Rarely seen, the hermitage clings to the narrow South Peak of Skellig Michael with a 700 foot drop on either side. The main monastery can be seen on the North Peak in the middle distance, and the Small Skellig and the Kerry coast lie beyond.
Being mainly famous for its 6th century monastery, the dramatic island of Skellig Michael also boasts two lighthouses built in 1830. This image was made of the lower lighthouse from the road to the upper (which was discontinued and abandoned in 1870).
Made shortly after moonrise, the image shows the light in its new guise. Just a couple of weeks before this image was made, the old fresnel lantern was decommissioned and a modern LED lantern mounted on the balcony. In a large print, this new light can be seen illuminated. It has great advantages in cost of operation, but unfortunately means that the rest of the lighthouse complex is surplus to requirements and will be closed up. The end of an era, but on this trip I was fortunate enough to enjoy the hospitality of the lighthouse for possibly the last time ever.
This is one of my favourite images of recent times. I love the line of the road leading down to the light, and even more the evidence of nature's relentless assault in the cracked and damaged walls, and the overgrown road itself.
Slea Head is by far the most iconic of Dingle locations. On the very fringes of our island, it's an incredibly rugged and wild place. Even the roads have difficulty here - a section of the nearby Slea Head drive slipped into the sea some years ago. The new section is a little further inland now!
This image was made shortly after sunset on a stormy December day. The clouds, which had been stubbornly persistent on the horizon, cleared for a few seconds to give a glimpse of the glorious colours behind them, before closing again just as quickly.
From left to right, the islands visible are, Inishvickallaun, Inishnabro and the Great Blasket.
Cromwell Point is the location of the lighthouse on Valentia Island. it guards the channel between Valentia and Beginish Island. It was built on the site of a 16th century fortification, the outline of which is still apparent.
The three rocks off the tip of Dursey Island at the end of the Beara Peninsula line up just after sunrise on a clear summer's day. The Bull is the largest and sports its lighthouse and massive gannet colony. The smallest rock is the Calf which can be seen near the horizon to the right of the frame. The bump on it is the stump of a lighthosue that was broken in half by the sea in the late 1800s.
The Small Skellig is not often photographed other than from Skellig Michael. However, it's a worthy subject in its own right. Home to thousands of pairs of gannets, it looks dusted in snow as the sun sets behind it.
A rarely seen angle on Skellig Michael, looking from the northeast. The monastery is just behind the ridge of the leftmost peak, while the lone hermitage clings to the slopes just under the summit of the right peak.
I love shooting nocturnes - night landscapes. The night sky is a very beautiful thing, and is underappreciated as so many of us live in cities where light pollution hides all but the brightest stars.
Combining the beauty of a dark sky with a dramatic landscape is a real joy for me. So, here's this photograph of the Skellig islands from Valentia island at the tip of the Ring of Kerry. The constellation of Orion dominates the sky above Bray Head while moonlit clouds scud across the frame. The Great Nebula of Orion, M42, is just visible at the end of Orion's Sword.
Skellig Michael is one of my favourite locations anywhere in the world. It has long been my desire to photograph the 6th century monastery here in good light, and in mid-2012 I was given the opportunity to do just that. Access to the island is restricted with tourists only permitted between the hours of 10am and 4pm - which is unfortunately when the light is at its worst during the summer months.
On this occasion I was able to overnight on the island and was granted a spectacular sunrise, which you see here.
The 'beehive' huts here are drystone construction and have stood in more or less this condition since the monastery was abandoned in the 13th century. Even the ground on which they are built is remarkable, as it's a man-made terrace produced by building up hundreds of tons of rock held in by a series of retaining walls. The monks had no choice in this, as there is virtually no naturally occurring flat space on the island.
This view of Puffin Island and the Skelligs is one of my favourite in the country. On this evening, I was driven away from one shooting location due to rain, and was getting ready to pack it in for the night. However, I decided to swing past this location to see if conditions were different.
As you can see, the rain had moved on and the moon was just peeking out from the clouds behind me to illuminate the foreground - well worth the diversion!