July 05, 2016

Ireland XXVII (Trawleckachoolia, Ireland)

After the incredible session at Castlegrove House, which I had looked forward to since I first learned of the location, it was a challenge deciding where to spend the rest of the day. After some discussion, we decided to head west for dinner, and then to the coast, hoping for either a rocky shoreline, or a beach (this was the only session during the entire trip where we went off-map, so to speak, and ended up at a location I didn't research beforehand.
After a surprisingly long drive, we arrived at Trawleckachoolia (Silver Strand Beach with two hours to spare before sunset; we also arrived to find the tide so high that it was a challenge to actually get to the beach; we ended up walking through ocean thigh-high in order to get from the car park into the dunes that separated us from the beach proper.

One advantage of arriving at 8pm was that the entire site was essentially deserted; two other vehicles were in the car park, and the occupants of those were deep in conversation, paying us no heed. Within 5 minutes of crossing the tidal-water, Ingrid and I were in the thick of high rolling sand dunes, enjoying a surprisingly warm evening (on the whole, this session was probably the warmest Ingrid had during the entire trip).

Initially, I wondered about spending so much time on the dunes, but with the rolling mountains in the background, I could honestly say these weren't images I could make in Nova Scotia, which is, essentially, one of the core requirements for the final result of this trip, so we kept making images, as we slowly worked our way to the sea.

Because of the limited time we had, I decided to eschew my tripod, and spend the session working hand-held; this would encourage Ingrid and I to work a little faster, and be a little more spontaneous...but it would also put a definite limit of the session, time-wise, as we couldn't push much past sundown without a tripod for camera stability.

When we finally emerged from the extensive dunes and arrived on the beach, it was, unsurprisingly, like almost every beach I have seen...broad, flat and on the whole, uninspiring. Fortunately, at the end of the right-hand side of the sand lay a small out crop of rock, which served as our focus for the remainder of the session; it was refreshing to be able to work without concern about interruption, and while I secretly wished I'd brought my tripod, I have to admit the speed at which Ingrid and I worked was surprising to both of use...like a blur, we moved through poses and compositions, making the most of the limited time we had on the beach.
Though the majority of the session was spent with broad landscape-focused images of Ingrid in front of a tableau of Irish mountains, there were a number of smaller rock formations that caught my eye, and provoked me to make a couple of of more intimate compositions.
In the end, however, it was the images that blended the images of Ingrid on the beach rocks with the mountains behind her that really engage me; the irony of the session is that to make the 20 images I've retained, I created almost 10 times that make exposures...but with the hand-held camera, I find my compositions so hap-hazard that so many of the images I made were culled simply based upon poor compositions. The cream rises to the top however, so from the hundreds of images made on the beach, so really striking results have emerged.

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