Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

 

I didn’t set out to be a photographer…

It just kind of happened!

Many years ago in very rural Ireland, namely Malin Head, I found a little green bird bouncing around our rather bare and barren garden. I was interested and wanted to know what it was. So for my 12th birthday I was given a bird book and a pair of binoculars. The more I learnt about birds, the more I wanted to know. So much so I started to find scarce and rare birds, but I had no way of recording them, except as little hand sketched drawings.

As the years went on, I wanted to record my sightings either on film or digital format, so I invested in my first Nikon SLR. As the digital age progressed, so did point and shoot cameras. These cameras allowed me to photograph birds through a telescope. However, I was frustrated with the quality of Digiscoping. I constantly wanted to do better.

In 2006, I bought a Nikon D80 and Sigma 150-500mm lens and began photographing birds in a serious fashion. Numerous websites and magazines in the UK and Ireland became very interested in my photographs of rare birds. I got a number of photographs published throughout Ireland, the UK and front covers as far afield as Australia and India.

So it all began with the birds. Now I capture numerous subjects, birds, general flora and fauna, landscapes and the spectacular night sky. I seek to highlight what can be seen and experienced therein. I often hear people saying, ‘I didn’t know you could see them/those/that in Ireland’. I have developed my photography to be awe inspiring with a touch of education and I will, in the future, aim to keep showing people the wonderful heritage, flora and fauna that is to be found across Ireland. My home place in the far north of Ireland and in Ireland’s most Northerly point, namely Malin Head is very important to me. I love to show people what the area has to offer from its beautiful landscapes, nightscapes, wildlife, heritage and folklore.

I have a simple life ethos and I am one who loves making photographs and spending time outdoors. I am fortunate to be able to spend a good amount of time on personal projects and travelling to the 4 corners of Ireland. I make my bed in Cork, but Donegal is my home and where better to get the inspiration than in some of the wildest spots in Western Europe!

With time I like to think I have advanced and so did the camera gear, upgrading to Nikon D90 and subsequently Nikon D7100 camera and the wonderful 11-14mm F2.8, which anyone with an interest in the night sky shouldn't be without. For my birding I use a Nikon ED111 Fieldscope and Nikon Monarch Binoculars.

I really love my photography and I spend a lot of time refining, perfecting and even obsessing over my work… It is a passion, which I hope comes across in my photographs.

“Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.”  Don McCullin


Humpback Whale & Fastnet, Co Cork
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

"Captured here is two of West Cork's most prestigious icons. Humpback whale HBIRL6 'Loopy' first discovered off Loop Head in 1994.

In the distance is the Fastnet Rock Lighthouse."

- Ronan McLaughlin

Airglow & The Tower, Malin Head, County Donegal
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

"""We live on a hunk of rock and metal that circles a humdrum star that is one of 400 billion other stars that make up the Milky Way Galaxy which is one of billions of other galaxies which make up a universe which may be one of a very large number, perhaps an infinite number, of other universes. That is a perspective on human life and our culture that is well worth pondering."" Carl Sagan

The Milky Way and the 'Tower' at Malin Head. "

- Ronan McLaughlin

Causeway Coast, Co. Antrim
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

"The north coast of County Antrim, west of Ballycastle, is dominated, from a tourist perspective, by Northern Ireland’s most famous tourist attraction, the bizarre formation of basalt columns at the Giant’s Causeway. On the way, near the town of Ballintoy, there are several pleasant diversions, not least the precarious rope bridge to Carrick-a-rede Island. West of the Causeway, you can sample some whiskey at Bushmills and visit the imposing and well-preserved remains of Dunluce Castle, the stronghold of the local MacDonnell clan.

Port Noffer, pictured here is one of the numerous bays that are indented along this beautiful coastline."

- Ronan McLaughlin

Bottlenose Dolphin at Malin Head, County Donegal
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

"The Bottlenose dolphin is one of the most familiar and abundant dolphin species in Ireland. The Bottlenose dolphin is one of 24 species of cetacean (whales, dolphins and porpoise) recorded in Irish waters.

Dorsal fins and tail flukes of Bottlenose dolphins and other cetaceans can be marked with scars or bites etc. These markings can be used as 'fingerprints'. On examination of the photographs of the dorsal fins or tail flukes, the images can be ran through the IWDG catalogue and sometimes a match can be found. 

Recently, two of the Dolphins at Malin Head have been identified by this method. It turns out one of our dolphins was originally sighted in Clare in 2007 and another in Mayo in 2011. This type of information is invaluable, as it makes us aware of the movement of these mammals, and helps with the overall conservation and protection of our whales and dolphins."

- Ronan McLaughlin

Saltee Gannets, Co. Wexford
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

Saltees Gannets, this image appeared on the front page of the Irish Times.

- Ronan McLaughlin

Malin Well, Malin Head, County Donegal
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

"An tseanbhean'

This site of pilgrimage is situated at Drumnacille (ridge of the church) in the townland of Ballygorman, one mile east of Portmór Pier. Whilst local tradition connects more than one saint with the site, it is St. Muirdhealach from the 11th Century who features most prominently. The special features associated with this site are St. Mahar’s Church, The Wee House of Malin and Malin Well. A magical and mysterious location, this area gives panoramic views of the islands of the Garbh Isles and Inis Trá Fola."

- Ronan McLaughlin

The Dark Hedges, Co. Antrim
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

"Situated not far from Ballymoney in Co. Antrim is this beautiful avenue of beech trees that was planted by the Stuart family in the eighteenth century. It was intended as a compelling landscape feature to impress visitors as they approached the entrance to their home, Gracehill House. Two centuries later, the trees remain a magnificent sight and have become known as the Dark Hedges."

- Ronan McLaughlin

Ballycotton Lighthouse at Sunrise, Co. Cork
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

"Every day is a new beginning, take a deep breath and start again""

Sunrise this morning at Ballycotton in East Cork."

- Ronan McLaughlin

Flying Minke Whale, Co Cork
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

"The minke whales is Ireland's smallest baleen whale. Upon reaching sexual maturity (6–8 years of age), males measure an average of 6.9 m (23 ft) and females 7.4 m (24 ft) in length, respectively.

Can be found off much of the Irish coast, however it is rather scarce off the east coast. Not hugely well known for breaching, and something I've only seen on a dozen or so occasions. It was a pleasure to be able to put the lens on this particular individual who continued to breach for at least 30 mins."

- Ronan McLaughlin

Sunset at Malin Head, County Donegal
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

"At Sunset, Nature is painting for us.....day after day....pictures of infinite beauty' John Ruskin.

Sunset from Pracha bends, Malin head Co. Donegal."

- Ronan McLaughlin

Emperor Dragonfly
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

"The Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator) is the biggest dragonfly to be found in Ireland. It is between 7 and 8cm (3-3.5 inches) long. Emperor Dragonflies are spreading into Ireland due to population expansion in Europe, it is now pretty much widespread along the east and south coast. 

The Emperor Dragonfly was first recorded in Ireland as recently as 2000, an impressive insect, which gives a master class in aerobatics!"

- Ronan McLaughlin

Aurora and the Tower, Malin Head, County Donegal
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

'You cannot rob me of free nature's grace,
You cannot shut the windows of the sky
Through which Aurora shows her brightening face'.

JAMES THOMSON, Castle of Indolence

At the top of Ireland lies an iconic structure. 210 years old, the 'Tower' has seen everything from the Napoleonic wars to the modern plastic age. It has survived everything the North Atlantic has thrown at it, It stands guard over Ireland and I hope that it will continue to do so for generations to come.

- Ronan McLaughlin

Dolphin Showing Off at Malin Head, County Donegal
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

"The Bottlenose dolphin is one of the most familiar and abundant dolphin species in Ireland. The Bottlenose dolphin is one of 24 species of cetacean (whales, dolphins and porpoise) recorded in Irish waters.

Dorsal fins and tail flukes of Bottlenose dolphins and other cetaceans can be marked with scars or bites etc. These markings can be used as 'fingerprints'. On examination of the photographs of the dorsal fins or tail flukes, the images can be ran through the IWDG catalogue and sometimes a match can be found. 

Recently, two of the Dolphins at Malin Head have been identified by this method. It turns out one of our dolphins was originally sighted in Clare in 2007 and another in Mayo in 2011. This type of information is invaluable, as it makes us aware of the movement of these mammals, and helps with the overall conservation and protection of our whales and dolphins."

- Ronan McLaughlin

Ballycotton Tide, Co Cork
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

The flow of the tide at Ballycotton, Co. Cork.

- Ronan McLaughlin

Milky Way and the Tower, Malin Head, County Donegal
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

"""We live on a hunk of rock and metal that circles a humdrum star that is one of 400 billion other stars that make up the Milky Way Galaxy which is one of billions of other galaxies which make up a universe which may be one of a very large number, perhaps an infinite number, of other universes. That is a perspective on human life and our culture that is well worth pondering."" Carl Sagan

The Milky Way and the 'Tower' at Malin Head. "

- Ronan McLaughlin

The Carndonagh Cross, County Donegal
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

"Situated in Carndonagh, on the Inishowen peninsula, the Carndonagh Cross is one of the most important relic's of Early Christian Ireland.

The art historian F. Henry places the cross to the 7th Century since the braid pattern is similar to the interlace on the c.650 Book of Durrow. He also suggests that it is very important to the understanding of the evolution of high crosses in Ireland. This early Christian cross is thought to represent the transition from crosses carved on slabs, such as that at Fahan Mura, to a slab that is cut out in the shape of a cross. The east face of the re-erected cross depicts bands of broad ribbon interlace (symbolic of the tree of life), 3 birds under each arm of the cross and 8 simplified figures in low relief. Although the central image may depict a Crucifixion scene (arms outstretched), it does not portray Christ in a slouched or suffering position. Typically Irish crosses show Christ as erect, perhaps as the self-sacrificer, a victor over death, resurrected. The body-flanking figures could either be Mary and Joseph, the two thieves or possibly the soldiers and the figures flanking the head are thought to be angels."

- Ronan McLaughlin

Corncrake at Malin Head
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

A corncrake at Malin Head.

- Ronan McLaughlin

Aurora at Malin Head, County Donegal
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

"Sometimes you need to feel it to believe it'

The Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights, Na Gealáin Thuaidh, Na Fir Chlis, the Nimble men or the Merry Dancers, whatever you prefer to call them, they are a mighty sight.

Taken at Malin Well, Malin Head on the 1st January 2016."

- Ronan McLaughlin

The Common Dolphin, Co Cork
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

A common dolphin pictured off the coast of Cork.

- Ronan McLaughlin

Glenariff Horseshoe Waterfall, Co. Antrim
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

"Situated in the Glenariff Forest Park in Co. Antrim this is one of 3 beautiful waterfalls that cascade through this stunning nature reserve of nearly 3000 acres."

- Ronan McLaughlin

Lookout Post Number 80
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

"In the uncertain early days of the Second World War the Irish government sought to take action to protect the neutrality it had declared in September 1939. It was decided that a series of lookout posts ""LOPs"" would be built at strategic points along the Irish coastline to monitor belligerent activity at sea. The LOPs were manned by coast watchers and the institution they formed was named the Coast Watching Service.

This was Lookout post Number 80. Taken under the light of a full moon."

- Ronan McLaughlin

The Common Dolphin, County Donegal
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

A common dolphin pictured off the coast of County Donegal.

- Ronan McLaughlin

Inishtrahull from Malin Well, Malin Head, County Donegal
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

"An tseanbhean'

This site of pilgrimage is situated at Drumnacille (ridge of the church) in the townland of Ballygorman, one mile east of Portmór Pier. Whilst local tradition connects more than one saint with the site, it is St. Muirdhealach from the 11th Century who features most prominently. The special features associated with this site are St. Mahar’s Church, The Wee House of Malin and Malin Well. A magical and mysterious location, this area gives panoramic views of the islands of the Garbh Isles and Inis Trá Fola."

- Ronan McLaughlin

Minke Whale in Flight, Co Cork
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

"The minke whales is Ireland's smallest baleen whale. Upon reaching sexual maturity (6–8 years of age), males measure an average of 6.9 m (23 ft) and females 7.4 m (24 ft) in length, respectively.

Can be found off much of the Irish coast, however it is rather scarce off the east coast. Not hugely well known for breaching, and something I've only seen on a dozen or so occasions. It was a pleasure to be able to put the lens on this particular individual who continued to breach for at least 30 mins."

- Ronan McLaughlin

Moon & Jupiter Rise, Ballycotton Lighthouse Co. Cork
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

The Moon and Jupiter begin to rise above Ballycotton Lighthouse.

- Ronan McLaughlin

Saltee Puffin, Co. Wexford
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

"Puffin.

The smallest species of Auk in Ireland, a highly marine species which is only found on land in the breeding season. A black and white seabird, with black above and white below. In the breeding season the parrot like multi-coloured bill and large white patch on the face make adults distinctive and easily recognisable at close quarters. 

Amber-listed in Ireland due to its localised breeding population. The European population has been evaluated as Depleted, due to a large historical decline. This bird has recently been added to the European red data list of birds and populations are suspected to be declining rapidly through the combined impact of predation by invasive species, pollution, food shortages caused by the depletion of fisheries and adult mortality in fishing nets."

- Ronan McLaughlin

Aurora at Malin Head, County Donegal
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

"Mother nature threw the kitchen sink at me, to include rain, hail, sleet, snow and 50 knot gusts. Slowly but surely, she decided to calm down and Na Gealáin thuaidh put on a fine show. This image was taken at Malin Well, Malin Head."

- Ronan McLaughlin

Sunset from Pracha, Malin Head, County Donegal
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

"Nature is painting for us... day after day... pictures of infinite beauty - John Ruskin"

- Ronan McLaughlin

Saltee Puffin, Co. Wexford
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

"Puffins are any of three small species of alcids (auks) in the bird genus Fratercula with a brightly coloured beak during the breeding season. These are pelagic seabirds that feed primarily by diving in the water. They breed in large colonies on coastal cliffs or offshore islands, nesting in crevices among rocks or in burrows in the soil. Two species, the tufted puffin and horned puffin, are found in the North Pacific Ocean, while the Atlantic puffin is found in the North Atlantic Ocean."

- Ronan McLaughlin

Sheep Sunset at Malin Head, County Donegal
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

Sun sets over Malin head in Co. Donegal.

- Ronan McLaughlin

Showers Approach Malin Head, County Donegal
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

"Dramatic sky over Ineuran Bay, Malin head."

- Ronan McLaughlin

Little Skellig, Co Kerry
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

Little Skellig, off the coast of County Kerry.

- Ronan McLaughlin

Dúnalderagh Sunset, Malin Head, County Donegal
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

Dúnalderagh Sunset, Malin Head, County Donegal,

- Ronan McLaughlin

Viviparous Lizard
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

"There is only one land reptile species native to Ireland, the viviparous or common lizard. It appears to have a widespread distribution across the entire island with coastal, bogland and mountainous areas showing highest numbers of sightings.

A fascinating animal and in my opinion a very underrated member of Ireland's fauna, this is one of those occasions that you do not so much as breath taking a photograph!"

- Ronan McLaughlin

Glenariff Horseshoe Waterfall, Co. Antrim
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

"Situated in the Glenariff Forest Park in Co. Antrim this is one of 3 beautiful waterfalls that cascade through this stunning nature reserve of nearly 3000 acres."

- Ronan McLaughlin

Jones Port Sunset, Malin Head, County Donegal
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

Jones Port Sunset, Malin Head, County Donegal,

- Ronan McLaughlin

Pink Sunset at Malin Head, County Donegal
from 45.00

Photographer: Ronan McLaughlin

"Pink sunset at Malin Head, County Donegal."

- Ronan McLaughlin