These days, I don't get the time due to other commitments to get out exploring, but Glenariff is some where that has been on my wish list for this summer. As the autumn has been drawing to a close, I knew I needed to just bite the bullet and get out there, so I set off early last Saturday morning and arrived at Glenariff, just as the mist had lifted.
There's a lot of science quoted about lighting and the best time to photograph certain places and while I totally agree with this, sometimes you have to make the most of the situation you find yourself in. I have to be honest and say that I am not an overly 'technical' photographer. This is probably why I left the camera club circuit because I couldn't abide feeling that I was selling my soul just to get a technically excellent shot. I would rather take a photograph that speaks to me and that evokes a memory.
I liked a phrase that has been coined recently by a photographer called Chase Jarvis. He's written a book on iPhone Photography called The Best Camera is the One That's With You and I guess that's how I feel about lighting. I'd rather have a record of photographs that are not picture perfect, as have none because I had never gone out and taken any using the excuse that the conditions weren't right or my equipment wasn't right.
For me getting into the lonely places is beautiful in and of itself. I spent almost 4 hours down in Glenariff and didn't encounter a living soul until I was heading back up out of the Glen. That freedom and peacefulness is something just as artistic and epic and any image I might capture. I normally go out with Rosemary on shoots as we love getting out in the outdoors but now and again, I like to totally cut myself off and be alone with Creation and immerse myself in it.
I do this because I love it. Not to make money. I am pleased when people choose to buy my artwork and humbled that they are as moved by the scenes that I capture but for me it is sharing the immense beauty of my homeland with others and see them connect with it as I do, that brings the most reward.
After I left the Glens I decided to drive around the top of Newtowncrumlin Mountain as this is another very beautiful area. its so bleak and remote. There is nothing better for me. The complete solitude.
I apologise if I don't sound like your typical landscape photographer, but that's because as I've said, for me entering this natural world its almost a spiritual experience. Before I started taking my photography more seriously, I used to love just stop and drinking in a view. But now that I capture these views on my camera it again gives me that time to just pause and experience the beauty. To connect with Nature and its Creator. There is truly nothing better.