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by Andy McInroy

Print Of The Month - September 2006

Landscape Photograph
Urris, Inishowen, Ireland

Technical Details
Exposure time: 1/3 second
Aperture: f16
Focal Length: 23mm (APS sensor)
Lens: Pentax 16-45mm DA
Filtration: 2 stop neutral density graduate over sky

Urris is a secluded region of the Inishowen peninsula of Donegal and is accessed by only two roads. One road brings you over the narrow and winding Mamore gap. The other road brings you along the coast at the north end of the Urris mountains. Urris is one of my favorite locations to photograph and I have visited here many times. There is a feeling of remoteness here and the west facing aspect makes it a perfect location for capturing the last light of the day.

I have recently published a photographic portfolio based on this area in which all the images were taken in soft, overcast light. On this visit I decided to return to my more familiar photographic style and try to capture the warm, dramatic light of evening. As if to signal the end of summer, the sea swell on this visit was awe inspiring and huge waves were crashing in with the high tide. Shortly after this shot was taken I was caught by surprise by a rouge wave and I was soaked up to my knees.

This exposure was taken as a large wave broke against the shoreline. A 1/3rd second exposure was chosen to provide some motion blur but still ensure some definition of the wave. By shooting at a very small aperture and by focusing at the hyperfocal distance I was able to keep the whole scene sharp.

This image has a number of pleasing elements. The warm glow on the headland behind makes a strong background and this is complimented by sky which contains some glowing cloud detail. The middle distance contains the rock pedestal which is being exposed to some golden modeling light from the setting sun. The wave that surrounds the pedestal helps to make it stand out strongly. In the foreground the fine detail of the foreshore can be examined and the waves rush to meet it. I feel that the wave acts as a line to lead the eye from the foreshore to the pedestal and then out to the headland.

After taking this shot, I hung around for a sunset that never happened. But I was happy to have come away with this pleasing image. A good end to the summer.

Text and photos © Andy McInroy