Carrauntoohil

March 22, 2010  •  Leave a Comment
13/03/2010
 

Carrauntoohil

Carrauntoohil had been on my mind for several months before I finally got the impetus to photograph the highest mountain range in Ireland.

On a cool Saturday morning my buddy Fionn and I headed off from North Kerry with the intention of taking some photographs around the base of the mountain. I knew in the back of my mind that plan would alter once we got there. Both of us are the adventurous type, so spending the day at the base of a mountain was never going to happen.



Fionn run’s his own aerial photography business www.aerialphoto.ie and takes panoramic images using an SLR mounted onto an electronically rotatable housing that is fixed to a remote model helicopter.

We arrived in Cronin’s yard at 10:30am and got kitted out. The day was overcast but dry, not ideal for photography but we were glad it wasn’t raining. There were a few cars already in the yard when we arrived and as we headed off we encountered two climbers on the way back, obviously early starters.

The trail into Hag’s Glen runs adjacent to the Gaddagh River and is a gentle stroll for about 3km. As we traversed up the glen we decided to stop at the Callee Lake for a breather, have something to eat and to take the first photos of the day.

After spending some time looking through the viewfinder from several angles I decided on a view from the edge of the lake with the mountain in the background. I set up my tripod and focused on a large boulder in the foreground and set the aperture to f/22 for maximum sharpness. I adjusted my polarizer to maximize the contrast and to eradicate the reflected light on the lake and took a few exposures in the hope of combining them later in Photoshop. Like all my photographs I shoot in colour and have the option to convert to black & white later in Photoshop. I also used a contrast mask to bring up the midtones.


Lough Callee



It was the first time I saw Fionn’s model helicopter in action. It’s a serious bit of kit. He has a 450D attached to the housing, angled at around 30° to the ground. He uses a fast 8mm fish-eye-lens to get a wide-angle of view and to shoot a fast shutter speeds. The housing rotates 360° to capture al full panoramic. The results are fab.

After spending a good half hour at the lake we decided to climb the infamous ‘Devils Ladder’ to get a view from the top. It is an arduous climb full of loose rocks and shale. Once at the top the views made it all worthwhile. At an altitude of around 700m the views were spectacular.

We rested up for another while before taking any more photographs. I had my sights set on the view looking north over Hag’s Glen and decided that a panoramic photo was required to capture the scene successfully. The views on the other side of the mountain range were equally spectacular, you could see as far West as the Atlantic.


View from the Devil's Ladder

Fionn launched his helicopter again and took it up around 30m to capture a 360° from that perspective. The panoramic sticking really gives you a sense of the place especially from a birds-eye view.


360 Pan


After spending over an hour at the top of the ladder we decided that a second trip was necessary on a clearer day to tackle the summit. The climb down wasn't as bad as I expected, we were down in no time to see the sky open up for a beautiful evening.
 
All in all it was a good day’s work. We were both happy with the experience and managed to get some good shots. By the time we got home we were well tired. There and then we decided the next trip would be an over night stay to take advantage of the dawn light. Watch this space for our next adventure.


www.kevinlangan.ie

 

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