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.
Just after sunrise the eastern face of the Bull Rock is lit by the morning light. In this image the lighthouse and associated buildings can be seen, including the steps down to the landing, and the helipad. The unique gasworks building which was constructed right against the eastern cliff can also be made out, just above the natural tunnel that bores through the island.
One thing that's difficult for photographs to capture is the impression of height. I feel this image, made from the lower balcony of the Fastnet lighthouse, succeeds in conveying that sense of vertigo. Looking down 140 feet to the seething waters below gives a real sense of the accomplishment of the builders who finished this structure in 1904.
The expanding gannet colony on the Bull Rock can be clearly seen here as the white area occupying nearly the entire southern side of the rock. The white dots around the island are the birds themselves.
From the Lantern, the Fastnet Lighthouse, Co. Cork
From the Lantern, the Fastnet Lighthouse, Co. Cork
When many of the lighthouses around the coast have been converted to solar power, and correspondingly had their lanterns reduced to modern efficient bulbs and lenses, it’s not practical to do so at the Fastnet - the solar panels would be washed away within weeks of installation.
As such, the lighthouse still has it’s beautiful, giant glass fresnel and large incandescent bulbs. In this view, made from the lower catwalk, the intricacies of the fresnel lens can be appreciated. Neilly, the attendant goes about his regular maintenance checklist while the wind and waves pound outside.
This photograph was made in the evening after the lantern had come on in the lighthouse. The open door is very inviting - lighthouses were always very hospitable places. Unfortunately, since automation more often than not the doors are barred as there's no one present. When work is ongoing, for a brief time some of that old hospitality comes back to life.
Baltimore, Co. Cork is a popular sailing destination, and perhaps more so than most Irish coastal towns has a strong maritime tradition.
One piece of evidence for this is the beacon rising on a point above the town, at the entrance to the harbour. Known as "Lot's Wife" due to its resemblance to that unfortunate Biblical character who was turned into a pillar of salt, it was built by order of the British Government after the 1798 rebellion.
Across the channel, you can see Sherkin Island, one of the many islands in Roaringwater Bay. The Sherkin Lighthouse winks red across the water, marking the other side of the narrow entry to Baltimore Harbour.
This image was made about 45 minutes after sunset, which accounts for the rather blue/magenta colour and the movement in the clouds.
The Old Head of Kinsale is home to one of the world's most spectacular golf courses. Covering the end of the peninsula itself, bounded by cliffs on all sides with only a narrow isthmus connecting it to the rest of the peninsula, it's a strange mixture of wilderness and manicured beauty.
There has been a lighthouse at the Old Head since 1665. The original building is still present and was a cottage type with an open fire on its roof. The current 40-foot tower was built in 1853.
This photograph was made near sunset on a late summer's evening. The view is to the north with the golf course and lighthouse in the foreground and Kinsale town on the main coast to the right of frame. The low angle of the sun creates dramatic shadows which show the beautiful sculpting of the golf course very clearly.
Made with an ultra-high resolution digital sensor, in a large print golfers can be clearly seen on the course.
Mizen Head is Ireland's most southwesterly point. A fog signal was established here in 1909, and a light in 1959. In 1993, when the station was made automatic, a local cooperative in cooperation with the Commissioners of Irish Lights opened the station up to tourists.
The original bridge giving access to the station had suffered badly from over a century of exposure to the severe weather in this area, and work on its replacement commenced in 2009. On March 17, 2011 the new bridge will re-open, allowing visitors access to the lighthouse once more.
This photograph was made on an early Spring evening. Looking over the rocks above the station (which is situated on Cloghan Island), all lines lead up to the setting sun.
Of the five major peninsulas in the southwest of Ireland, Sheep's Head is the least travelled. This makes it an excellent place to get away from the tourist crowds and find some solitude.
Where better than the lighthouse right at the tip of the peninsula, at Sheep's Head proper? Seen here looking west into the setting Sun, I think this photograph captures the spirit of the place very well. It even has a few sheep in the foreground!
The lighthouse is two kilometers from the nearest road, so all the construction materials (including the lantern and optic) were flown in by helicopter from nearby Kilcrohane - 250 trips in total were required.