It has been almost a year and I am still trying to best articulate the Dark Hedges. I find that they are a bit of a contradiction.
They do make a great image. I believe it is due to the way the hedges allow light to filter in. Unique shadows draw photographers, from amateur to professional to this small section of road in Antrim, Northern Ireland. Add seasonal colors and the opportunities for the ‘shot’ multiply.
The contradiction is that there is something very simplistic to them. They are, in fact, overgrow hedges that are treelike in their stature. They are … well, ordinary. Yet, it is in this simplicity that when you add the light, it creates an image that looks very complicated; something extraordinary.
The afternoon that we stopped was dreary. As I grabbed the tripod, it began to rain. Not a soft rain, but a steady, need-to-protect-the-camera rain. Two umbrellas and a few prayers (please be in focus) was all that needed. I took a variety of images in different apertures and focal lengths. After thirty minutes, the skies seemed to open up and keeping the lens dry was becoming impossible, so we packed up. In the back of my mind I thought … I just need one.
If you have the opportunity, it is worth the trip. You will either need GPS coordinates or good directions. We received our directions from the tourist office in Portrush, County Atrim. Patience is needed, but don’t give up. We turned around, backed up and even picked a point to start over. With a little Irish tenacity … we found it.