|Wow, what a place! The 'ring' is huge, a well preserved high bank with steep sides apparently used as a sports and recreation centre by the locals! Dozens of people walking, cycling, kiting, playing football and jogging, with a small army of children using the megalithic tomb in the centre as a climbing frame-cum-fortress. Great. At least it does have easy access and a carpark though I would have traded that for a less crowds and more quiet...
The tomb itself is very nice, it does have traces of grafitti and the stones are rubbed smooth from the feet of thousands of kids but at least its still standing and isn't enclosed by an ugly fence.
I've seen lots of great photos of this tomb (one won a stage of photographer of the year in a magazine) and it seemed the kids would prevent me from getting a few moments alone to study it and the surrounding henge (with nearby trees). Slowly circling a group of young children playing under the watchful eye of their parents isnt really a great idea so I took the opportunity to walk the entire circumference of the henge in the freezing wind, dodging dogs and joggers. The park has a sign warning that the gates are closed at 4 o'clock in the evening. It was a quater to. Marvellous.
Five to four and the crowds vanish into thin air, a couple and their kids arrive to fly their kite so figuring they must be wise to the gate times I made my way to the tomb in the centre as quick as possible unpacking the camera gear as I go. After the experiences using wireless fill flash at Gaulstown Dolmen, I pretty much knew what I wanted in my head so in the ten minutes I had the place almost to myself I got shots of every angle with different sidelighting arrangements, trees in the distance lined up nicely though the sunset was a bit of a damp squib.
I also realised why I should always carry the tripod with me, the angle of the flash from the ground is just too low and the little stand thing Nikon bundle doesn't work so great in the grass. In future I'll bring at least one if not two tripods to hold either the flash or the camera, this should hopefully avoid the bright patch of grass along the line of flash. Much better.
A great place to visit, though make it early to avoid the multitudes!
Posted by CianMcLiam
17th January 2005ce