A very few times a year, the city of Dubai experiences dramatic fog at sunrise. It transforms the already dramatic city into a wonderland straight out of science fiction as the skyscrapers appear to float in the sky.
I don't do heat. You may already know that. I think it's plenty hot when I can see my breath on the air, thanks. Also, I'm vampire-like when it comes to direct sunlight. I could live my life in a cave and still get sunburn. So it's close to a miracle that one of my favourite photographs of 2018 was taken in a desert.
Earlier this year, I travelled to Dubai. While there, I had the opportunity to photograph the city's iconic dawn mist from the top of a skyscraper.
The very futuristic feel of the city appeals to me, as well as the sense of space. The way the sunlight skims the clouds and glints off the buildings gives me endless pleasure each time I look at this picture.
Sunrise, Bull Rock, Cork
The sun rises through the tunnel that passes entirely through the Bull rock. This only happens a few days a year, near the summer solstice. The lighthouse perches above as gannets from the colony on the rock wheel around the clear sky.
There is a rule of thumb Irish landscape photographers swear by: one-second exposures are for daredevils. The scene will change during that time. Guaranteed. You just can't predict the Irish landscape. Nobody has ever done it. Nobody ever will.
Except me, of course.
OK—I did have the benefit of an unheard-of stable spell of glorious weather here in Ireland in June. I was able to predict with near certainty that I would be able to take this photograph of the rising sun through the tunnel beneath Bull Rock, just off the Cork and Kerry coast, around the time of the summer solstice.
The wide composition really works for this picture, I think. The lighthouse structure on the rock, along with the birds, gives a real sense of scale. Lastly, the colours and subtle gradients from deep blue to deep orange are mesmerising.
I also did some filming that morning. If you're a regular reader, you might remember seeing this film before (the last shot in particular will be familiar to those who watched the recent RTE programme about Irish Lighthouses):