When the colours of autumn come out to play

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With the colours of autumn in full display right now and with a splash of sunshine amidst the ubiquitous Irish showers, I thought I'd head up into the heart of Antrim's Glens to see if I could find some of those gorgeous autumnal hues.

I headed first for Glenariff, one of the most famous of Glens, and one normally draped in that famous Irish green for much of the year.

Where else would I head at first than the famous waterfall. With my welly boots in place, I had planned to cross over the river and take a shot from the far bank. But, of course, with all the rain of late, the river was a raging torrent, with the white waters cascading off the top of the falls, obscuring all but the largest of boulders. I decided that caution was the order of the day (especially with all the camera gear on my back) and instead I set up on the near bank. The falls were kicking up an incredible amount of spray. I had to keep wiping the lens clear and in the 10 minutes it took to get this shot, I got well and truly soaked! But the colours and the drama in the water made it more than worth it!

Next up was a bit of a wander up the gorge to the other Glenariff waterfall. It was a bit drier this time, but the colours again were gorgeous.

After this, I headed down to Red Bay and around towards Cushendall, and beautiful and picturesque archetypal Irish village. But it wasn't the village I was after this day - rather I went up the steep hill to the north of the settlement to search for a vantage point for a sunset shot back over the Antrim Plateau and Glens. It's part of the joy of landscape photography when you're in search of that perfect spot that gives you the view you're after, all the while watching the light in the hope that you'll get to your spot before the light show begins! 

After a few wrong turns, I found the road I was after and got set up. The sun was just setting behind the bank of dramatic rain clouds, its last rays just about squeezing through a narrow gap just above the horizon. This not only painted the southern slopes of the Glens in a soft warm glow, but also underlit the undulating bottoms of the clouds themselves, mixing the cross battleship grey with the warmth of an autumnal hue.  

And just when the sun set and I thought the orange display was done, a light rain shower approached from the north west, covering the far landscape in a misty greyness. But each raindrop acted like a refractor, catching the dying embers of the sunset's light and re-casting them in a diffuse orange glow across the northern sky. 

I went hunting for autumnal colours that day - and got them from both the source I was expecting - and one I wasn't quite!

Alistair HamillComment