Skellig Michael Beehives, Co. Kerry

Skellig Michael Beehives, Co. Kerry
Skellig Michael is one of my favourite locations anywhere in the world. It has long been my desire to photograph the 6th century monastery here in good light, and in mid-2012 I was given the opportunity to do just that. Access to the island is restricted with tourists only permitted between the hours of 10am and 4pm - which is unfortunately when the light is at its worst during the summer months. On this occasion I was able to overnight on the island and was granted a spectacular sunrise, which you see here. The 'beehive' huts here are drystone construction and have stood in more or less this condition since the monastery was abandoned in the 13th century. Even the ground on which they are built is remarkable, as it's a man-made terrace produced by building up hundreds of tons of rock held in by a series of retaining walls. The monks had no choice in this, as there is virtually no naturally occurring flat space on the island.

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Skellig Michael is one of my favourite locations anywhere in the world. It has long been my desire to photograph the 6th century monastery here in good light, and in mid-2012 I was given the opportunity to do just that. Access to the island is restricted with tourists only permitted between the hours of 10am and 4pm - which is unfortunately when the light is at its worst during the summer months. On this occasion I was able to overnight on the island and was granted a spectacular sunrise, which you see here. The 'beehive' huts here are drystone construction and have stood in more or less this condition since the monastery was abandoned in the 13th century. Even the ground on which they are built is remarkable, as it's a man-made terrace produced by building up hundreds of tons of rock held in by a series of retaining walls. The monks had no choice in this, as there is virtually no naturally occurring flat space on the island.

Love photography? Want to learn how to produce images like this yourself? Check out my sister site, Elevation, where I list the photography tours and workshops that I organize.

I run trips within Ireland and abroad. Past destinations include Iceland, Greenland, Svalbard and the Faroe Islands.