Rather busy day yesterday and while I don't normally share images so soon after taking them, I'm looking at pretty much all of these as being record shots / planning shots only. That's okay as I'm learning to appreciate that record days are just as important as days where I make an image that may end up going into my portfolio. 

It's critical that as a landscape photographer you are spending time in the landscape with and without the camera. 

A 3am alarm call for sunrise and despite the overnight forecast suggesting clear conditions with broken cloud I was greeted at ‪Ballintoy‬ by 80% cloud cover.  A critical factor however was that there was a reasonable gap on the horizon. I played with sunrise a bit (still need to convinced that I like shooting into the sun) and then over to the (not so) secret beach for some Swooshery‬ action. That place is still very much a work in progress but its an absolute joy each and every time I'm down there. Big shout to David Laverty who I met down there. Very good to chat to you and I'm sure we will bump into each other again. 

Dawn at Ballintoy - Fuji XE2 + 10-24mm. Formatt Hitech 3 stop ND Grad and 10 stop ND

Dawn at Ballintoy - Fuji XE2 + 10-24mm. Formatt Hitech 3 stop ND Grad and 10 stop ND

Then onto the none photo bit of the day which included a bit of snorkelling in the Herringpond. This brought back memories of my last dip in there when I was about 11 and totally freaked out almost drowning Harry Thompson in the process, sorry about that. Home for some lunch and then out for a 5k run, first since pulling a calf muscle. Thankfully it stayed firm. 

The plan in the evening had originally been to hit one of the beaches to work more on textures and even more Swooshery, but then I realised that there was a new moon and no clouds forecast. Well that could only mean a wee trip down to the The Giant's Causeway to see how dark things could get. While I wasn't there for sunset I worked on a few potential compositions for future use. It's always fun how, despite you having your camera setup, people like to just wander into the scene. Then again who could blame them. It's just a magical place down there that you are sometimes fully engaged in the location. I love sometimes to just sit and drink in the atmosphere. Last night was one of those nights. 

Sunset at the Causeway - Fuji XE2 + 10-24mm Formatt Hitech 3 stop ND Grad and 10 stop ND

Sunset at the Causeway - Fuji XE2 + 10-24mm Formatt Hitech 3 stop ND Grad and 10 stop ND

As I was setting up for the ‪MilkyWay‬ the International Space Station gave a nice fly past - cheers for that boys.  

ISS Passover - Fuji XE2 + Samyang 12mm 

ISS Passover - Fuji XE2 + Samyang 12mm 

It was then onto the main event, by which stage I'd been joined on the stones by a few other photographers. Jonny (??) and sorry I don't remember the name of the second chap but great to catch up with them and I'm sure our (dark) paths will cross again.  Alistair Hamill also arrived having done his duty (anniversary) earlier in the evening, and so we set about capturing the stunning MilkyWay. 

The Fabric of Life - Fuji XE2 + Samyang 12mm 

The Fabric of Life - Fuji XE2 + Samyang 12mm 

And it really is stunning to look up and realise just how massive our universe is, and I was probably only viewing about 1% of it. Creation or otherwise, whatever your belief, it is sometimes good to be amongst such awesomeness to realise despite so called powerful people suggesting they are leading, we really are just a small spec in the fabric of life. 

It's The Milky Bar Kid - Fuji XE2 + Samyang 12mm 

It's The Milky Bar Kid - Fuji XE2 + Samyang 12mm 

My 'no long trousers between March and September' was given a dam good testing last night on the stones as the temperature dropped. Crawled back into bed around 2am this morning - with a huge smile on my face. 

All in all a fantastic day and am thankful that I have the opportunity to follow my passion and be amongst the place and people. 

I can highly recommend a full day from before sunrise to after sunset to help rebalance yourself and appreciate your life 

Oh and great news from friend, full time traveller and now astro shooter Chris T. Hodgson who has grabbed himself a job shooting Aurora goodness with Lights Over Lapland. Fantastic opportunity, so pleased for them both. Really looking forward to his images and of course stories. Perhaps I'll get Nicola across during the season for some ‪Aurora‬ goodness ...

As I say just record shots for now but thought I'd still share ‪‎MyLongestDay‬. Currently injesting caffeine by drip. 

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