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Photographing the Giants Causeway in Ireland at Night

Blog - thoughts, travels, insights and meanderings

Blog of night, travel and fine art photographer + cut paper artist Matt Hill | Queens, NY. Join the fun!

Photographing the Giants Causeway in Ireland at Night

Matt Hill

The unique basalt rock formation that comprise the Giants Causeway see from the side under strong moonlight. Prints available for purchase - contact Matt@matthillart.com

I must say that I was very lucky. The weather at the Giants Causeway is reportedly very uncooperative on a regular basis. We chose, totally at random, a near-perfect evening. Am I am very grateful, as this location was of singular importance photographically during a vacation with my wife. 

But I must stress that daytime scouting is integral to a successful night photo shoot. We visited in the late afternoon and that experience gave us a footprint and game plan for later that evening. Here are some shots of what it looks like during daytime from my phone:

While daytime scouting, I used a combination of apps to determine the moon's position and time, including Photographer's Ephemeris, Starmap2, Tides, LightTrac, MoonPhase and WeatherUnderground (the latter is fantastic for both weather and sunrise/sunset in on place).

It was only one day after the popular Blood Supermoon Total Lunar Eclipse, so we had a daylight-bright moon coming over the south rim of the cliffs ahead of us. And partly cloudy, but very high, slow-moving clouds. All in all, it was a stupendous setup for night photography. But it had its challenges.

The rocks are study, but uneven. Dangerous if you like to move too quickly - care is paramount. And the ascent to the main part of the causeway is a little steep. but manageable. And since the moon was due south, it was also a challenge to find angle where the moon was not totally flaring the lens or flat lighting the unique geology. I think we did pretty good.

I also would like to add one important thing about being a night photographer - the community is outstanding. We met another fellow long exposure devotee there named John, who lives only 30 minutes away. Not only was he extremely friendly, but he was also helpful. A young couple was camping and attempting their first NPy, and he generously provided tips and instruction to them, as well as some insights and encouragement to us. Well met, John! I hope to shoot with you again. And now, the photos: 

 

 

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