Greig Houghton Photography
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Irish Landscape and Travel Photography Blog

Blessington Lakes Sunset, Co Wicklow, Ireland

Sunday night was my only opportunity over the weekend to head out for some photography.  The venue I decided was going to be Blessington Lakes in Co Wicklow.

I decided to head into the hills for a high view of the lakes rather than shoot from the shoreline.  Previously I had captured some shots from Sorrel Hill, but this time I decided to go for adjacent Black Hill instead.  The shot in my head was a view straight onto the lakes with the setting sun behind.  A quick power walk up the hill from small car park and I was in position for the setting sun.

I decided to try a few different shots, one of which was the neighbouring Sorrel Hill in Pano format with the sun just out of picture rather than being the main focus.  Due to the intense sunlight it can sometimes be quite difficult to review your shots on the LCD on the back of your camera.  Therefore, on downloading the photos, I was delighted to see the warmth and golden light the camera had captured on the Sorrel Hill and the foreground of the Pano.  It quickly became my favourite shot from the trip and is the feature image at the top of the page.

The rest of the shoot proved to be problematic with a lot of underexposed images even with bracketing of the shots.  I need to spend a bit more time of ensuring I get a decent foreground exposure when shooting in such direct sunlights.  I used my Neutral Density Graduated Filter on a few of the shots, but found it difficult to handhold the filter against the front of the lens with any great accuracy.  Time to invest in the holder!  I have the soft grad version of the ND grad and I found in this case a hard grad would have been better suited and ultimately the reverse grad would have been perfect.  I think the list to Santa might start here!

With the last of the light fading fast and banshee like shrieks echoing in the hills (I presume these were from an owl), I decided to pack the bags and start off back down the hill.  Unfortunately this was 5 mins too early and the last of the light started to give a nice red reflection in the sky. I quickly about-turned and marched back up the hill again.  I got in a semi-reasonable position to get a few photos before the light disappeared finally for the day.

A few mistakes and a few lessons learned.  I'm keeping a close eye on the leaves for the return of the autumn colours as we head deeper into the year.

Greig