Wicklow Mountains, Ireland Trip Report

When I first booked a trip to Ireland, I pictured a lot of seascape photos that I could take. Probably because I thought that Ireland had some rolling hills, but was primarily made up of dramatic sea cliffs and crashing waves. However, I was wrong about a lot of things that people typically think of when they think of Ireland.

I didn’t want to take photos I’d seen from Ireland. I’m pretty much over trying to recreate images that other people have shot. I want to discover places that I haven’t seen shot to death yet. So, I began focusing my search inland; away from the sea.

wicklow mountains national park ireland

I soon discovered the Wicklow Mountains, a national park located just south of Dublin, Ireland. While I only had one day to visit, I wanted to be sure that I got a wide variety of shots, so I selected to hike part of the Wicklow Way, a trail through the park that stretches as far north as Dublin. The trail would give me an overlook shot, some hiking shots, elevation gains, and an interesting rock formation at the peak.

First of all, the weather was rough. I knew it would be worse than what I’m used to, but it was actually WAY worse than what I’m used to. It was slightly chilly and the sun was peaking out from behind the mostly cloudy sky, but the wind made it about thirty degrees colder than it actually was. And when I say wind, I mean sixty mile per hour gusts.

wicklow mountains sheep

The Wicklow Way trail’s views distracted from the bitterly cold winds, though. The trail was made in a way that puts very little pressure on the fragile ecosystem of the Irish grasslands. Not much plant life can survive in the environment, so the trail consists of planks of wood that hikers walk on to reduce the foot traffic on the plant life. I love that. More trails should adopt that practice.

As we neared the top of the trail and our turn-around point, the winds picked up even more. As I fought to keep my tripod from shaking, I snapped the photo that I had envisioned since I saw it on Google Earth.

Coming back down was way easier than going up. And the views were just as impressive.

wicklow mountains ireland
powerskourt waterfall

Lastly, I always enjoy shooting waterfalls in any park that I visit. I stayed on Google Earth and found the Powerskourt Waterfall, the highest waterfall in Ireland.

Now, normally I don’t like shooting big waterfalls because the usually don’t give photographers a lot of creative angles to work with. Smaller waterfalls have way more cascading angles that you can get close to and form creative compositions. However, I did find some interesting rocks that I was able to use as a foreground.

After my wife and I sat in from of the falls for a while, our stomachs started to rumble and we decided it was time to head back to our AirBnb for dinner.

The Wicklow Mountains were both amazing and challenging. I had never shot any landscape like them before, but it’s usually those types of shoots that get my creative juices flowing again. If you’re going to Ireland, and you don’t want to visit the typical locations that have been shot to death, I would highly recommend the Wicklow Mountains.

Here are a couple videos with photography tips from my day journey.

THE EDITING SOFTWARE I USE (LUMINAR 2018)

THE GEAR I USE:
THE ONLY DRONE YOU'LL EVER NEED
MY DO-IT-ALL CAMERA
THE LENS I USE FOR ALL THE ZOOMS
MY FAVORITE LENS EVER
MY TRUSTY TRIPOD SIDEKICK
MY OVERNIGHT CAMERA BAG
THE DAY PACK I USE
THE MIC I USE FOR CRISPY AUDIO
MY COMPUTER (NOT A MAC)

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David JohnstonComment