Greig Houghton Photography
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Irish Landscape and Travel Photography Blog

Whiterocks Beach, Killiney, Dublin, Ireland

I stare at the sky and it leaves me blind" This is Yesterday, Manic Street Preachers

I waited patiently for days until no longer I could wait. Three mornings, thrice risen, expectations unfulfilled  The forecast promised the slimmest opportunity but left me ultimately disappointed. The auld year left and the new one arrived bring hopes and dreams of a firestorms in the sky.

The first of January 2013  and it was back to Whiterocks Beach in Killiney, Dublin.  Towards the end of 2012, I started to shoot a lot of seascapes, but felt I never captured the best of the locations. I returned to Whiterocks hopping for more dramatic light and colour.  You can find all the details with regards to location on my previous post.

To help me capture the dawn at its best, I was armed with some new tools in my bag.  For my Christmas I was luckily enough to have received a Formatt Hitech 0.9 ND reverse graduated neutral filter and a 100mm filter holder .   Unlike the standard graduated ND filter, the reverse graduated filter is darkest in the middle of the filter with a soft transition to lighter density at the top and a hard transition to clear in the bottom half of the filter.  This is perfect filter for capturing the sun for when it is just starting to rise above the horizon and where there is a distinct separation between the darker foreground and the lighter background.    The 0.9ND filter provides a f-stop reduction of about 3-stops between the heaviest graduation and the clear section of the filter.  I also own a standard  Formatt Hitech 0.9ND  soft graduated neutral density filter which I previously tried to handhold against the lens without much success. I had read on a few photo blogs you can use it without the holder, but I found it awkward and found I had inconsistent results.  The soft grad is best for situations where there is are suited for scenes with no distinct boundary between light and dark zones.  Both of these ND grads are the 100mm x 150mm sizes for use with wide angle lenses.

I used the 0.9ND reverse grad on the feature image on the post at the top of the page with the wave breaking over the rocks.

Still, not fully satisfied with my shots, I returned to Whiterocks a week later for another go.  What I like about beaches is that they are constantly changing.  The is a never ending permutation of sand, tides, waves, clouds and times.  My last two shoots at Whiterocks have been at the northern section of the beach, so for this latest visit I headed down to the southern section.  At low tide a series of large boulders of various interesting shapes and colours are exposed which I was interested in capturing.  The first photo is looking north towards Sorrento Terrace with Dalkey Island just behind.  The second photo is a two minute long exposure which I was messing around with after the best of the light had gone.

I will be back here for further shoots in 2013 as I feel I still haven't captured the best of the light.  All you need is a little patience.