Try Some Waterscape Photography Close To Home
Waterscape photography close to home, why not try some.
There are several common types of geographical water feature.
They include oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, streams and canals.
You’ll discover that they make great subjects for photography.
To take the photographs in, and publish this article, I shot some of these features.
While there are many places on Earth far away from the sea, few are very far from rivers or lakes.
There are also occasional bodies of water such as floods and turloughs.
Some rivers that travel over rough terrain have sections of white water rapids, and waterfalls.
A turlough can be mistaken for a flood. Actually it is a flood of sorts.
There is a level of water, called a water table, right throughout the Earth.
In some places it’s permanently overground.
These are in the permanent water features mentioned above.
Some places the water alternates, sometimes overground, after very heavy rain for a prolonged period.
In normal weather conditions it retreats underground. That’s a turlough.
Mostly on land, the water table remains permanently underground.
Water is vital to sustain the Earth
Water is one of the most vital ingredients needed for life on Earth.
We need to drink water, or beverages made from water.
I can’t think of a drinkable liquid that doesn’t contain water and we have to drink to stay alive.
I don’t think oil contains water, but I don’t think oil is very healthy either.
Water is also one of the most deadly things on our planet.
Think of all the destruction caused by floods, tsunamis, snow and ice.
Then there’s people who drown in harmless looking water filled items like ponds and bathtubs.
A burst water pipe, particularly upstairs, will cause rapid and extensive damage to a building.
It’s a necessary, beautiful but dangerous substance.
Some ways to photograph water
As well as the waterscape photography that I’m featuring in this article, there are other ways to photograph water.
You can photograph rain, and you might not even have to wait very long to do so.
It’s even possible to remain dry if you shoot it against a window, from inside.
You can be brave and go out to get wet while you snap it.
Don’t do so unless you’ve got a waterproof camera.
You could get away with a slight cold yourself, but an unsuitable camera might not be so lucky.
You don’t want to ruin a camera by using it in the wet.
Photograph water in frozen form
Snow and ice are also made from water.
Snow is mostly photographed as it falls or as it lies where it lands.
The exceptions to this is to produce images of snowmen and snow sculptures.
In Ireland where snow doesn’t tend to last long, artists have to produce their snow art rapidly.
There’s even less time to get a photograph of it.
Of all the manifestations of water, ice probably offers the greatest scope for creativity.
You can freeze water to form ice.
When doing so you can freeze it in moulds to produce different shapes.
It’s also possible to freeze items like dried flowers within the ice.
Dye can also be added to the water prior to freezing, resulting in coloured ice. All can be photographed.
When pondering water photography ideas you can also include water flowing from man made objects.
Fountains, small garden ones, as well as big city or public garden ones, make great photographic subject matter.
Water flowing from a kitchen or bathroom tap is also good to snap once or twice.
This article is about waterscape photography.
It’s about taking photographs of bodies of water as major parts of the landscape.
Landscapes images don’t have to include water, but I know that I much prefer ones that do.
Many landscape photos that don’t include water feel like there’s some little thing missing.
Having said that, a photograph of an open sea with only sea, horizon, and sky, lacks a lot also.
The Black Oak River flows through the town of Newport in County Mayo, Ireland.
As you enter the town from the south or east, you come upon a very scenic stretch of the river.
Looking up river, or down river are both a feast for the eyes.
This photograph is looking up river, showing a bridge with a viaduct behind, and a church high on a hill.
Mayo is a county with a huge amount of scenery demanding to be photographed.
The coastline along the west and north of the County looks out onto the Atlantic Ocean.
It’s got a plethora of small islands, particularly in Clew Bay, and bigger islands all along it’s coast.
They include Achill Island and Clare Island.
Clew Bay is one of two spectacular bays, the other being Killala Bay.
When you add in lakes like Lough Conn and Lough Mask, Mayo is a godsend for waterscape photography.
Add in a sprinkling of mountains and you’ve got a place you wouldn’t like to find yourself in without a camera.
The River Shannon
The River Shannon is Ireland’s longest river.
It begins a little south of the border with Northern Ireland.
It flows south through the centre of the country, before gradually turning west.
After it’s long journey it enters the sea after passing through Limerick City.
After Limerick it widens into an estuary, The Shannon Estuary, before entering the sea.
This estuary is more than thirty miles long.
The photograph I have of The River Shannon was taken in Carrick-on-Shannon.
This is very much at the northern end of the river.
There are three main lakes which the river passes through.
Lough Allen, the first, is north of here.
Lough Ree and Lough Derg are both to the south.
There are a few smaller lakes along the way also.
It’s a very popular river for cruising, as you can see from the photo.
There are several places along it’s course where berthing is provided for boats.
This includes Lough Derg, the most southerly of the three main lakes.
The next image was shot at Mountshannon, County Clare, on the western shore of Lough Derg.
This is a lake that is not very wide and on a map looks a little like a very wide river.
The map is deceptive though, it’s every inch a lake.
Back in County Mayo
The next photo I’m showing is of another lake.
This is very small lake and much narrower than Lough Derg.
Again it’s back in County Mayo, in the south-west of the county.
It’s called Doo Lough. It’s a very small lake.
You can see from side to side, and from one end to the other from some places.
It’s surrounded by mountains and is a rather picturesque place.
This photo is taken from the shore, and you can’t see the end from here.
The ground rises from close to the edge of the lake.
You don’t have to retreat very far to see it from end to end.
5. Downpatrick Head
On the north coast of the county there’s Downpatrick Head.
Not many headland’s are as eye catching as this one.
It features an island which looks like it’s been sawn off the land and shoved a little forward.
The west coast of Ireland is constantly being battered by The Atlantic Ocean.
No doubt that’s the reason for features like this.
It’s full of cliffs, bays, islands, and a meandering coastline.
n comparison, the east coast looks almost smooth.
If you drive west and stick to the coast, you will gradually turn south.
It’s very rural, sparsely populated, with great rustic scenery.
Continuing on this course you will pass by Doo Lough again.
Shortly after you will enter County Galway, where the same rugged coastal features, and magnificent landscape continue.
The Connemara Coast
County Galway has some great geographical features.
The northern half of the county is split by Lough Corrib, the biggest lake in The Republic of Ireland.
To the west of Lough Corrib is an area known as Connemara.
This continues with the rugged features of west Mayo.
The east of Lough Corrib is largely flat.
Connemara is a riot of mountains and lakes.
As mountains go, all Irish mountains are modest, but scenic.
Most of the lakes in Connemara are tiny, but there’s a lot of them.
Most are off the beaten path but a drive through the main route will still reveal many.
As you draw close to Galway City there’s the village of Spiddal.
My photo of the village shows the pier.
It was taken in the evening, where the setting sun was the sky turning pink.
The sea in the photo is The Atlantic.
While you cant see it from this photo, this is as wild as the rest of the western coastline.
The next photo shows the coast near Furbo which is just a few miles along from Spiddal.
This image was also shot in the evening.
Those rocks are not that red except when a setting sun is highlighting them.
This is still the sea but here it’s part of Galway Bay.
You can see the far side of the bay, which is the north coast of County Clare.
Into County Clare
County Clare is another county with a spectacular coastline.
It’s well know for it’s awesome cliffs, particularly The Cliffs of Moher.
They aren’t the highest cliffs in Ireland, but they can be seen from the shore a few miles away.
The steeper cliffs can only be seen from the sea so are not as well known as these.
Even if they’re not the highest cliffs around, they’re a wonderful sight.
The north west of the county is known as The Burren.
It’s an area mostly composed of bare rock, some in the form of hills.
It’s very different to the rest of the country, with some flora not found elsewhere in Ireland.
A little south os The Cliffs of Moher is the town of Lahinch.
It’s a popular spot for surfing. This photo of Lahinch and its beach is taken from a cliff also.
It’s not as spectacular as the more northerly ones, but this coastline has a number of them.
Lahinch is a resort town and is at it’s best on bright sunny days like this one.
The coastline along County Clare is very different to that immediately to the north.
It’s just as spectacular, but in a very different way.
The mountains are gone with cliffs being the dominant feature.
It’s possible to see cliffs from the land in many places, most notably the iconic Cliffs of Moher.
My next photo brings me back north as far as Galway City.
This city is about half way along the west coast.
It’s just about directly west from Dublin.
I took this photo at the edge of Galway Bay.
The bay has given its name to several well known songs, and been mentioned in others.
The houses in this photo are in Long Walk was was mentioned in Steve Earle’s song; “Galway Girl”.
I took this photo from The Claddagh, home of The Claddagh Ring.
The story goes that a man from here was stolen into slavery, and trained to work as a goldsmith.
After many years he got to come back home.
He designed and made a ring to give to his long lost love.
It became known as The Claddagh Ring, and is still a very popular item of jewellery.
There are other stories about its origin but that’s the most popular.
All the waterscape photography I’ve shown so far are of bodies of water formed by nature.
The last photograph I have here shows a man made feature, rather than a natural one.
This is of the Eglinton Canal in Galway.
It flows into the sea right between The Claddagh and Long Walk, just to the right of the pervious photo.
It’s a short canal, barely a mile long.
It runs through Galway close to The River Corrib.
They enter the sea at the same point.
It’s not a working canal, and hasn’t been for a long time.
It a lovely place to take a walk, and even nicer in the company of a camera.
This is just one of many views worthy of being photographed.
Now it’s your turn
What feature is close enough to you to practice waterscape photography.
Do you live close to, or have access to a river. Is there a lake close to you.
Are you lucky enough to live within striking distance of the sea.
Have you a car and can you reach some place where you can photograph water.
If you like photography you can enjoy yourself anywhere.
You can have fun setting up and shooting a still life on the kitchen table.
It’s equally possible to enjoy taking a photo of some flowers in the garden.
If birds like to visit your garden, and you have a feeding station there, it provides a great photo opportunity.
However if you have a car, you can multiply the fun.
Most water bodies are in the countryside, as is most of the great scenery.
You can enjoy the visual treat rural areas abound in.
You can take photos of rivers, lakes, the sea, and other subjects you encounter also.
As photography goes, I don’t think it gets much better.
Perhaps there are some of these features close together that you can access on one journey.
If there are, list them, and plan a route to get around them in a logical and orderly fashion.
Perhaps one or more of them have several points that you can photograph, if so try and photograph a few.