from this beautiful area.  Amazing that no matter what the evil nature of man can conjure up, it can never overpower the sheer majestic beauty of this amazing landscape.  Ireland is truly without parallel.

In this shot, you can see the Mournes in the distance shrouded in clouds and fog.... the villages of Warrenpoint and Rosstrevor are just on the shore opposite.

If you are familiar with my work you'll recognise the elements that define my images.  Dark clouds, low light, a real full tonal range.  Very seldom do I post a sunny image!

Please accept my apologies for taking so long to post this and to post landscape images to my blog.  Life hasn't really allowed the opportunity until now.

I hope it won't be so long and not with such a bleak post!

Get out there with your camera and capture the moment!