I am often asked which of my images are my top selling prints. I sell these on my own website – trishpunch.com and also through Picture-Ireland, a website that sells Irish landscape photography. One or two island images stand out for me and after that, it is usually a mix of locations from around Ireland. However, when I was asked again the other day, I decided to sit down and write out my actual top ten list.
10. Inishkea beach
I had travelled to Mayo especially to visit Inishkea island. After booking into a B&B on the Belmullet peninsula the night before, my excitement turned to disappointment the next morning as I pulled back the curtains. Huge white waves rolled across the bay and the wind was blowing a gale. The forecast had been for sun and calm seas but then this was Ireland. I was almost relieved to find out the ferry was cancelled. I decided to stay another night in the hope that the wind would have died down by then. The following morning, the sun was splitting the stones as I stepped onto the boat. I could not have visited on a better day. As the boat pulled into the pier, this was the view that welcomed me. Inishkea island was abandoned in the 1930s, after ten of the island men drowned during a freak storm while out night fishing. Today the empty cottages have been engulfed by sand.
9. Clare island
After walking around all day, I finally reached the cliffs at the back of the island. The only other sign of life was a sheep on the grassy cliffs below. He struggled to walk under a mass of long matted wool. This sheep had obviously escaped a few shearing sessions by hiding out on the cliffs. The heavens were about to open above me so I pointed the camera towards Inishturk island across the bay and grabbed this slow exposure shot, before finishing my walk in heavy rain.
8. Cape Clear Castle
Cape Clear castle or Dun an Oir castle sits on a sea stack just off the cliffs on the west end of the island. The path to the castle runs across rolling fields and farmland. I walked up there one summer evening and stayed well after sunset. By the time I packed up, it was almost dark. I bounded back across the fields in the faint afterglow of the sunset. After losing my tracks and hitting a few dead ends I eventually heard faint laughter nearby and figured I must be near the island pub. I ran straight across the last field and nearly jumped out of my skin when I thought I saw a shadow move in front of me. Thinking it was a bull, I accelerated towards the gate and flung myself over the top with such force that I toppled over onto the road on the other side. After dusting myself off, I turned around to find a bewildered calf looking back at me.
7. Cliffs of Moher
I wanted to create a different image instead of the usual view so I visited the cliffs at sunrise and framed a smaller section. At that time of the morning, there was no-one around and the colours and textures were at their best.
6. Derryclare lough
Last autumn, I finally ticked another location off my wish list. I was wandering through Connemara and stopped at a junction in the road. Left or right? It was one of those moments where I had to quickly choose the best location for the available light. I turned left. Every minute of the drive, I thought I had made the wrong decision. However, when I reached Derryclare lough, the reflections and light were perfect. I couldn’t get out of the car fast enough to set up my tripod. I managed a few shots before the light faded.
5. Upper lake in Glendalough
It was my first time in Wicklow. I spent two days driving around while ticking beautiful locations off my list. On the final morning, I set off bleary eyed on a short drive to the upper lake in Glendalough after setting the alarm for sunrise. Although I had seen pictures of this location many times before, I was still blown away by it. While shooting this image, I met another photographer called Frank Corry. He takes a shot here at sunrise every morning and over time builds a timelapse sequence as part of a photo art project. You can follow his pictures on Twitter – @UpperLakePhoto
4. Hook Head Lighthouse
Hook Head lighthouse is a bit of a drive but it is worth it. I was there one beautiful June evening and was just finishing up at about 11.30pm when I decided that it might be best to hang around until morning, just in case the sunrise was nice. It was too late to find somewhere to stay. There were several camper vans nearby so I decided to sleep in the car before getting up again at 4am. I reasoned that I’d just be having a four hour nap. When the alarm rang later, I nearly wept with the tiredness until I looked out the window and saw a faint glow behind the lighthouse. That was enough to get the adrenaline pumping and any hint of fatigue disappeared as I jumped out of the car and set up this shot.
3. Cork City
I had wanted this image for ages. After finding the perfect spot in a housing estate high above the city. I attempted a shot several times one summer but it never worked out for me. The sunsets were always hazy and everything looked too soft. Then one winter evening a few months later, I chanced another visit when the air was crisp and the light was perfect. As a bonus, the sky glowed orange as the lights lit up the buildings.
2. Coumeenole Beach
The clouds were heavy in the sky. Even so, I stepped out of the car with my camera in hand. I was distracted by a lone man sitting on the wall nearby, playing a tin whistle for passing tourists. He had copies of his CD for sale and we got chatting for a few minutes. I took a quick portrait shot of him before turning around and stopping in my tracks. I was so busy talking, I hadn’t noticed that the clouds had cleared and a bright rainbow shimmered in a beautiful arc over the bay. Normally I don’t take a shot without a tripod but there was no time to set up. I grabbed three handheld shots before the rainbow disappeared.
1. Gougane Barra
And finally, number one on my list of top selling prints is this image of Gougane Barra. I had the place to myself one Autumn morning until a man pulled up in a car. He saw my tripod and walked over and asked me what I was doing. I told him I was taking a picture of the lake and the chapel. He looked puzzled. “Why?” he asked. I was stumped. Before I could answer, he shrugged his shoulders and walked off. Feeling like a mad woman loose with a camera, I continued shooting. A little while later, I noticed him walking over to the chapel so that he now was in my shot. I cursed him silently for a minute until I decided to use him in the picture. Waiting until he was mid stride, I hit the shutter and captured his reflection in the water. Little did he know, he had helped me create a shot that has since been used on the Bing search engine homepage. This image is available to buy on picture-ireland.com
Every image has a story and I love what I do. However, I often forget to check in on the business side of things. So in an effort to keep on top of print sales, it is now time to do some new market research. I have devised a short survey about buying photographic prints and I would love to hear some of your feedback. It is a short 4 minute survey (and even shorter if you don’t buy prints) It does not matter whether you buy prints or not, I would just love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Just answering these questions will give me more insight into how I can provide a better service and better pictures.
Simply click on the following link and answer a few questions. I would really appreciate it.
And as a thank you, your entry will be placed in a draw to win a framed 14″x 11″ image of Gougane Barra. The winner will be notified by email shortly.