Greig Houghton Photography
Landscape, Street and Travel Photography


Irish Landscape and Travel Photography Blog

The Sun and the Moon, White Rocks Beach, Dublin, Ireland

"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth..." Buddah

For the second weekend in a row I was up early and heading to the beach.  However, the location this week was White Rocks Beach which is located between Killiney and Dalkey in Dublin, Ireland. 

The beach is quite spectacular.  Parking on Vico Road, you are presented with a panoramic views of Killiney Bay with Sorrento Terrace (the most expensive terrace in Ireland) and Dalkey to the North and Bray Head, Sugar Loaf and the Little Sugar Loaf to the south.  Starting down the steep path to the beach you are soon confronted with the DART train line carving its way through the side of the hill.  A small footbridge which appears to project out over the sea takes you over the railway to a steep set of steps which guide you down the cliff to a small secluded  sandy niche.  Turning back to admire the view back up the cliff you are confronted with an impressive man made retaining wall and arch bridge structure which supports the railway track.  Typical of many a dublin bathing spot, the beach contains a small shelter for bathers. The beach itself contains a small section of fine grained sand beach leading to a further section of stony beach that curves its way around the cliffs to Shankill several kilometres to the south. To the north, the beach quickly gives way to rocks.

The main feature of the beach is the White Rock from which the beach takes it names.  Jutting out from the beach and cut off from the main strand at high tide, this distinct shaped rock has been shaped by man's hand into a swimming platform complete with steps to the flat top.

It was here in the pre-dawn twilight that I set up for my first frames of the day.  The high tide was forecast for around the same time as sunrise so I quickly grabbed what I could and got myself back onto the beach before the tide cut-off the rock from the shore.  Pools of water formed and swirled on top of the rock as orange glow of the rising rising sun started to illuminate Killiney Bay and Bray Head.

Having retreated back to the beach, I set up in the surf to get the retreating lines of the waves as foreground, the White Rock as the middle ground and Bray Head and the glow of the rising sun in the background.  The moon was still high in the sky, and although quite small in the frame, provides a nice contrast to the orange glow of the pre-dawn.  The fine grained sand was proving to be difficult as it washed into the joints in the tripod legs, siezing the joints and making adjusting position troublesome.

Sun and Moon
Sun and Moon

With the sun appearing above the horizon and the last of the colour departing the sky I was starting to pack up when I noticed some interesting driftwood.  I really liked the texture of the broken edge of the wood against the smooth concrete and lines of the graffiti on the wall behind.  Not my usual work, but something I was playing around with.