This is the Kilclooney Dolmen, one of the largest and most intact dolmens in Ireland and dates from 3500BC. Ireland is densely populated with these portal tombs and they mysteriously appear throughout Europe, Russia, India and Asia, Korea surprisingly having the largest concentration of dolmens in the world.
I took this shot as it was getting dark. The dolmen is located in a remote part of Donegal, in the middle of a field, about a kilometre from Kilclooney Church. We were the only ones for miles around and everything was so still and quiet. It really is a remarkable experience coming close to one of these portals. It's awe-inspiring that this one has stood here silently for so many millennia. It really sets the imagination on fire and perhaps it was my imagination, but I couldn't help feeling that there was magic in the air.
As there was absolutely no artificial light nearby, I'd suggest bringing a torch or some form of light. The light you see in this photo is a candle set in the centre of the dolmen.
I dedicate this to Le Petomane who accompanied me here, braved the mud, midges and darkness and was in charge of lighting.
Canon 5D MkII
Cable shutter release
Critiques | Translate
Didi (57736) 2013-10-13 4:49
Strange mysterious scary ambiance
With the red spot down the dolmen
It's a good scene for making a remake of the film The night of the demon :)
Sergiom (62954) 2013-10-13 5:03
Very good work. You made a candle look like a fire with these 43 seconds. To bad that there were no stars in the sky it would have been even more spectacular. I applaude the effort.
What kind of name is " le petomane ". In french, it means " someone who is farting all the time". At least it kept you warm.
Have a nice day
photoray (12797) 2013-10-13 5:28
Mysterious Dolmen image, saturated darkness with the huge bolder balanced precariously over the red glow. Appearing like a type of volcanic activity.
We Yanks have little or no knowledge of Dolmens, but due to your informative note, I am learning.
Romano46 (18466) 2013-10-13 5:28
le tue origini sono italiane ma la tua vista si svolge in Australia e della terra in cui vivi hai assorbito tutte le caratteristiche positive. compreso il senso dell'avventura.
Solo una come te poteva pensare di andare sul far della notte in posto lontano da ogni centro abitato per vedere quella che per qualche ignorante potrebbe essere solo una pietra , e per riprenderla alla luce di poco più di una candela.
Per questo ti ammiro e ammiro la tua tecnica fotografica che con un tempo di posa di ben 43 secondi ti ha permesso di ottenere questo risultato altrimenti impossibile.
Un documento straordinario che immagino porterai sempre nel cuore di una giornata altrettanto straordinaria.
Ti saluto caramente e ti auguro una buona settimana, visto che da te ormai è notte e il nuovo giorno si avvicina.
annjackman (20283) 2013-10-13 6:35
Well this is an unusual picture and a super one. The colours and lighting have given a very mysterious look to this ancient site. Taken at a very good time of day. Clever and thoughtful work.
Kind Regards, Ann
Noel_Byrne (25748) 2013-10-13 8:09
I looked at this first and thought you had come across some sort of ethereal party, the lights shining from another dimension and just barely lighting our world. 12 out of 10 for the idea of bringing a candle, it really adds a fantastic sense of magic and otherworldliness to the already magical place.
As you say, its incredible to think this place has stood silently here for many thousands of years, and its location is very barren and lonely. A lonely place indeed, but your candle brings some excellent light and warmth to it. Brilliant idea and result, as ever thanks for sharing your magical creative touch.
All the best
P.S. I've never actually been to a dolman. I tried to find the one in Carlow, but I got lost, so I must make it a mission to find one soon, your post has really re-sparked my interest.
Juzo (4349) 2013-10-13 8:34
I really should visit Ireland one day (Grandfather's family are Irish), and this seems to capture something deep, like it's long past, the simple structure, composition, the twilight darkness I like too.
williewhistler (14791) 2013-10-13 12:14
as you may know, we are blessed with a Dolmen or two in this part of the world but I must admit that I`ve never taken a shot of one in the magic of the blue hour and certainly not with the aid of a candle,the light of which is quite magical in this imaginative shot taken from a nice low view point.
There is surprising amount of detail revealed throughout the granite stones aided of course by that trusty candle.
Which makes me wonder,why would an intrepid world traveller visit such a site at the given time if it were not pre planned...
I think that this is way up there in terms of photographic terms so I shall be interested to see how others view it.
Kindest regards Les.
PS. I hear that a LED torch can be a useful addition to camera back pack.
SnapRJW (31617) 2013-10-13 12:54
I know how much you love Neolithic sites and I can imagine the thrill you must have experienced to see this Portal Tomb. We saw a similar one down in the south but my shots are nowhere near a mystical as this one of yours. The candle light was inspirational and the success of the shot lies in the light which flickers over the interior of the tomb. The mood becomes one of timelessness as the open flame and its play across the rocks forms a direct link with what the originators of this sacred site must have experienced in their lives governed by the natural world. I find the shot deeply peaceful. Top class dear Lisa
carlo62 (35300) 2013-10-13 15:18
o devo chiamarti Indiana Jones????
Sei una forza della natura, quasi quanto il Dolmen che hai fotografato.
Di sicuro è impossibile dimenticarsi di un'emozione come questa, la tua foto è senza dubbio di grande effetto, con la descrizione si comprende ancora di più lo spirito d'avventura con cui hai affrontato l'impegno.
Complimenti, per la foto e per la volontà.
jjcordier (77488) 2013-10-13 23:23
Intéressante idée pour éclairer l'intérieur du dolmen (un grand merci au Pétomane)mais l'image est quand même un tout petit peu trop sombre quand même?
macjake (57888) 2013-10-14 1:54
Well, I have to admit, I know absolutely nothing about Dolmens!
but I do know I like this one, and what a difference that candle made, did you guys put that there? if so, brilliant idea.
and i totally get the surreal feeling you must have encountered being out there all alone, pretty spooky eh!
all that does is make the scene/photo/experience that much better.
cool shot and subject
see you around
ifege (10225) 2013-10-14 2:02
Ah Lisa - escaped out into the night for a great one - love the touch of red light.
bayno (18342) 2013-10-14 2:56
Ciao Lisa, davvero misteriosa questa immagine...non capisco da dove venga quella bella luce rossa...bella la blue hour tarda...fà impressione pensare che questa strana costruzione sia di 5500 anni fà....scatto perfettamente eseguito...ma non avevamo certo dubbi a proposito ;)
timecapturer (49288) 2013-10-14 3:12
love this! I can sense the atmosphere here and the light is just perfect at evoking that feeling two dimensionally. Must have been quite an experience for you. Execution and presentation just perfect.
Have a great week - Brian.
olive224 (2719) 2013-10-14 4:36
I love this composition, the contrast betwwen the deep blue tones against the fragile red/orange candle light is amazing ;)
You had an excellent idea to light the scene like that
Perfect composition ;)
ktanska (25125) 2013-10-14 11:47
Very special stone structure, thanks for educating me on this subject. As far as I know there aren't such in Finland.
Luminosity of the candle fits perfectly with remaining skylight. And has exactly contrasting colour to the blue hour.
krzychu30 (15510) 2013-10-14 23:58
Didi´s first sentence captures perfectly my feelings while admiring your shot.Evocative and very moody scene!
And the combination of cold blue shades and some warm red hues only intensifies this mysterious feeling of the scene and makes it so captivating and unique for us!
Wish You a nice day
ikeharel (59593) 2013-10-16 3:22
The candle light under the Dolman gave a mysterious texture to the whole photo.
Mingle in great harmony to the dark blue sky and (almost) black surrounding.
ChrisJ (100806) 2013-10-16 10:58
They have these in South Korea too & I've uploaded a similar shot but one taken in daylight hours under cloudy conditions. I may have brightened the whole image a little as it looks a little dark on my monitor but the warm cold color contrast between the yellow backlight and the deep indigo sky is wonderful. Excellent sharpness & framing. Tfs!
Cricri (108729) 2013-10-16 11:51
Hi dear Lisa
Gros plan et une prise basse qui le rend impressionnant, belle prise a heure bleu et l'idée excellente de la bougie, ce qui fait un joli contraste de couleurs, superbe
Belle soirée a toi
jcpix (13716) 2013-10-16 19:20
This looks fantastic on my monitor, not at all too dark...or too light, and just like Goldilocks would say...it's juuuuust right! :)
This has 'atmosphere' written all over it, what a cool shot...and absolute brilliant idea to bring a candle. The colored effect it's produced in conjunction with the deep blue sky is superb! I can only imagination the mood produced from this, especially being out in the middle of nowhere. This comes off as mystical, a very unique vibe from the visual.
It still only renders 2 points, but I give it one huge smiley! :) By the way, I just noticed my last comment omitted the little green face...no idea what happened there!? Sorry. Have a great afternoon.
Cheers from the red, white and blue,
fabbs99 (16783) 2013-10-17 21:11
Namaste ! Superb shot of the dolmen with nice colors and sharpness.Wonderful shot with great POV, composition and colors. .Nice composition with less light. Well done.TFS.
brianmcc (6185) 2013-10-20 12:04
i love this one. 43 second exposure, wow, it must have been almost dark. the dolmen is so dramatic sitting above the landscape and illuminated with the orange glow of the candle, which contrasts it so well against the blue of the night sky.
ourania (33535) 2013-10-27 7:09
Hello dear Lisa,
I think that you've captured the awe and magic of the isolated dolmen standing silent and lonely in the dark. The idea to mildly light the interior was superb, even more so because the light is so warm and suggestive. There's great rendering of details in these, especially challenging lighting conditions. I like very much that you respected the darkness and didn't try to highlight your theme in any unnatural way. Your approach and work on presenting this dolmen have been most effective. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a great week,
CLODO (30836) 2013-10-27 8:55
very dramatic picture with the dark blue hour revaealing the old dolmen, the red light adds a lot, fancing that some fairies must meet under it!
mirosu (15066) 2013-10-28 22:01
Wow! Looks excellent! You seem to have mastered the use of the unique perspective night provides to things which others would only shoot during the day, and perhaps not so well. Superb photo.