BACKSTORY: Ballyquin Beach

Ballyquin Beach, Ireland [2017]

I developed a love of photographing beaches and coastlines while living in Ireland.

Since it is an island nation, it features nearly 2000 miles (3200km) of varied and mostly spectacular coastline.  The waters are pure in most spots, the beaches unspoiled, and you never feel like there is a crowd.

There were several times we’d head to a favorite beach and would not see a soul anywhere.  All we’d experience is the wind, the sounds of the sea and the gulls.  The other thing we’d experience is constantly changing conditions, usually changing towards the windy and cool side, if not downright freezing!  Now that’s not to say there are warm enough days to strip down to your bathing suit and go for a stroll with your feet in the sand, but I’d count those days on not more than two hands in any one year.  🙂  This is Ireland of course!

On this particular late afternoon in March, we were headed to the town of Ardmore and dinner at the Cliff House, one of the finest seaside boutique hotels on Ireland’s south coast, in County Waterford. It was getting close to dusk and we had a bit of time to kill before dinner, so we took a little side trip diversion to check out the nearby Ballyquin Beach.

We had to drive to the end of a rather long road through typically gorgeous green and picturesque farmland to get to this beach.

Once there we of course found the beach empty. We checked it out for no more than 10 minutes before my wife found it too cold, so she decided to head back to the car. I said “give me a few minutes” as I could not resist the fast changing light and combination of rocks, sea and sky that to my eye was too good to pass up.

Here’s some video I shot of the situation before I started snapping away.

My “give me a few minutes” turned into about 15 or so, probably longer by my wife’s timekeeping. I worked fast though, and besides video I took 20 pics or so.

I was mesmerized by the rocks that on closer inspection had more subtle color to them than seemed immediately apparent.

Large Rocks on Ballyquin Beach, Ireland [2017]

I could see a little offshore rain shower in the distance, the beautiful light was fading fast, and my camera battery was getting low. I didn’t have a tripod handy, so I leaned on a tall rock, held my breath and captured this shot.

Ballyquin Beach, Ireland [2017]

To me this photograph encapsulates the typical complex scene found at dusk on southern Irish beaches. Even if the coastal weather appears to be fair, and the light is lovely, there is usually a rain shower somewhere nearby, and this moment presented no exception.

A quiet moment in the cold I had. Then it was back to the car and off to Ardmore.

Specs:

Canon EOS M3LENS Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.55.6 IS STMISO 200, FOCAL LENGTH 18.0 mm (29.0mm in 35mm) , APERTURE f/4.5EXPOSURE TIME 0.004s (1/250)

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