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Capturing Europe's edge

How to photograph the Wild Atlantic Way

John Eagle has been snapping Ireland’s west coast for over 20 years. From lighthouses in storms, to islands under sunset, he knows what works. We asked John for some tips to help get the best results from our images of Europe’s edge, the Wild Atlantic Way.


Find those beaches: “Unless you want your shot to look like any beach in the world, look for a solitary person with a dog, with the beach stretching way off into the distance.”

Take the shot: Keem Strand, Achill Island; Derrynane Beach, County Kerry; Doonbeg Beach, County Clare; Barley Cove, County Cork


Find those cliffs: “It’s best if you take pictures of them in the early morning or late in the evening when the sun is low. It means you could catch things like streams flowing off them that might turn golden with the sun.”

Take the shot: Cliffs of Moher, County Clare; Slieve League Cliffs, County Donegal


Find those lighthouses: “Lighthouses, unlike people, keep their pose and stand still (unless a fierce storm is breaking them apart). It's all about capturing the mood around them.”

Take the shot: Loop Head, County Clare; Mizen Head, County Cork


Find those sunsets: “Sunsets are for your friends to oooh and aaah over. Getting them right can be difficult. Silhouettes are good. Go find yourself some fishing boats with tall masts, then aim your camera at the brightest spot in the sky and hold the reading, then shoot the scene with the boats in. Works a treat if the sunset is really good.”

Take the shot: Inishowen Peninsula, County Donegal; Derrigimlagh Bog, Connemara, County Galway; Aran Islands


Find the sea: “Slow the shutter on your camera down, use a tripod and camera for silky smooth shots. Also look for angry scenes when the ocean is pumped up, crashing over everything.”

Take the shotDingle Peninsula, County Kerry; Beara Peninsula, County Cork; Achill Island, County Mayo; Mullaghmore, County Sligo

The most amazing thing? We've only scratched the surface of what the Wild Atlantic Way has to offer. Delve deeper with these itineraries and find your own Kodak moment along Europe's edge.

About the author

Raised in the Wicklow countryside, David is country through and through. He loves reading, especially Sebastian Barry and Roddy Doyle, and cooking (burning?) up a storm in the kitchen. You might find him bouncing around a tennis court on weekends before retiring to a quiet pub with friends for a long lazy afternoon. David writes about sport, food and nature and is fascinated by the Titanic. Favourite Walk:The Lambe Hill (for thinking) and Beal Ban beach in Ballyferriter (for romancing).

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