Giants Causeway, N Ireland by Andrew Whettam

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Picture Story

The Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland offers some spectacular coastal scenery. Legend has it that the local giant, Finn McCool (Fionn mac Cumhaill in Gaelic) threw part of the Antrim coast into the sea so he could walk over to fight the Scottish giant, Benandonner. Geology tells us that the hexagonal basalt columns were the result of a volcanic eruption, many millions of years ago. Either way, the resulting scenery is incredible!

This was my first visit to the area, and I wasn’t disappointed. On the day I was there, not only was the scenery spectacular, so were the waves. Huge rollers came crashing in, making getting too close a risky business. The main part of the causeway was out of bounds because of these breakers. The Giant’s Causeway itself is justifiably famous and the tourist crowds tend to flock there in great numbers. It’s a fairly big place, though, so while there were several other photographers around, it wasn’t too difficult to find a spot. We found an area which had a great foreground composition and seemed reasonable sheltered from the waves, though we still got wet!

As we arrived during the afternoon, the sun was setting over beyond the rocky headland in the picture. I shot wide to maximise the drama of the foreground and the waves crashing around. The curved foreground rocks are one of the key features of this composition. I took many shots, aiming to get the wave action looking just right. The final image is, in fact, a composite of 4 different images taken over a twenty-minute period.

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