Greig Houghton Photography
Landscape, Street and Travel Photography


Irish Landscape and Travel Photography Blog

Howth Harbour Abstracts, Co Dublin


Despite all the modern tools at our disposal for planning trips, scouting locations, forecasting weather, sunrise  and tides, sometimes it just doesn't come together when you reach your destination.  The two dimensional landscape through the viewfinder doesn't match your predisposed minds eye on the three-dimensional reality.  The sky is clear with not a cloud in sight and with it the hope for magic in the sky fades.  In these instances we can wallow in the negative, curse the weather and your bad luck, force the situation and settle for mediocracy. Alternatively we can improvise and look for alternatives away from our original minds eye, working with the conditions to get a completely different vision of the scene. In this instance I decided to move away from landscape of the island of Ireland's eye and look for interesting details, shapes and forms in the harbour at Howth instead.  The beacon at the end of the harbour wall provided the first inspiration.  I used the clear blue skies to my advantage, providing negative space and a blank canvas upon which to place the beacon.  I played with the orientation and position of the beacon in the frame, but opted for this side lit composition and the beacon in the bottom right corner.

For the second image I can across a series of white capstans on the dock edge attached to which were thick bright yellow steel chains.  I tried many different angles, compositions and depth of field, but was struggling to get something interesting.  I persevered and it was only when I switched to the reflection of the yellow chain in the water that it started to come together.  The form of the chain unrecognisable, but the yellow reflection forming interesting patterns and contrasting against the darker water.  For the final photo, I used intentional camera movement to blur the masts of the yachts creating a repeating spiky wave pattern.

I came for the landscape and went away with three fine art abstracts.  This is part of the joy of photography for me.  We never quite know what nature will throw our way and what we will come away with.