I think it is fair to say that Garrettstown is probably our “go to location” for spur of the moment photographic outings as it is a mere 20-30 minutes drive from Carrigaline and the beach faces west, making it ideal for evening and sunset shots.
For those in the society who haven’t explored the surrounding area in depth, the temptation is to go onto the main twin beaches of Garrettstown and Garrylucas and hope to find some strong foreground interest on the sand and a bit of colour in the evening sky.
However, the cliff walks on either side of the main beaches offer much more variety for shots and the foreground details are infinitely better than on the beaches.
The cliffs on the “Speckled Door” side of Garrylucas is my particular favourite and I’ve shot some of my more dramatic seascapes at the location.
Park up in the carpark on the left hand side of the beach and make the rocks at the extreme left of the beach your first stop.
These are a very unusual wavy shape and can make great foregrounds for your shots, particularly approaching high tide when the waves spill over them.
When all opportunities here have been exhausted, head up the cliff path directly behind your back and walk for 10 or 15 minutes when you will come upon a series of little sandy coves with interesting rocks on the shoreline. Again, an incoming tide is best here but not too full as the best rocks will be covered.
During late summer / early autumn, the sun will set below the horizon, directly in front of these coves.
You will also have the place to yourself so there will be no distractions or people walking into your shots.
Depending on the time of year, there may also be a few interesting shots to be had in the big field behind the coastal path.
There is a nice old barn at the top of the field and some good views towards the Old Head of Kinsale.
If you choose the cliff walk at the other end of Garrettstown, you can walk for about 30 minutes along a spectacular shoreline path where you will encounter huge waves breaking onto the rocks and an impressive sea arch and nearby small waterfall cascading into the sea towards the end of the walk.
Both locations are primarily evening / sunset venues and best when the sun is low in the sky.