Week 29: Tyrone and Donegal

This week I returned to Ireland with ML to visit family and take a few days’ holiday. We studiously avoided any large cities, so no street photography today. At my cousin’s house in the Belfast suburbs, when I announced we were heading to Donegal, I was told that yes, indeed, the beaches there were something to behold in black-and-white. And now looking through the rolls I shot during our ten days in Ireland there are a lot of beach photographs.

But first Tyrone. This was where I grew up. The “rough guide” to Ireland advises visitors to hurry on through, there is nothing to see here. It is near the centre of the North of Ireland and far from the sea. But there are a few things to see here, but you know where to look.


Tullyhogue Fort

It looks like just a stand of trees, right? But this is Tullyhogue fort, where kings of Ulster were crowned from the middle ages until the 17th century. Then the stone throne was smashed and the Irish nobility fled to the continent. Now Cookstown council have developed the site in the hope of attracting more tourists…

After Tyrone, we went to Donegal, to Ardara and after that Malin head. I will post the photographs from Malin head next week. Donegal is about 2 and half hour hour drive from Tyrone. It is the most northerly and western county in Ireland. There are a lot fewer tourists here than the rest of Ireland, especially in the south, but it is still just a beautiful. The coastline and beaches are all spectacular in that understated Irish way…

We first drove to Glencolmcille which is in the south west of Donegal. The weather was terrible when we arrived, foggy and misty. Glencolmcille is one of the most remote parts of Donegal. We went down to the beach of course:



Then to Ardara. This is what the countryside looks here. Happily this part of Donegal has not been completely disfigured by hastily constructed holiday homes, which is not the case everywhere else.


Ardara, Maghera.

Then portnoo. Again, the weather was not great, but after an hour of rain, we could leave the car :-).


Portnoo beach

I also experimented with a roll of FP4+ on this trip, with my 35mm lens and a big thick orange filter. This image was ovexposed (hence all the grain) but it looks suitably dramatic thanks to the filter:


Portnoo, orange filter, 35mm

Lastly but no means least, Nancy’s in Ardara. This is wonderful pub which has excellent seafood and, of course, Guinness…


In Nancy’s


That’s it for this week. Next week, Malin head !

Technical details: Back to Tri-X! All photographs, except where noted, are taken with a Leica M6 with a Summicron-M 50mm. Film is Tri-X developed in HC110 dil. B @ 6.5 mins.

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