Photograph the lush green fields of beautiful, magical Ireland. Visit unspoiled villages, rugged ancient abbeys, broad peat lowlands, and the dramatic coastline of Western Ireland with a small group of participants, with much individual photographic guidance is provided. The amazing Irish landscapes, along with it’s beautiful gentle residents render this a place of inspirational beauty. We will visit places you could never locate on your own— tiny villages, hidden beaches, castles, and ancient abbeys along with unexpected finds along the way.
A lovely B&B within walking distance of the picturesque town of Westport, in the heart of County Mayo, will be our home throughout the trip. We will enjoy hearty delicious traditional Irish breakfasts and home cooked dinners during your stay. Lunch will be at various restaurants and pubs or we can stop in town and have a picnic lunch prepared for our daily excursions. Being on the coast, I find the food much better than it is inland.
Transportation is provided in a roomy tour van, large enough for both the group and our equipment. Our driver, Connie Cullen, besides being an excellent musician playing in pubs at night, is also a wealth of knowledge on all things Irish as well an ambassador to open photographic opportunities the typical tourist does not get.
Doug will lead daily group discussions and facilitate critiques of works in progress and will also spend time with each person developing and, refining their personal approach to the subjects they find most compelling. Western Ireland affords a unique opportunity to explore so many wonderful hidden places, far off the beaten path. There are spectacular monastic and megalithic ruins as well as quiet nature preserves to seek out in our daily adventures and great traditional Irish music in the now smoke-free pubs at night. No wonder it is one of Doug’s favorite places in the world!
Who Should Attend:
We invite all those searching to expand their artistic and creative horizons and explore new cultures. Emphasis is less on technique and more on increasing visual awareness of our surroundings and how to better interpret and express that photographically. This workshop is appropriate for all levels, but must have a working knowledge of your camera.
Student Testimonials About This Workshop: “I made some of the best photographs of my life and discovered things inside of me that I didn’t know were there. I feel like you can easily, honestly and gently point out many of the emotional blocks keeping me from making photographs. I don’t want to make excuses and I want to create work that is true to myself, and I feel like you’re a great catalyst.” – Sarah Rust-Sampedro, Minneapolis, MNMore Testimonials
“Doug is kind, supportive, insightful, nurturing, sensitive and brilliantly attuned both technically and spiritually to the art, the eyes and the heart. There is a reason for the name Vision Quest.” – Layla Smart, New York, NY
“You really walked everyone through your creative process which I found, as a new devotee to photography, enlightening! Thanks for a wonderful/thoughtful/honest presentation. I was truly inspired!” – Sandra Weber, WI
View student photography from Western Ireland
View Doug’s photos from Western Ireland
DATES: July 15-26, 2017
Saturday, July 15: fly to Shannon International Airport, Ireland
Tuesday, July 25: Return home via Shannon Airport
COST: $2,995.00. Airfare not included.
Includes tuition, lodging, group transportation, breakfast and dinner most days (more details below in general information).
CLASS LIMIT: 12 student maximum!
REGISTRATION: Visit Strabo Photo Tours
July 15 U.S. – Shannon Your journey to Ireland begins with an overnight flight from to Shannon Airport, Ireland.
July 16 Shannon – Westport You will be met at Ireland’s Shannon International Airport and driven north to Westport, on the shores of Clew Bay. After lunch relax, enjoy conversation in the library or explore the nearby countryside. Depending on the time of year there may be an opportunity for the group to photograph the sunset over Clew Bay. (D)
July 17-23 Western Ireland Each day you will visit some of these typical areas from your home base the B&B. There is no possible way to visit all of them, so your tour leader and guide will plan each day considering the interests of the group.
Visit Ballintubber Abbey, or Baile Tobair Padraig, in Irish. It is one of the oldest Abbeys in Ireland dating back to the twelfth century, named for the natural spring nearby, where St. Patrick baptized his first Irish converts. After working for a few hours in and around the Abbey you can photograph the ruins of Moore Hall, a Georgian mansion destroyed during the war of independence. Later in the afternoon, photograph Castle Bourke, on the shores of Lough Carra.
Hillcrest House lays half way between the City of Westport and the Village of Newport. Both capture the flavor of true Irish towns with their tree-lined canals and colorful shops. After astop in Westport, drive to Murrisk Abbey, at the foot of Ireland’s Holy Mountain, Croagh Patrick. Later in the day you will be at the ocean on the west coast of Mayo at a remote rockyshore called Barnabawn Point. Your last stop of the day will be at Tully House, a private residence at the end of a quarter mile tree-lined avenue. There is an old mill along the Bunowen River, a short walk from the house.
You will have the opportunity to photograph an area of rolling hill, sheep, and a myriad of stonewall, on a hillside flowing down to Lough Corrib. The picturesque village of Cong was the setting for John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara’s film The Quiet Man. The King of Connacht founded the abbey ruins in the twelfth century. In 1198 the last High King of Ireland died in the abbey.
Driving north today, your first stop will be along the ocean on the Atlantic drive in Mulranny. After lunch on Achill Island, continue photographing along the ocean, and wind up at the deserted famine village at Keel. Achill Island, wrought by wind and water, is an arrangement of rock, cloud, and cliffs falling off to the sea.
Another day, visit one of the few remaining round towers in Ireland, Turlough, standing amid a field of ancient carved gravestones. If there is a rainy day, the new Museum of Country Life, one of Ireland’s National Museums, is well worth the stop. Later in the afternoon photograph the glacial erratic boulders at Lough Cullin.
Photograph in the morning along the shores of Doo Lough, visiting two locations. After lunch in the town of Louisburgh, spend the afternoon photographing in the Sheeffrey Hills, a place where you must be careful not to disturb the leprechauns who inhabit the forest.
Burrishoole Abbey is a great place to start one of your days. Nearby is Carrigahowley Castle, one of the many strongholds of Grace O’Malley, the adventurous sixteenth century Pirate Queen. Later in the afternoon visit Letterkeen Forest. (B, D each day)
July 24 Westport – Ennis Leave B&B early this morning, driving south to County Clare, where you spend the evening in Ennis. Prior to Ennis, you will spend time photographing in County Galway near the town of Gort. There lies a 16th century Norman castle with a small cottage attached. The Irish Literary Revival began near this castle – in Coole Park, an estate owned by Lady Gregory where she hosted the likes of George Bernard Shaw, W. B. Yeats and J. M. Synge. It was a haven – a place of retreat for William Butler Yeats. Ennis is a charming riverside town with colorful storefronts and narrow cobblestone streets. Tonight stay at the Temple Gate Hotel (or similar) in Ennis and enjoy dinner on your own. The hotel rests on the site of a nineteenth century convent. (B)
July 25 Shannon – U.S. After breakfast this morning, say good bye to your new friends in hopes of seeing them again some day. Board your afternoon flights for home.
Land cost: $2,995*, based upon minimum of 6 paying passengers, maximum of 12. All our program prices are based on double occupancy.
Single room supplement: $395*, Single rooms are subject to availability and are not guaranteed. We try to accommodate single travelers who request single accommodations, as well as single travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested, we are unable to find a suitable roommate, or you are in a single for another reason, you will need to pay the single supplement.
*Note: The trip cost is based upon the current exchange rate between the Euro and USD. Although the rate has been relatively stable, should it change there may need to be an adjustment in price.
The land cost includes:
• Group transportation for tour events in the tour van
• Accommodations based on two people sharing a room
• Services of driver guide during the tour
• Delicious breakfasts and dinners served at Hillcrest House
• Extensive pre-departure information and services
The land cost does not include: International air fare; air fare tax; airport transfers; additional transfers or accommodations that may be required by those not traveling with the group; lunches; dinner in Ennis; activities listed as optional, or those taken on your own; passport expenses; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature or those not listed in what is included; tips to guides and service staff. Please contact Strabo Tours if you would like assistance with your International Airfare.