“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain
This is one of those occasions when it was worth simply ignoring not only the weather forecast but what it actually looked like when I peered out the window of my nice warm house at 5am. If I had I would have climbed back into bed and missed some stunning conditions and cloud formations over Dalkey Island last September. Yes it was cold, windy and a little wet but I was dressed for the weather and had my trusty flask of hot coffee packed. The conditions also meant I had Coliemore harbour to myself for most of the morning, with just a lone fishermen joining me at around 8am.
Dalkey or ‘Deilginis’ in Irish is locally known as Dublin’s Riviera, and is home to many of Ireland’s rich and famous not to mention international stars. The literal translation of ‘Deilginis’ from Irish is ‘thorny island’ referring to the Island you can see in this image. The first thing you’ll notice when you look across at the island is the dominating Martello Tower on it’s summit, one of many built along the north and south coasts of Dublin in the early 1800’s to aid the British defend their second capital from the threat of a Napoleonic invasion, which never came in the end. On the most southerly end of the island are the remains of the battery (fort) which would have been part of the island’s defences. The tower and battery were constructed in 1804. In the foreground you can see Colimore harbour. This harbour was actually one of the main ports for Dublin between the 14th & 17th centuries during times when the river Liffey silted up. (source)
This composition is all about juxtaposition. By intentionally extending the exposure I was able to give a sense of the stormy weather conditions I faced on the morning. A 4 second exposure allowed for some movement in the small fishing boats in the harbour and the heavy clouds overhead. This sense of motion in turn contends with the unyielding and safe thick walls of the harbour as the island beyond sits on impassively.