Between Dundrum and Newcastle, Co.Down is this ancient Dolmen, a strange stone structure that stands out against the skyline.
It is generally supposed that these stone structures mark burial grounds, probably from around 3000-4000 BC. Who built them, or how they were built is a mystery, it seems, but they occur all over Western Europe. Notice how the heaven top rock seems to fit into ‘sockets’ on the supporting rocks, and marvel at ancient engineering skills! To visit the Dolmen take the A2 road from Dundrum to Newcastle, and on reaching Murlough Nature Reserve turn onto Old Road, The Dolmen is on the left. Be aware though, that the tomb is sited on private land, which often is sowed out in crops, and to cross over to the monument would be trespass. It’s wise to take a medium range zoom lens if you want to photograph the Dolmen, and work from the road verge.
I visited the Dolmen on a bright afternoon, so conditions for photography were not optimal. I had to overexpose by around 2 stops to bring out some detail in the stones, which left the sky overexposed. I’d no tripod with me, so no opportunity for a series of shots for HDR processing.
The images above was made with the Fujifilm X-T2, F=180mm, f/8 @ 1/250th sec on ISO250.
The recent storm (Ellen, I think) caused flooding in the seaside town of Newcastle as the Shimna River burst through its banks. The Shimna rises in the Mournes and meanders through forested areas on the sides of the hills. Wood swept down by the torrential currents ended up in the Irish Sea and washed up on the beach.
The dark hills in the background are the Mourne Mountains of Percy French fame, sweeping musically down to the sea. I like this image because of its contrasts, its light and shade, the textures of the driftwood and the deep shadow of the hills.
Fujifilm X-T2, F=18mm, f/6.4 @ 1/125th sec on ISO800.
The driftwood is quite bright – after all, it’s been washed clean by the sea, so I exposed for the wood, which cast the mountains into deep shadow, an effect I rather liked!
A visit to Dunluce Castle, between Portrush and Portballintrae on a cold, windy day in November, yet still plenty of foreign tourists around the ancient monument. The castle was built in the early 17th Century, by Randall McDonnell, and the now derelict mansion house sits out on a rock, reached only by a wooden bridge.
The approach to the castle is by way of a walled ‘funnel’ – to make it virtually unassailable. Visitors would have to be processed through the funnel, and any attack would be almost impossible.