Colliery Bay and Fair Head, Co. Antrim

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Colliery Bay and Fair Head, Co. Antrim

Made on my second visit to the north Antrim coast in 2009, this view of Fair Head from Colliery Bay is my favourite of that trip.

The weather was threatening in the pre-dawn hours, but there was a band of clear sky right where the sun was due to rise. The low clouds are lit from beneath as it rises over the Scottish Hebrides, but all too soon the show was over and it vanished behind the advancing cloud cover.

Being in the right place at the right time is crucial for successful landscape photography. On this morning I realized the shot I had planned, which relied upon golden sunlight on the scene, was not going to happen - so I shifted gears and went to a location where I'd be able to shoot directly at the Sun as it rose.

The tactic paid off in this case, and this image - made at the peak of the light show - shows that the red light wasn't quite strong enough to fully light the underside of the clouds nor to illuminate the rocks. The result is a contrast of warm and cool colours which I feel work very well.

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