Belfast Telegraph

Stark beauty amid the snow: photographer's perfect image after 13-hour trek in freezing Glenshane Pass


It might be wild outside but storm chaser Martin McKenna managed to capture one of the few moments of calm when photographing this ruin on an all-night picture quest.

While the rest of us were huddled in our beds on Tuesday night, Martin was out making the most of the blizzard conditions in the north west.

He and fellow photographer Paul Martin spent 13 hours tramping the snow-cloaked countryside round Dungiven, Swatragh and the heights of the Glenshane Pass in a bid to capture the perfect snow snap.

And he found it at this desolate forgotten farmhouse near the top of the pass as the stars came out and the Moon shone over the snow.

"I love ruined houses, old buildings and castles. I can't get enough of them," he said.

"This house conjures up that typical Irish landscape, that mental image of what people can expect from the landscape in this part of the world."

Martin says the house has been lying derelict for years but he doesn't know any more about its history.

"I've been enquiring into it, trying to figure it out. Obviously somebody must know something," he said.

"I would love to know the history behind it. It's just up in the real barren marshland adjacent to the road. There are a few trees around but it's very isolated."

Martin said he loved the photographic potential in severe weather.

"I saw this coming about three or four days ago in advance. I was looking at the weather models showing the potential for snow across Northern Ireland. It was forecast for western and northern areas but no one expected it to go as far east as it did.

"It snowed nearly all night. We had to do a lot of waiting and looking and picking our spots. The trees were all weighed down with the snow.

"It's not that noticeable, but right behind the house was a spot where snowdrifts were five feet deep.

"There was a five-feet snow drift on the Glenshane Pass off the road in the rough areas and in general areas it was up to knee-deep," Martin said.

"That house was near a layby on the right-hand side as we were going up.

"It's a favourite spot of mine to photograph the stars.

"I've been waiting round it to photograph some decent snow and moonlight.

"But there was a savage wind chill up there blowing clean throughout our jeans and tops. It was brutal for a while.

"I was out for 13 hours or so. I didn't get to bed until 7am."


Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph