Drombeg Stone Circle

Part of our planned self-drive tour of Ireland included a visit to the Drombeg Stone Circle. We arrived on an overcast, wet morning and discovered that we were the only tourists at the site.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Olympus TG-5 @ 8 mm, efov 44.4 mm, f/3.1, 1/60, ISO-200

While the weather wasn’t the best, at least we didn’t have to deal with the usual stream of tourists. One of the reasons we chose to visit in Ireland in April was that it is shoulder season.

Olympus TG-5 @ 8 mm, efov 44.4 mm, f/3.1, 1/100, ISO-125

Drombeg Stone Circle is one of Ireland’s most famous stone circles. The circle is a short walk from the parking lot.

Olympus TG-5 @ 4 mm, efov 22.2 mm, f/2, 1/250, ISO-100

The seventeen pillar stones are comprised of local sandstone. There is an alter stone lying to the south-west.

Olympus TG-5 @ 15 mm, efov 83.3 mm, f/4.5, 1/80, ISO-320

Excavations done in 1957 and 1958 revealed an urn burial area in the centre of the stone circle. A broken pot was discovered which contained the remains of cremated bones.

Olympus TG-5 @ 5 mm, efov 27.8 mm, f/9, 1/30, ISO-400

The site has been dated to between 153 BC and 127 AD.

Olympus TG-5 @ 5 mm, efov 27.8 mm, f/2.2, 1/125, ISO-100

To the west of the Drombeg Stone Circle there is a hut site with a fulacht fiadh. This was an ancient communal cooking pit. We did not make the trek over to this area as much of the surrounding ground had been thoroughly soaked by heavy rains, causing a lot of standing water in the immediate area. I did not bring my waterproof hiking boots to Ireland… lesson learned.

Olympus TG-5 @ 4 mm, efov 22.2 mm, f/2, 1/200, ISO-100

Adjacent to the Drombeg Stone Circle there is a patchwork of farmers’ fields. The rolling hills and stone walls made for some interesting scenery.

Olympus TG-5 @ 8 mm, efov 44.4 mm, f/3.1, 1/100, ISO-200

When another heavy downpour began we returned to our car. We then headed off to our planned bed and breakfast stay in Baltimore.

Technical Note:
Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process .

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8 thoughts on “Drombeg Stone Circle”

  1. Tom,

    Interesting scenery and the rains sort of fit the mood of the place, instead of detracting from it. Seems to me an interesting place both photographically and “culturally” — what the stone circle was used for in the olden days (astronomical chart? monstrous cairns? ley lines aligned structures?) Also, what the stone walls’ purpose was then, and what it serves now.

    Interesting to note from your post that the lessons in these kind of trips are not just directly camera/photography gear-related; in your case, it was the waterproof-ness of your hiking footwear.


    1. Hi Oggie,

      People who are interested in history and ancient cultures would certainly enjoy a trip to Ireland. We met a number of folks who had made multiple trips to the Emerald Isle… with more trips planned. If my memory serves, the stone pillars at Drombeg Stone Circle are aligned with solstice events. The long stone walls in some of the images separate various farmers’ fields and keep livestock from wandering off into neighbouring fields.

      My lack of waterproof footwear was self-inflicted! ūüôā

      When planning an extended photography tour my wife and I purposely do our best to travel light. Based on the research that she did, we knew that April was the driest month of the year in Ireland. So… I took a chance and packed lighter weight footwear and left my waterproof hiking boots at home. Most days this was not an issue at all.


      1. Tom,

        Fascinating indeed. Without resorting to Google, I was speculating already that the stone circle may likely be a seasonal marker for the solstices or cairns for the elements (or paying homage to the elementals).

        May I invoke this Irish blessing then for your soggy footwear:
        May the road rise up to meet you.
        May the wind always be at your back.
        May the sun shine warm upon your face,
        and rains fall soft upon your non- Goretexed feet ūüėÄ


  2. Llevaba tiempo sin comentar, ya que la fotograf√≠a de p√°jaros no me atrae mucho…pero siempre paso a mirar las fotos ya que siempre se aprende algo mirando.

    No sólo veo que mi comentario lo has entendido al revés sino que además te ha molestado, supongo por tu lealtad a la marca Olympus. Y está bien, hay quienes se amarran a las marcas, no es mi caso pero respeto tu posición.

    En fin, este es mi √ļltimo comentario. En adelante seguir√© mirando las fotos pero sin comentar.

    1. Hola motografia

      Su comentario no me ofendió en absoluto. Mi respuesta tenía la intención de proporcionar algunos detalles adicionales sobre las condiciones fotográficas que estaban presentes en el momento en que se capturaron las fotografías.

      La fotograf√≠a de tel√©fonos celulares nunca me ha atra√≠do. En muchos a√Īos de propiedad de tel√©fonos celulares, solo lo he usado para capturar algunas im√°genes de un accidente automovil√≠stico cuando realmente necesitaba algunas im√°genes.

      Hago mi mejor esfuerzo para ser objetivo al escribir sobre el equipo de cámara que poseo y uso. Mi respuesta no pretendía ser defensiva sobre el TG-5.


  3. Hi,

    It seems like a nice place to photograph. That aside i want to point something i noticed inmediately in this set of images wich is the lack of detail and chromatic aberration. I know foliage is tough for many camera sensors, though. This TG-5 remembers me my Canon SX30 i had back in the day. Probably they have same sensor size.

    My entry level phone have better detail than my Canon SX30IS (wich i regret for not have sold it sooner). I compare the DNG from my cellphone (produced by Lightroom since my phone only takes JPG) and they are far far better than those Canon JPGs. (I also have to mention that probably the WB from the Lightroom APP is one of the nicest/more accurate i’ve seen).

    I was going to get rid of my phone because of JPG color but i installed Lightroom and it saved me a problem.

    Thomas, i know you like to experiment. Maybe you could try a cellphone camera vs TG5 article just for fun.

    Anyways, thanks for the article.


    1. Hi Motografia,

      Some of the lack of detail, especially in the distance, was likely caused by the light misty rain that was falling when I captured these images. There was also a slight hint of fog which also didn’t help the TG-5 capture details. The small sensor in the TG-5 will be certainly challenged under certain shooting conditions… it just is what it is.

      As far as using a cellphone for photography… it isn’t something that interests me at all. I suppose there are a lot of other websites that feature cellphone photography. This site will not be one of them… we will always feature images captured with dedicated cameras.


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