Cúm na Léime (The Valley of the Leap) is a beautiful isolated valley near Bantry in Cork. The name derives from the local legend of a priest who made a miraculous nine-mile leap to escape pursuing soldiers from the ridge at the head of the valley. That ridge is known as the Priest's Leap (Léim an tSagairt).
This photograph looks north from the eastern side of the glen towards Léim an tSagairt, which is wreathed in mist. A rapidly changing morning, as I drove up the narrow road it looked like the mist might not clear at all, but clear it did and this is the result.
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.
Since my first visit to Cork as a photographer some years ago, I've had it in mind to photograph Toe Head, an imposing headland to the west of Galley Head on the south coast of Cork.
I hadn't found a vantage point I was happy with on the few occasions I'd been around when good light was threatening. However, serendipity paid a visit when I was out with Roger Overall, a commercial photographer and friend of mine.
We met up, I stabbed my finger at a spot on the OS map that looked promising and we arrived at the location in this photograph.
Made looking to the west as the sun was getting low in the sky, it shows the headland's most imposing aspect with the rocks in the foreground leading the viewer up to it.
Made using a filter which forces a long exposure, the water and waves take on a misty character which adds to the character of the scene.
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.
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.
Carrigaphooca Castle (Caisleán Carraig a' Phúca - The Castle of the Fairy Rock) is a magnificent 15th century tower house on the banks of the Sullane River near Macroom. The castle is reportedly haunted and is a frequent stop for ghost hunters.
Photographed here on a frosty winter's morning, the rising sun illuminates the castle's east wall. No sign of the pooka was in evidence this morning! Or perhaps it was in a good mood and allowed me this great light.
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.