Its sometimes hard to get the motivation to go back and do a post with archive shots when I’ve got recent photos still unprocessed, but having just visited and posted on Grianan Of Aileach, I thought I would show some images from previous visits, plus a few from the nearby area taken on the last visit, but unused. The first set of photos here were taken on a very frosty Winter morning. There was also thick fog in the valleys, but I was above the fog up on the hill, giving unusual views on the landscape below.
The next three photos were taken on the same day, around St Aengus’ Church, found at the bottom of Grianan hill. The circular church, more usually called Burt Chapel, was designed to mirror the shape of the nearby ringfort and has won awards for its design. The fog was just beginning to clear down here in the valley at this stage of the day, but there was still hoar frost on the trees, catching the late morning light.
The next series of images were taken on different visits, from back on top of the hill, showing the surrounding landscape and the ringfort itself.
Near Burt Chapel, there is a visitors’ centre, with this eye-catching sculpture situated outside. The photos were taken on my latest visit, but I didn’t have time to go inside the centre, and haven’t been able to find any information online about the sculpture. Its possibly a representation of a warrior from the ancient kingdom of Aileach, or perhaps one of the mythical Tuatha de Danann.
The last two images show another scene from the local area, the ruins of Burt castle, standing prominently on another hilltop. The first was also taken on my most recent visit.
I have had a long internal debate about whether or not to include this final image of Burt Castle. I have taken several shots of the castle over the years from this viewpoint, but I cannot remember taking any with a sunset like this as a backdrop, and I’m sure it would have stuck in my mind. I suspect it dates from when I was starting to get interested in photography, and is an early experiment with a composite image where I took one shot of the castle in mediocre light, used levels to turn it into a silhouette, and put a much better sky behind it using software. This is not something I would ever consider doing now that I have become more serious about photography, and my suspicion is made even stronger as there is now no exif data attached to the file. I don’t think there is anything wrong with doing this kind of software manipulation provided it is done openly and disclosed to the viewer, but it just isn’t the type of work I’m interested in doing myself. I think if I was 100% sure it was heavily manipulated I wouldn’t include it, but there’s a slim possibility that because its from so long ago I just don’t remember it, and from early days when my workflow was less defined, hence the missing exif data. I include it now, only with full disclosure that what you are seeing may now be entirely real and not my usual practice.