South West Cork, Ireland by Brian Doyle

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A visit to the Beara Peninsula was inspired by the wonderful book, "Beara" by Norman McLoskey. My wife and I had purchased a Campervan earlier in the year and a holiday in South West Ireland was soon on the cards. We circled Ireland for our Honeymoon some 26 years earlier but missed out the South West. So we were well over due a visit.

On our first night we travelled to the little village of Allihies having our first al fresco barbecue in the van along the way.

The bowl itself isn’t obvious from the road but we found it easy enough. Standing watching the wave action in the bowl you could quickly see it was a fairly dangerous current within it, the changing level of water was significant and the speed with which it emptied and filled again was swift. The sea was quite calm too so on a rough day I imagine it could be quite incredible.

Setting up the camera required a little playing around as you are pretty much at waist/chest height to the top of the bowl with your feet well below so getting the tripod solidly footed is a little tricky. I initially captured some exposures at around half a second to a second to try and retain some texture in the water but wanted to try some long exposures also. Using a 2 stop grad to control the sky helped bring out the detail in the stone of the bowl, coupled with a 6 stop ND filter to smooth out the water. On the looking over the images I decided the longer exposures were more suited to my taste.

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