Knowing your subject improves the quality of the image at the end of the shoot but some subjects prove more difficult than others. Some reveal themselves easily, others need environmental conditions to give of their best.
Gaulstown dolmen is a reticent subject; repeated visits at different times of the year and in varying light conditions have not assisted in capturing the essence of this passage tomb. If I was to believe that ‘a photograph steals the soul’, then Gaulstown Dolmen’s soul remains with it.
A Sacred Place
Beautifully located in a circular clearing, surrounded by native Irish trees and shrubs, who’s boughs and branches appear to reach inwards towards the tomb from all sides; this dolmen hides it’s true conformation from the camera. The whole area of the dolmen is a sacred place, a soulful place – I mean more in the pagan sense than any religious one, a fitting place for this superb passage tomb. I experience a sense of stillness and oneness, a connectedness to my origins each time I visit.
Difficult to Replicate in a Photograph
In some images the tomb looks much smaller, while in others its form and the shape of the stones are distorted or concealed by the angle and / or perspective of the shot.
The capstone, resting on 6 upright stones is close to 5 metres long and almost 1 metre at it’s thickest.
Another very impressively large stone, believed to be the remains of a cist grave lies at the entrance to this mystical clearing.
Lovely Entrance but Why?
Google maps gives a ‘Street View’ of the entrance while still under construction. Remove this overlay for the map itself.
I have to question the rational behind this lovely, high cost entrance. Beautiful stone walls with electronic gates open to a newly laid roadway leading to a private house. There’s a gap in the wall that allows a single walker through. If overweight or carrying a rucksack it’s a squeeze and there is no access for the less able bodied. Apart from the next house, this entrance is completely out of character in the Gaulstown or wider area.
I may be completely incorrect in my supposition here but this entrance looks like a public or partially public funded undertaking and the dolmen, a listed antiquity lies inside this entrance with no parking and limited access. Even if no public funds were used, permission was granted. Why?