The Skellig Rocks by David Clarke


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The Skellig Rocks are two large Devonian Sandstone islands that rise out of the Atlantic Ocean some 12 km south east of Valencia Island on the Ring of Kerry, South West Ireland. The larger of the two (to the right), Skellig Michael, rises 230 metres above sea level. Perched on a promontory near the top are ruins of a monastery dating back to the 6th century which was inhabited by monks for over 200 years. It’s hard to even imagine the conditions there in those days, especially when you factor in the cold, the wind, the rain and the isolation, although the latter is presumably what they were after. Both islands are home to huge colonies of seabirds including some 27,000 pairs of gannets on Small Skellig.
On our trip to Ireland, we had every intention of visiting Skellig Michael (Small Skellig is closed to the public) but the weather got the better of us. This shot was the view from Valencia Island on the afternoon we arrived, with the mist bearing down on the coast, a mist that remained for the rest of our stay and which precluded us even seeing the islands again. Needless to say, the mist, together with rough seas, meant all trips were cancelled. Another time, perhaps. Meanwhile, I’ve posted this shot because I think the conditions evoke the mystery and remoteness of Skellig.
Canon 40D with Canon 70-200 f4L IS at 121mm; ISO200 f8 1/1000


coastal, islands, ireland, skellig

Living for partly in Italy, partly in Phuket and partly in other locations around the world – Hong Kong & Kenya when I can – I spend a lot of time photographing anything and everything. I particularly enjoy the challenge of capturing shots of wildlife large and small – from elephants to insects. A wider selection of my work can be seen on my website at

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  • mrcoradour
    mrcoradourabout 5 years ago

    Great shot David,

  • Thanks very much, Malcolm.

    – David Clarke

  • Barbara  Corvino
    Barbara Corvinoabout 5 years ago

    Well composed, I like the soft blue tones.
    Ciao. Barbara

  • Grazie molto, Barbara

    – David Clarke

  • Scott  d'Almeida
    Scott d'Almeidaabout 5 years ago


  • Thanks so much, Scott.

    – David Clarke

  • Andrew Murrell
    Andrew Murrellabout 5 years ago

    FANTASTIC. the mist actually help you as it gives a mysterious feel to the photo.

  • Thanks very much, Andrew. I agree with you about the mist; I was just fortunate to catch before the whole lot disappeared!

    – David Clarke

  • Hélène David-Cuny
    Hélène David-Cunyabout 5 years ago

    Fantastic shot, the dark shadow in the forefront makes it all…

  • Thank you, Helene, for the much appreciated comment and for browsing my work. :)

    – David Clarke

  • Nathaniel Arnold
    Nathaniel Arnoldabout 5 years ago

    perfect, love the feel for it

  • Thanks very much, Nathaniel, and thanks for browsing through all my work, very much appreciated:))

    – David Clarke

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