By Lauren Heeney.
I took this photo of Poulnabrone Dolmen in County Clare, Ireland, while on holiday. A portal tomb, I have heard that it is the most photographed object in Ireland! It certainly impressed me.


Poulnabrone Dolmen.  By Lauren Heeney

Canon PowerShot SX20; 1/100s; ISO 80

Don’s response

Poulnabrone Dolmen in County Clare, Ireland is a Neolithic era portal tomb which seems to have been used for burials from 3800 to 3200 BC. According to the Irish Archeology web site, it is one of the most photographed archeological sites in the country — and from Lauren Heeney’s picture, it’s easy to see why.

But sites such as this present an exceptional challenge simply because they have been so frequently photographed. Lauren’s contre jour approach downplays the surrounding landscape and allows us to see the texture and colour of the stones.  The low angle helps viewers to appreciate the way the massive roof-stone almost floats atop the vertical portal stones too.

And yet, because the site is so heavily photographed, her picture is unavoidably like many others. So, what to do? My own approach, for what it’s worth in such circumstances is to look for a detail or angle that I particularly like and to work on that. Of course, like everyone else, I’d get a snap of the entire structure too, but I think that is the choice of specific details that are personally appealing which has the best chance of conveying something to the viewer of your take, your perspective, your particular way of seeing.


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