The alarm went off at 4am. I woke up begging for heavy cloud cover. Rain would have been perfect. After only a couple of hours sleep, I really didn't want to get up.

Once again, Mother Nature took my wishes and trampled all over them. The sky was promisingly clear of heavy clouds. I'd have to get up. I needed to be at Aghadoe Heights, just outside Killarney, before 5:20am to get the sunrise.

It's a 45- to 60-minute drive to Killarney in Co. Kerry from my house in Co. Cork, depending on whether or not the place that does hot sausages in a bun is open. As I approached the county boundary, my heart sank. Fat, dense clouds hung over Kerry.

Two things stopped me from turning back.

1) I had come this far, so may as well see it through.

2) I'd made a promise to my gallery manager, Carol. She'd been asking for a photograph of the view from the Aghadoe Heights for ages. She knew it would be a good seller. I had finally promised that I would provide one by the end of the week. She had replied, "I'll hold you to that" in the kind of voice that foreshadowed Game-of-Thrones levels of physical discomfort had I not delivered.

Aghadoe Magic

By the time I got to the Aghadoe Heights, the clouds had pretty much vanished. Maybe they were afraid of Carol too?

Aghadoe Heights is right on my gallery's doorstep, yet that seems to have made it harder for me to make time to photograph the view from there. Somehow, nearby locations get relegated to the bottom of the list.

The picture above shows the first rays of sunlight glancing off the top of the Macgillycuddy's Reeks in the background, with Lough Leane in the foreground. On the left, you can see Inishfallen island, which has a monastery on it.

It feels good to have this photograph hanging in the gallery. Not least because I would probably be hanging in its stead if I had returned empty-handed.

Sunrise from Aghadoe, Killarney, Kerry
Sunrise from Aghadoe, Killarney, Kerry

 

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.

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