The Dark Hedges in Ballymoney, Ireland was a place I wanted to visit for quite some time but never had the opportunity……until now. Even though I come from Ireland, weirdly I wasn’t aware of this iconic place until I came across it on another photographers blog (thanks FlixelPix). It is a much photographed place and deservedly so – it truly is spectacular. Nature at it’s most beautiful, brilliant, mad, dramatic best. The Dark Hedges themselves are a line of beech (Fagus sylvatica) trees dating from the 1800s and they were planted by the Stuart family to create an impressive entrance spectacle¬† to their home, Gracehill House. Of course it has received global recognition by appearing in Game of Thrones, and when you see the photos you can understand why it was chosen by the show’s makers. Go here for more information about this and other filming locations in NI.

The Hedges also is recommended by a well-known tyre manufacturer as one of the 12 best road trip destinations in GB and Ireland. When we were there I heard Italian and American voices and one guy we spoke to had even come from Belize (long story). It is a wonderful place and well worth a visit, though it is best to get there very early morning or at dusk to shoot it at its best, before the hordes arrive. I’m sure it would be amazing in winter at dawn or dusk with frost/snow and with the sun streaming through the twisted branches. I had my X-Pro1 with me 18mm and 27mm lens and they were great, as usual. Also along with me for the ride were Triggertrap mobile kit and Manfrotto Pixie mini-tripod. Both are excellent as they are small (easy to pack) and together they form a formidable force when shooting.

More information including directions and the legend behind the Hedges, which in itself wouldn’t be out of place in Game Of Thrones, can be found at the Visit Ballymoney website. Go see it if you can – and keep an eye out for the Grey Lady.

dark hedges

gotta eat

dark hedges

hmm

dark hedges

twisted

dark hedges

checking me out

dark hedges

look at me

TAKEN WITH THE FUJI X-PRO1 AND XF 35MM f/1.4 OR XF 27MM f/2.8

 

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June 9, 2015

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