Peter Lennon Photography: Blog en-us (C) Peter Lennon Photography (Peter Lennon Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:56:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:56:00 GMT Peter Lennon Photography: Blog 120 120 The Mournes get into my soul.... In February 2015, encouraged by a fellow photographer Alistair Hamill, I made my first walk into the snowy Mourne Mountains, after a break of more than 10 years and what a walk it turned out to be!!  What started out as a circuitous walk from Donard car park in Newcastle, turned into a linear walk up to the saddle between Slieve Donard & Slieve Commedagh, a knee deep in snow trek along the Brandy Pad, leading to the Hare's Gap and ultimately down the Trassey Track to Meelmore and needing a taxi to get back to Newcastle!!

On that day I made myself a promise to get back into these mountains on a regular basis - BUT - you know how it is, life takes over, you make excuses and before you know it the year had passed me by with no more Mourne trips.

Along came 2016 and I made myself the same promise - get into those hills on a regular basis and build up a portfolio of Mournes landscape images along the way - and that is why Sunday 17th April 2016 was my fifth trip into the Mournes this year.

Once you start to explore this landscape and reach the summit of the various peaks from different directions, they start to get into your soul.  Yes, I love the walking, I love getting that special shot, I love the varied weather conditions which sometimes turn a gentle walk into a bit of a nightmare, but there is something extra, something more special about this part of the world, that leaves me wanting more at the end of every trip.

Since the start of the year I have summitted Slievenaglogh, Slieve Binnian, Slieve Bearnagh, Slieve Lamagan and walked the Trassey Track from Meelmore, via the Hare's Gap to the Devils Coach Road and back more than once.  I have had my morning coffee three Saturdays in a row at Mourne Wall and I can tell you that a cup of tea and a ham sandwich have never tasted as good as when eaten after a good climb up to one of the summits.

The weather conditions have been as varied as the routes into the Mournes and, as a photographer, the ever changing light, has resulted in a collection of images that I am very pleased with.

So, if you ever wondered where C S Lewis or Percy French got some of their inspiration then go and have a look my Mournes gallery and if some of those images dont turn you from a couch potato to a hill walker, then nothing will!!



]]> (Peter Lennon Photography) county down hill walking ireland landscape mourne mountains mournes nature newcastle northern ireland views vistas Mon, 18 Apr 2016 12:48:33 GMT


I was asked to write a winter blog accompanied by some of my winter images - here is the link to that blog


]]> (Peter Lennon Photography) belfast causeway hiking ireland landscape mountains.snow mournes nature sunrise views vistas walking Sat, 05 Dec 2015 23:33:35 GMT
The Land Of Giants Irish folklore is legendary & one of the most famous stories told is of an Irish Giant, Finn MacCool, whose most fearsome enemies were the Scottish giants. The story goes that Finn was so angry, and determined to get at his enemies that he built a causeway using hexagonal stone columns stretching from Ulster to Scotland.

He then challenged the Scottish giant, Benandonner, to cross the causeway and fight him. It was during this fight that Finn scooped a huge clod of earth out of the ground to fling at the retreating Scot. The hole filled up with water and became the biggest Lough in Ireland – Lough Neagh! The clod Finn flung missed its target and landed in the middle of the Irish Sea – it became The Isle of Man!!

And then both giants tore up the Giant’s Causeway, just leaving the ragged ends at the two shores and if you go to the North coast of Ulster or to Staffa in Scotland you can still visit the ends of the Causeway today.

In reality the Giants Causeway is actually made up of some 40,000 massive black basalt columns sticking out of the sea which were caused by volcanic activity during the Tertiary, some 50–60 million years ago. The area is now a UNESCO world heritage site and is visited by thousands of local & foreign visitors every year.

As a photographer, the stones, the long summer nights & the dark skies in winter for astrophotography make this location an all season venue and the spectacular sunsets mean spending very late nights just sitting waiting for that special shot.

I have visited this location many times in my childhood but my interest in photography has led me to look at very differently & I have used my North Coast Gallery to share some of my results.

This is a magical place and if you are lucky enough to live near it but have never been, then do yourself a favour and make the trip – if you live across the globe then enjoy my images and maybe someday you can make the trip and take the shots for yourself…..

]]> (Peter Lennon Photography) causeway finn giants ireland landscape nature portrush Tue, 16 Jun 2015 20:44:13 GMT
Beautiful Benone.... No matter where you live in Northern Ireland, it is a blessing to be no more that a couple of hours from the Mourne Mountains to the South or the beautiful beaches of the North Antrim Coast.  So what would you do on a Sunday morning when you know that there is going to be a beautiful Spring sunrise and your alarm is set for 5.15?   Would you turn over and go back to sleep or get up and head for the North Antrim Coast?  

As a landscape photographer there was only ever going to one answer to those questions....  So with the camera gear packed & a flask of tea at the ready I set off for Benone Beach at Downhill near Castlerock which was about an hour away.  I had already planned that I wanted to get shots of a local landmark, Mussenden Temple, which sits right on the cliff edge overlooking the beach and which the sun would rise behind at approximately 7am - so that's where I was heading..

As I headed North, the first signs of sunrise started to appear but as it was cold, there was also a lovely light mist covering the fields and that was when I was hit with a dilemma - I was on the Motorway and passing Slemish Mountain to the east which was wearing this mist like a shroud but backlit with the colours of the early morning sunrise -  I had two choices, come off the Motorway at the next exit and head for a vantage point to capture the Slemish sunrise but that would mean I would miss the sunrise at Benone or just stay on the motorway & hit Benone at 7am as planned....   You will see from my pictures that I decided to keep going North so that I would get the the beach around 7am, which would give me enough time to get set up for my shots of the temple.

I arrived at Downhill beach in good time and although it was starting to get light, the sun still had not made it up above the Temple just yet. 

I had the beach to myself with the exception of a lone dog walker & got set up along the beach looking east towards the cliff with the Temple appearing as a silhouette.  It wasn't long before the sky started to change, producing the most beautiful pale pastel shades of blue, pink & peach - this is the time of day photographers call the Golden Hour.

The early morning light could also now be seen through the windows in the Temple & the low tide meant that I was able to catch fantastic reflections of the cliff & the temple in the wet rippled sand.  I spent the next 40 minutes grabbing shots from a variety of vantage points along the beach, with the sky changing colour the whole time.

Around 8am I decided to head back to the car and following a well earned cup of tea drove the short distance to Downhill Demense where you gain access to the paths leading up the  Temple & the ruins of the Bishops House - by now the pastel colours of the early sunrise had given way to a glorious blue sky day with some wispy white clouds providing a little more detail for the shots I was about to take.

Little did I know at the time, but my next dilemma was to result in me getting a mention on the local Northern Ireland news the following day & selling some pictures to the press - you see, my dilemma when I came out the gates of the Demense was, do I turn left & head for Portstewart or turn right and go back past Downhill where I had just come from & head on to Magiligan, a peninsula in County Londonderry, which is separated from County Donegal by a small stretch of water.

Well I decided to turn right and the next hour or two was spent walking and photographing  from a variety of locations along that stretch of coastline, eventually returning to where I had started the day.  This is where the local news story comes in & it was a real case of being in the right place at the right time.    This particular beach allows cars to drive on it at low tide - unfortunately someone had driven a little too far on the previous day & despite the very low tide, got stuck in some very soft sand & had to abandon their vehicle which was subsequently consumed by the sea as the tide came in.  The driver was back today & waiting for a salvage team & I got chatting to him & watched with him as the tide started to recede to reveal the roofline of his jeep & subsequently most of the remainder of the vehicle.  I took a series of shots from different angles and posted them on Twitter the following day, only to be contacted by UTV who wanted to purchase three of them for their news piece on this event!!

So, after a very early start & with plenty of material to process when I got home, I headed off back in the direction of Belfast - it was a great morning & I hope you enjoy the results in my Album "Mussenden" which includes some of the submerged car shots......




]]> (Peter Lennon Photography) Antrim Bishops House Castlerock Downhill Downhill Demense Mussenden North Antrim Coast Northern Ireland Temple beach landscape nature sunrise vistas Mon, 30 Mar 2015 11:44:21 GMT World Press Photo is the most prestigious exhibition of photojournalism in the world. Travelling to 100 cities in 45 countries each year, this is the first time in its 57-year history that the award-winning images come to Northern Ireland.
About the contest
The annual World Press Photo contest is universally recognized as the world’s leading international contest for photojournalists, setting the standard for the profession.
The contest draws entries by professional press photographers, photojournalists and documentary photographers from across the world, with 98,671 pictures submitted by 5,754 photographers from 132 countries this year.
The judging is conducted at the World Press Photo office in Amsterdam, where all the submitted entries are presented anonymously to the jury members, who discuss and debate their merits over a period of two weeks.
About the exhibition
Every year following the World Press Photo Contest, the winning images go on tour. The exhibition is officially opened in Amsterdam and can be seen at venues around the globe as it tours to approximately 100 cities in 45 countries.  This year from 18th - 23rd November, the exhibition visited Northern Ireland for the first time.  This was not just an photo exhibition for those interested in photography - this brought images from around the world, in some cases highlighting death, destruction & crime as well as superb examples of sport & nature.
I took some photos of the various images using my camera & whilst the quality is not fantastic, I just wanted to raise awareness of worldpressphoto and the work that they do & to let those who didn't see the exhibition, have a flavour of what it was like.  
Some of the images were harrowing but I think it is important that these too are shared to highlight some of the suffering & inhumanity that goes on way beyond our borders & to make you start to realise just how lucky you are to have been born in this wee corner of the planet.
About the Foundation
World Press Photo is committed to supporting and advancing high standards in photojournalism and documentary photography worldwide. They strive to generate wide public interest in and appreciation for the work of photographers and for the free exchange of information.
Its activities include organizing an annual contest, exhibitions, the stimulation of photojournalism through educational programs, and creating greater visibility for press photography through a variety of publications.
They believe in the power of visual journalism to inspire and shape us.
World Press Photo is run as an independent, non-profit organization with its office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where World Press Photo was founded in 1955.
World Press Photo receives support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and is sponsored worldwide by Canon.
World Press Photo holds the official accreditation for good practices from the Central Bureau on Fundraising (CBF).
Typhoon SurvivorsTyphoon Survivors18 November 2013 - Tolosa, Leyte, Philippines

Survivors carry religious images, ten days after Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the central Philippines. One of the strongest typhoons ever recorded, Haiyan raged through 47 provinces, causing immense destruction. Over a million houses were damaged, half of them totally destroyed, and more than 4 million people were displaced. Large areas were left without electricity or an adequate water supply for weeks, and the devastation of infrastructure made food distribution and medical services difficult. Many people made their way to less-affected areas, such as the capital Manila, and some cities reported a near doubling of their populations.
 Haiti typhoon Survivors carry religious images, ten days after Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the central Philippines. 
 See more images from the exhibiton in my Worldpress Gallery
]]> (Peter Lennon Photography) amazing awards core cruelty fighting harrowing images international nature pain photojournalism press sport suffering war worldpress Wed, 03 Dec 2014 18:22:08 GMT
To Divis & beyond....... Divis & Black Mountains rest in the heart of the Belfast Hills range which run from the edge of Lisburn to Newtownabbey.

Divis or Dubhais, meaning ‘black ridge’, refers to the dark basalt bedrock & stands at 478 metres with its lower sister, Black Mountain standing at 390 metres, making Divis the highest point in the Belfast Hills.

The mountains provide a varied landscape & is home to a host of wildlife & the backdrop to the city's skyline but for many years this area has been off limits as it was utilised by the Ministry Of Defence.  However recently a new mountain top coffee shop, the Divis Coffee Barn has arrived  & proper walking trails makes walking in these hills more accessible for everyone.

I have lived near these hills all my life and yet it was not until recently that I walked up here and it a great spot to 'clear the head' & see Belfast from a very different perspective.   As a photographer it presents many many opportunities to catch images such as the one in this blog - a simple shot of a young couple as the sun sets and they are silhouetted on the horizon.

As I have only been walking on the hills since late summer, all of my photography up here has been about capturing daytime panoramas of the City from the Ridge Trail, but I have set a couple of goals - firstly, whilst the sunsets are stunning, the City will look more beautiful if I can catch it bathed in an early morning winter sunrise.  This will however require an early start, as sunrise is around 8am at present and its a half hour drive from my house to the car park & a further 40 minute walk to the Ridge!  Secondly I would love to get snowy or frosty shots - that, of course, will require it to be a bit colder that the unseasonably mild weather we are experiencing at present - the other problem I will have if we do get the snowy conditions, is getting there since the car park is on the top of the Divis Road!!

For now I will settle for a few longer walks over the hills, perhaps even parking one car at Divis & the other at Cavehill - that should make a good long walk!!!


THE 'COURTIN' COUPLETHE 'COURTIN' COUPLEThe sun is almost gone & provided the right conditions to catch this silhouette . It could have been any young couple strolling across the hills - just happened to be my nephew & his girlfriend



]]> (Peter Lennon Photography) belfast black mountain divis landscapes nature northern Ireland scenery views vistas walking Sat, 22 Nov 2014 00:54:39 GMT
I dont like heights..... GOLDEN DAWNGOLDEN DAWNThe sun just starts to light up the City as I look eastwards towards Newtownards & Scrabo Tower just visible on the hill. This was a beautiful morning & this shot was only available for an instant as the sun broke the cloud The tallest building in Belfast is the Obel Tower which was opened in 2011.  By New York standards it is hardly a skysIcraper at 85 metres (28 storeys) but it is the tallest we have in my home City & as a photographer I am always looking for new perspectives to capture images of the City.  So when I was given the opportunity to get onto the roof of this building to watch a beautiful sunrise, I obviously couldn't resist.

I don't really have a head for heights, I even kept my eyes closed in the glass fronted lift to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.  However my desire to get the shots meant I was determined to get up there and get the job done!

I arrived at Tower 1 on a crisp Saturday morning at 7.30 and got the lift to floor 28.  The access to the roof is via a short vertical ladder through a small hatch - so with camera bag & tripod secured to my back - up I went.

My first views of the city were, well literally, breath-taking.   I have lived in Belfast all my life but have never been able to see it from this perspective before. The shape of the roof means that you are first presented with a view straight down Belfast Lough, with the Scotland Ferry terminal on the left and the Odyssey, Titanic Building & the H&W cranes on the right.

The sun was already starting to rise a little higher above the horizon at this stage and the colours were wonderful and constantly changing.

I set up the tripod and starting shooting panoramas of the Belfast hills from Black mountain to Cavehill & then the Odyssey & Titanic Quarter. A layer of mist hung over the hills in places & this just added to the shot.

As the sun rose a little higher I moved my attention towards Strangford Lough &  the views towards Scrabo Tower in Newtownards.  There are a couple of lovely shots of this vista in my collection.

All the while the sun was slowly rising higher & when I turned my attention to the South across the rooftops of the Victoria Centre & the Waterfront, I was met by a stunning view of the Mourne mountains bathed in the early morning soft light - so once again I took both individual shots and panoramas of this which you can also see in my collection.

Unfortunately the best conditions for this photo opportunity were now over - known as the Blue Hour - you catch this at the first and last light of the day.  So tripod and camera packed up, I descended the ladder & returned to the ground......  Enjoy my images....  I'm already looking forward to my next trip to the roof!!



]]> (Peter Lennon Photography) belfast cityscape northern ireland oel tower scyscraper views vistas Tue, 14 Oct 2014 21:06:46 GMT
Bucket List Item I used the term 'bucket list' on my home page introduction.  We all have one, even if its not written down - there are lists of things we would all like to do in our "3 score year and 10".  For years I have wanted to visit the Nazi concentration camps in Poland - I think this is because my generation still has a direct connection with WWII through parents or grandparents who either lived through it or served in the armed forces during the 1939-45 war.

Many of you will have seen the movie "The boy in the striped pyjamas" & watching that reinforced my resolve to go and see the 'death camps' for myself.  It may have been a morbid fascination but having been now, I really think that everyone should see this at least once, if only to remind ourselves what we are capable of.

There are many images of Auschwitz & Birkenau in the google archives but I would like to share mine with you - this is my personal collection & I hope that you can 'feel' some of the atmosphere via the black & white method which I decided to record them in.

Maybe sometime you will get the opportunity to go and see them for yourself....but in the meantime go and look at my Krakow 2014 gallery


]]> (Peter Lennon Photography) auchwitz brikenau death camps krakow nazi poland world war 2 Wed, 01 Oct 2014 17:24:24 GMT
The Dock Exhibition TITANIC REFLECTIONSTITANIC REFLECTIONSThis is one of my favourites. Taken in early summer 2014, I have captured a near perfect refection of the left side of the Titanic Building, in the water which surrounds it. The image is enhanced with a beautiful blue sky


My exhibition event  in The Dock coffee, Titanic Quarter was a great success with around 60 people turning up and raising £540

Well done everyone & thanks for your support


]]> (Peter Lennon Photography) Dock The coffee exhibition quarter titanic Sat, 27 Sep 2014 23:16:06 GMT