Clogher Beach, Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, Ireland
Clogher Beach must be the most photographed beach in County Kerry, both by tourists and local residents. It is a beautiful beach, though relatively small, but the main attraction is that it probably has the biggest waves on the Dingle peninsula – not waves for surfers, but really massive, ferocious, turbulent and truly awesome waves. Swimming is strictly prohibited on this beach, even on a calm day, lest you should be sucked away by a dangerous rip current. On a rough day, which is frequent enough, you can see a number of cars in the car park, their owners risking the salty, damaging (to the cars)) spray, for the pleasure of observing and marvelling at the sight of these big, splashy rollers.
There are certain problems around trying to get good photos here. When the sea is rough this usually means there is an equally powerful wind, and even the best tripods may be somewhat challenged, and it’s virtually impossible to stand still. Another problem may be that the spray is coating the lens, as you get carried away trying to get those fantastic shots. This is even more of an issue when there is a spring tide, combined with a strong off shore wind, when you would be lucky to even stand in the car park without getting completely drenched – a disaster for your camera!
I was very lucky one day recently, when I went out to photograph the snow on the mountains, but stopped off at Clogher Beach, to find some of the biggest waves I have ever seen there. It was surprising because it wasn’t windy, but apparently there was a huge storm surge coming in from the Atlantic. There was beautiful sunlight, which was an added bonus.
It really is a hugely exhilarating experience to just stand and observe this exciting spectacle – gigantic breakers, whooshing, rushing and crashing like thunder, often on top of each other, surging forward, sizzling and fizzing to the shore. Massive splashes rise up from the rocks, apparently resolute on climbing high over the clifftops.
I became completely absorbed in this contemplation, and every, now and again I pointed my camera to grab the shot of that extraordinarily colossal wave or particularly massive splash, often just missing the moment, which could be very fleeting. Eventually, I took several photos, and some of them are shown here.
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