Downpatrick Head.

Dun Briste, Downpatrick head Co. Mayo.

I have often driven through Ballycastle Co Mayo and looked out at this magnificent sea stack but never had the time to go and see it so the other day I decided it was time.  Its called Dun Briste, which means broken fort.  I’m not sure if its got anything to do with the promintory fort on the cliffs themselves.  Its estimated to be 50 meters in height and stands 80 meters off shore.

The light on that day wasn’t great and it was blowing a gale on shore so I was out early this morning (5 am!) and the light was beautiful.  The location is so spectacular but if you suffer from vertigo it might be a little nerve racking!  This was one of the first shots I took, I have a couple of others that I will process and put up in the near future.

About briancooney123

HOW I GOT HERE Of course, I wasn’t always a full time photographer. I spent a lot of time in the corporate world. I had a job which paid well, but just didn’t excite me. I remember the day when I had had enough. Enough of selling myself short, enough of dreaming too small, enough of doing what others expected of me. I had put away my dreams and told myself I would get back to them later, but somehow there always seemed to be something else that had to get done first. A friend of mine had recommended I take the NLP Business Practitioners course, and although I was really busy, I decided to do it. During that time, I began to imagine the different paths my life could take from here. While I had a hazy picture of what this other life might look like, I had a clear picture of where my current life was going if I didn’t change. It was a scary moment, a bit like standing on the edge of a cliff deciding whether to jump into the great unknown or stay on the cliff, safe but trapped. I jumped. The transition to the life I wanted was challenging The transition to the life I wanted was challenging but I would never go back. After that day I resolved to do what I love, to follow my bliss.  Picking up a camera after several years away, I found that many things had changed, the digital age had arrived. In the intervening years, I was too busy to pay any attention to my photography, and occasionally when I took something I really liked, I would think “how do some photographs seem so captivating and others leave me completely cold?” I knew this is what I was meant to do Somehow though, I knew this is what I was meant to do. I dedicated myself to learning everything I could about being a photographer. I took many, many courses and I read every book I could get my hands on, I still do. Since then, I have dedicated myself to helping other creative photographers achieve the results they want. And what a journey it has been. Last year I qualified as a coach. My main area of interest is creativity and helping others to express their vision. WHAT I BELIEVE Along the way, I’ve learnt that there are no rules. Experiment, explore, play. My advice is to make your art from your heart, not for the praise or the money.  Lighten up. It’s important to take your photography seriously, but it's a mistake to take yourself too seriously. Finally, you get what you want when you never, ever give up so enjoy every minute of it and just do it!
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151 Responses to Downpatrick Head.

  1. daakusaxena says:

    more photographs !

  2. Absolutely breathtaking. It doesn’t even look real…and that’s a compliment!


  3. xpat92 says:

    Bonjour Brian,
    Congrats for the supurb photo. I’m in awe.
    I live in France(I read that you were too until recently) . Your photo of Downpatrick head is “parfaite”/perfect in b& w.

  4. great stuff. I suspect it would be possible to make a project of this subject last the rest of your life – but don’t make the last shot of your life this subject, sounds a pretty hairy spot that you photograph from, especially in a high wind perhaps?

  5. cartoonmick says:

    Awesome pic, love it.

  6. Meglena Radeva says:

    amazing picture

  7. stvolpina says:

    beautiful! it looks like Old Man of Hoy

  8. Sanjiv Khamgaonkar says:

    Awesome. Well done!

  9. Matti says:

    Magical 🙂

  10. Oli says:

    Beautiful photo, congrats on being featured on freshly pressed!

  11. mmtread says:

    A truly, truly stunning photograph. That’s all I have to say about that.

  12. niktasmits says:

    This is absolutely amazing! I should drive downthere sometime soon 🙂

  13. drawandshoot says:

    Extraordinarily beautiful!

  14. oscarelimorales says:

    Excelente fotografía

  15. Guido Antonio Donna says:

    Gorgeous shot.

  16. boomingback says:

    Gorgeous shot! You are right. The light is wonderful. I’m half Irish, my best half actually, and live in midwestern USA.

  17. This may be one of the most intriguing pictures I’ve seen in quite a while. Would love to use it in my book. Amazing work. 🙂

  18. Reblogged this on WorldTour OutdoorExperience and commented:
    Incredible photography. Well Job

  19. Yowza! How long was the exposure?

  20. That’s incredible! I had to take a second look because I didn’t think it was real at first. Cheers to you!

  21. paul says:

    Stunning photo! I like the black and white effect which creates an interesting atmosphere.

  22. mrsklutz says:

    This is beautiful! I’m part Irish and finally got to visit last year. I’m in love with the country, and before I noticed the location written below it, I knew it had to be Ireland! It’s breathtaking! Wonderful job. (I agree with the above comment that it doesn’t look real – that is how perfect it is!)

  23. Val says:

    Lovely stuff!

  24. Sarah D. says:

    Astounding. I thought half of it was a reflection, until I looked longer. I’m trying to imagine the cataclysmic event that left this in its wake. (Shiver.) I hope you do put up more photos!

  25. societyred says:

    One of the most amazing photos I’ve ever seen!

  26. Carlie Chew says:

    Absolutely stunning! I’m breathless. Beautiful photograph.

  27. Breathtaking. II’s love to see what you could do with th Twelve Apostles in Australia.

  28. HoaiPhai says:

    Gorgeous! This scene looks like it could have been the inspiration for the album artwork for the band Yes.

  29. vackerth says:

    Absolutely amazing!

  30. impactcamera says:

    Absolutely fantastic shot. Kudos! I’m curious as to what shutter speed you used. Due to the atmospheric definition, I’m guessing on the slow side (?)

    • Thank you! To answer both yourself and Frank, it’s taken at ISO 400, F8.0 for 240 seconds. Not too long but long enough for a nice effect on the water. Although I think there are two things that make it that little bit extra special; 1 the dawn light which is coming from the left hand side and is nice and soft and golden. 2 the foam on the water was in a beautiful leading line the leads the eye out through the picture to the horizon.

  31. hannuspannus says:

    Wow! :O Great shot!

  32. erin says:

    This is absolutely incredible.

  33. Rae says:

    Wow, that really looks like something from another planet, well done!

  34. Wow! What an amazing photograph. You must be a very skilfull photographer to capture such an atmospheric image. Quite out of this worl.

  35. I am an avid fantasy reader and it is amazing just how much fantastical stuff is right here on our own Earth. Wish I could travel more to see it all.

  36. lyonsroarforgod says:

    One of the most beautiful photos I have ever seen! Good job. 🙂

  37. I’m not often drawn to monochrome images, but this is truly stunning – the patterns, textures and gorgeous range of tones you have achieved are to be applauded. Beautiful work.

  38. Great eye! B&W gives it a wonderful feel.

  39. S says:

    Oh my gosh, this is stunning! I’m looking forward to looking at more of your photos.

  40. Sally says:

    This image is pure grace, and the monochromatic contrasts and tones help push the majesty of this spot. Thanks for allowing us to see one of Mother Nature’s gems, Sally

  41. Breathtaking! A sense of unreality!

  42. artquench says:

    We love your photographs!

  43. nixosia says:

    Reblogged this on Beauty is free and commented:
    My goodness, so beautiful!

  44. This absolutely, exquisitely, gorgeous. Seriously well done.

  45. juanvillagrana says:

    This is just spectacular. And–in my case–inspiring. I can’t even tell how much of it is above water and how much is below. -.-
    Great job!

  46. sedge808 says:

    Fabulous shot.

  47. ghummakkad says:

    I’ve got vertigo issues but still want to see it! Looks beautiful!

  48. June says:

    hands down one of the top 5 photos I’ve ever seen 🙂

  49. Deema says:

    You are really good at photography, Im really interested in photography too so I thought if you could visit my blog and give some advices about photography if you dont mind
    This is the address of my blog :

  50. Breathtaking Indeed! Makes Me Wanna Go There:)

  51. vincedicaro says:

    I’m not adding anything new but this pic is really amazing =)

  52. Stunning image – thanks very, very much for sharing!

  53. Words cannot express what you have captured here – you are a true artist. Congrats on being FP. Cheers to you (I wanna be you when I grow up!).

  54. Os Ishmael says:

    Agree with the all the comments above. Really a wonderful image.

  55. Great combination of feeling ethereal and solid at the same time. For some reason my brain keeps trying to tell me it’s a reflection 🙂

  56. Wow! I was in Downpatrick a few months ago studying abroad. This is a wonderful reminder. Thanks, Brian!

  57. redcactus says:

    It’s gorgeous! I wish I could take pictures like this!

  58. bikegypsy says:

    Great image… Congrats!

  59. bikegypsy says:

    I wish I could reblog your post… could you adjust your preferences?

  60. Magnificent! Looks like a suspended castle in the air.

  61. dougstinson says:

    Wonderful photograph. The ambiguity – ultra-realistic vs. abstract – really keeps the viewers attention!

  62. There are no words left which haven’t been used already. All this “amazing”, “breathtaking” and “stunning” just don’t do it justice. First I thought it’s reflecting in the water, but hey, it’s not. It really IS that tall! What can I say… I’m out of words.

  63. That doesn’t look real.

  64. bikegypsy says:

    Reblogged this on @bikegypsy and commented:

  65. Gorgeous. Moody, atmospheric and elegant.

  66. sistertongue says:

    Stunning shot. Just stunning. No words. Which is what a remarkable photograph is all about.

  67. Christopher Grant says:

    Just when I think I’ve seen all the amazing and surreal environments of the world (in photographs, at least), someone comes along and shows me something new. Thank you, this is an amazing sight. Hope I can see it myself someday.

  68. This is amazing. I thought it was CGI. 🙂

  69. Nick says:

    Aside from the fact that the image is sharpened, it’s bloody brilliant!

  70. WOW! just, wow! what a great photo!

  71. Oh my, such a wonderful photo. I love the sharpness of the stone’s reflection. How’d you do that? Nice one!

  72. suziebanshee says:

    has an unearthly fantasy feel to it, as if it could only be imagined. beautiful!

  73. MikeP says:

    Love the long exposure an choice of b/w. I got to know…what country was this shot???

  74. Scott says:

    That is one of the most amazing sites I have ever seen! Yet another reason to visit my ancestral homeland!

  75. Joe Labriola says:

    Nice. I think i’ll build my evil citadel there.

  76. GalonTrip says:

    the effort of getting up at 5 am was all worth it. i thought the lower part of the rock is a reflection of the upper part. when i look at it once more, it’s not. or it is? dunno. it looks surreal!

  77. Being Me. says:

    I absolutely love photography! And, this has really inspired me to get outside (I prefer outside photography to in) and start taking some photos. Now, for all you people out there with an amazing story to share (and I’ll save you the time of reading a long description, you can see that on my blog), have a look at my blog, I’m trying out a new idea of collecting stories from all sorts of interesting people:

    Don’t worry, it’s no spam, I’m just a 15 year-old girl in need of a Summer project and with a love of stories, I’d like to read them as much as the next person. So, I’m building a collection (or hoping to). Please, just take a look. Thank you.

  78. Michele LMS says:

    Eerily breathtaking! . . . Has such a surreal look to it!

  79. Coreen says:

    Stunning Shot. Just love it.

  80. Such great photos! I love the perspective!!

  81. hifay says:

    Very beautiful., nothing like it here.

  82. Shards Of DuBois says:

    surreal…it feels like a dream….awesome photography!
    how long was the exposure set on?

  83. groovylove says:

    What a breathtaking photo, amazing! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  84. thorsaurus says:

    That is one of the most magnificent pictures I’ve ever seen on WordPress. Well done.

  85. Mel says:

    What a stunning shot! I love your use of B&W, it really makes the photo magical.

  86. Islamopedia says:

    Awsome pic.

    I wait for the day that I can take shots like that.

    Keep up the good work.

  87. jillbware says:

    Wow – that’s beautiful! Thanks so much for posting!

  88. Beautiful photograph!

  89. Rogue Honeybadger says:

    Amazing! Keep up the good work! 😀

  90. More2Explore says:

    really nice, thanks for sharing!

  91. Green Eyes says:

    Wow, beautiful photo.


  93. Fantastic blog and stunning shot. I am in awe of this x

  94. You are fantastic!
    I cannot wait to see the other photo’s 🙂

  95. Alex Khoo says:

    This is super gorgeous!

  96. glasmannschaefer says:

    Amazing picture. Thanks for sharing it.

  97. J.C says: the photographs are simply amazing

  98. mollyling says:


  99. malan420 says:

    I would love to be on top there for a while then parachute off

  100. i’m not sure i’d be able to handle the location… thank you for letting me live vicariously through you 😉 absolutely stunning image!

  101. Alyssa says:

    It looks like some sort of fortress… super breathtaking. 🙂

    colorado springs divorce lawyers

  102. simply amazing! thx for sharing!

  103. amirfatih says:

    Reblogged this on amirfatih and commented:
    That’s incredible! I had to take a second look because I didn’t think it was real at first. Cheers to you!

  104. Tom says:

    Wow! So inspiring! Thanks for sharing!

  105. Thanks for posting this awesome image, truly breath taking!

  106. Thanks for sharing this beautiful photo, what a moving picture.

  107. KennethB says:

    Remarkable. Getting up early that day met you with great rewards. Thank you for sharing.

  108. faisca2014 says:

    Reblogged this on Faisca2014's Blog and commented:
    powerful and beatiful picture. Love it !!!!!!

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