on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

The Burren

A Portrait of Fantasy Landsape

Some 20 years ago a passage in a biography of JRR Tolkien turned my life into a new direction. Back then ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ were by favourite books and I was especially intrigued by the detailed descriptions of the landscapes of Middle Earth. Naturally I wanted to know more about JRR Tolkien and what inspired him to create this fictive world in such detail. The little passage that got stuck in my mind described a landscape in the west of Ireland that allegedly was the inspiration for many of Tolkiens landscapes: The Burren. If this claim is true or not still is widely disputed but 20 years ago I took that statement at face value and all I wanted was to visit this real life Middle Earth.Between Showers, Fahee North

What followed were regular visits to Ireland and today I only live an hours drive away from the Burren and the place is playing a vital role in both my personal and professional life. It is the place where I started my first real photographic project which eventually became my first book and which again lead to various assignments over the years. But even after more than a decade exploring and photographing the Burren for both commercial and personal projects I am still not tired of the place and even manage to discover new treasures on a regular basis. You probably could call the Burren my muse.



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  • ice9001

    Excellent work Carsten I would like to see these images in another book . Their stunning .

  • Wonderful work. The image of Billyvaughan Bay is strangely reminiscent of some of the landscapes I found in Lanzarote earlier last year, both tonally and texturally. A few less lizards perhaps.

  • Adam Pierzchala

    What a pleasure to read such an informative article, supported by some very strong images – both those that are understated and others that stop you in your tracks. A class above the usual photo magazine fare.

  • David Harris

    A really interesting and informative article. The images are strong and give a feeling for the diversity of the landscape.

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