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Power of the Dolmen

Power of the Dolmen
Photo Information
Copyright: Stephen Emerson (Signal-Womb) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1020 W: 58 N: 2904] (11094)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Black & White
Date Taken: 2006-06-04
Categories: Sky
Camera: Canon Digital Rebel XT 350D, Canon EF-S 10-22mm 1:3.5-4.5, Kenko Pro1 CP
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/30 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Coasties Favourites, Best shots from Ireland, 5 favs. and up [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-06-23 12:30
Viewed: 7674
Favorites: 8 [view]
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note

Today the Burren in the west of Ireland stands grey and empty, swept by the wild winds and rain from the Atlantic Ocean. I have been here three times now and each time I have tried to photograph the Burrens magic. The Poulnabrone dolmen in particular has always beat me as Iv come away not really capturing the power of the thing. This time through the medium of B&W photography I have come a step nearer. Yes, I am happy with this one.

The power of the Poulnabrone far exceeds its actual size, its not that big but the mysterious and haunting atmosphere of The Burren adds to the sense of the dolmen being an entrance to another world and another time.

Here, five thousand years ago the Tuatha de Danaan, the Shining Ones or Fairy Folk of Irish legend, performed their magic.

Here, the people of the Neolithic era placed the remains of their ancestors, visiting the shrine to perform their rituals and ceremonies.

Here they made contact with the spirit world, perhaps placating the gods with sacrifice to ensure the fertility of their crops, their livestock and their clan.

The figures and voices of the past have long faded leaving us to speculate on the lives of our ancestors of five thousand years ago, their world outlook, and their spiritual beliefs. Here at Poulnabrone we are haunted by the closeness of their presence, yet frustrated by the abyss of time and silence that stands between us.

Software: Adobe Photoshop CS2 Windows
Exposure Time: 1/30 sec
F-Stop: f/7.1
ISO Speed Ratings: 100
Focal Length: 16/1 mm

liquidsunshine, Aramok, Fisher, horia, hester, marhowie, satish_h, deud, coasties, peco85, AdrianW, Athila, Karin, mogens-j, aido, sAner has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Aramok Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 896 W: 101 N: 1501] (5166)
  • [2006-06-23 13:04]

what an amazing sky you have managed there. it is really effective in B&W. Having been there I know how small this set of stones are and you have managed to make them look huge... but it is so effective and what a sky.



Hi Stephen,
This is fantastic. Using B&W really makes this image more powerful.
Good detail and sharpness. exposure and lighting are good. Good POV and composition.
The only thing I'm not keen on is the phone lines on the LHS, I think it would be better if they were cloned out.

Thanks for posting, Have a great weekend.

  • Great 
  • Fisher Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1540 W: 309 N: 2234] (8915)
  • [2006-06-23 13:46]

Hi Stephen,

As the french do, mmmmoi. Excellent shot and well done on the composition. The tonal qualities are super. Beautiful B/W. Hang it mate.!!!


  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-06-23 14:10]

Absolutely breathtaking!!! The difference between the sky and the rocks just makes it all perfect. You rarely get to see a better B&W.
A huge BRAVO! and really TFS

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2006-06-23 14:11]

Wow what a strong striking image. The sky is amazing. Great composition

Hi Stephen,
Wonderful picture. I like this composition, and the sky is fantastic.

Hi Stephen,
that's marvelous, Celtic Magic - and those clouds are wonderful - so dramatic. An excellent and impressive shot, thanks for sharing
Sabine - wishnugaruda

Hi Stephen,

This is a super, wide angle picture in B&W. No nits, the composition is outstanding. Well done.


goog composition and trasformation to B&W

Hello syephen,

marvelous! i ahve no words to express the beauty of the B/W picture you have captured! i think this is one of the best picture i have seen in recent times. keep showing your treasure of pictures.

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2006-06-24 3:22]

gorgeous! i think, with colors that was also great. but b&w improve the dramatism to subject. tfs

Hi Stephen

How I wish I could view these wonderful places in Ireland that you share with us in your photos. This is a specatular shot and the choice of B&W is perfect in my opinion. :-)

Very powerful image Stephen! very nice composition and a marvelous effect with the clouds giving it a very moody pciture along with the black/white theme. Keep sharing.:)


I like this very much Steve..and one I haven't seen ;)
I can see why you're happy with this one..

at first; this is a masterpiece..
what a wonderful sky, mood and sense..
big big congrats

  • Great 
  • Athila Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 335 W: 239 N: 493] (1982)
  • [2006-06-24 12:08]

Hi Stephen,

This is a geat B&W picture. Here again the intellignet use of a wide angle gives an accentuated perspective that render a lot of drama. The elevated contrast and the burning of sky's highlight really improve overall appearance. We can feel the excllent control of PP render you image an Ansel Adams style.

Excellent work that deserve a lot more than 2 points. TFS.


  • Great 
  • Karin Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 418 W: 5 N: 268] (2089)
  • [2006-06-24 13:49]

Strong photograph, with good bw contrast: everything has been said but I specialy like the little white dots ot the flowers in the right foreground.

Great scenario you have captured here Stephen and it works great in b/w. Looks great with the light beaming out from the stones.

  • Great 
  • mbasil Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 335 W: 148 N: 745] (3320)
  • [2006-06-24 18:01]

Another great B&W. I think you deserve to be an honorary member of the old f/64 group (Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham & Edward Weston)!

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-06-25 18:24]

Wow, this is fantastic. I think you've captured a whole lot of atmosphere and a real sense of something very different to the normal landscapes we see everyday. There is a sense of power to this for sure, I can't say you've achieved what you wanted as I've never been there but I'd say you've captured something very special with this shot. The B&W is perfect and the sky is just awe-inspiring. Very strong composition and the POV ius perfect. Just a superb shot.

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2006-08-07 6:27]

Excellent shot Stephen. B/W works really well in this case; makes it somewhat dramatic. Well done & TFS!


Hey Stephen - Another awesome photo. Great work with the light and the composition. This B/W has more life than many full color photos! TFS!

Wouahou! Superbe!
Le choix de la pose longue est vraiment très judicieux. Le Dolmen apparait inébranlable face au temps qui passe. Mais aussi le choix du B&W et celui d'un tel contrast. Bref. Une très belle photo. Meci beaucoup de nous l'avoir montré. :)

Wow!! a powerful shot for a power place. the Tibetans would say, a 'bayuul' a power place. The sky is absolutely perfect, but......I agree with you, it's one of those frustrating things.....I feel that the rocks should be just a bit more to the left, but that would make the top left of the top rock out of place, so....maybe a lower POV? I don't know. A fabulous photograph. I want to call Air Canada right now and go there. If I ever get to Ireland, I'm coming to this place. It really speaks to me. Thank-you for sharing. This is an important image.

  • Great 
  • briclo (39)
  • [2012-10-14 6:41]

Hello Stephen,

Magnificent composition, contrast and history information. I did not know this area of Ireland and I won't miss to visit it.

Excellent one...

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