Last Sunday, being the last Sunday in July, was Reek Sunday.
In 2018, I went along and took pictures of the pilgrims making the climb up Ireland’s Holy mountain and released a zine of those photographs. Looking back, I’m still very pleased with that work but this year decided to record it slightly differently.
Over the years, many photographers have made this climb and photographed it, including a couple of my favourites in Chris Killip and Pentti Sammallahti. The images that I like best are those where the weather is bad, as it tends to add drama and make the struggle up the mountain look even more extreme.
On my previous visit, I’d had clear blue skies and magnificent views and I shot the day digitally; this year rain and low cloud with some grainy 35mm HP5 would complete the gritty, grey look I was after.
What this bad weather also meant was that I had the camera out less as it was getting soaked by the rain. While the Leica M6 can handle some extremes, I’ve not long had it back after a lengthy repair and didn’t fancy breaking it again, so probably shot less than I’d have wanted.
Still, I shot 59 frames that tell a decent job of telling the story of the day. Here are the highlights, and an audio diary of the day…
I like the pictures and am happy that they look like the results that I had in mind when making the camera, lens and film choices.
Leica M6, Carl Zeiss Sonnar 50mm/1.5, Ilford HP5+ processed in Ilford Ilfotec DD-X and scanned at home. I bumped the contrast a little further than I usually do to pick out the people in the greyness.