Greig Houghton Photography
Landscape, Street and Travel Photography


Irish Landscape and Travel Photography Blog

Black and White Long Exposures, Dalkey, Dublin, Ireland

Dublin as a beach city is not an image that immediately springs to mind yet the capital of Ireland boasts a wide variety of sandy beaches, small harbours and rocky coves.  The Victorians were responsible for developing a network of public and private bathing spots many which remain today.  I have shot along the coastline in Dublin a few times including the popular Forty Foot.  However, on Friday evening I decided to head down to the opulent Dalkey area which is home to many an Irish celebrity not as part of the paparazzi, but instead to shoot some long exposures.  For this I travelled to the rocks beside Bullock Harbour.

The timing of the trip was unfortunately on a rising tide which was not ideal.  I much prefer to shoot on a falling tide, particularly for beach shoots, where the wet sand left by the tide can pick up reflections. I set off over the rocks searching out for somewhere to shoot.  I was looking for a spot where the rocks could provide some foreground ground interest to anchor the shot and hopefully give a nice lead-in-line to the image.  I also wanted a spot where the incoming waves would penetrate a passage between the rocks again to help lead the eye into image to give depth and create the classic long exposure look between the silky seas and textured rocks.

I spotted the scene above when I first arrived at the harbour but decided to walk around to see if there were any other spots.  I found the rocks at Dalkey to be quite high with not many easily accesible spots so decided to head back to the first area around the harbour.

The feature image is a 8 minute exposure which I captured using my 10-Stop ND filter in combination with an ISO of 100 and aperture of f/14.

Waiting for an 8 minute exposure gives you plenty of time between shutter clicks to fill even in today's iPhone generation.  It was during this time that I noticed some old ironwork fixed to the top of a rock which I thought might work as a shot.


This shot was also an eight minute exposure shot at ISO 100 and the same f/14 aperture.

After this I headed further north to Blackrock to capture some more shots but I'll save that for another day. Greig