Visiting Gortmore viewpoint to photograph the peak of the meteor shower Geminids.

This morning I visited Gortmore viewpoint to photograph the peak of the Geminids meteor shower. In the early hours of Monday morning, 14th December 2020.

Preparation for shooting stars.

I have spent the past week in preparation, considering which locations to visit to enable me to capture this astronomical event.

Between 2 and 3am this morning our sky was to have the most meteors.

Geminids Meteor Shower was going to happen. That was a fact.

The only question was, Where the weather conditions going to be right to let me photograph it.

Therefore after work yesterday, I had been checking the forecast on my mobile. Trying to see how the cloud cover was going to be. Using the radar app on my phone, I could see the majority of Ireland was to have cloud cover. However I finally spotted the potential in the very North of the Island

The map showed the land between the cloud, at 1am around the region of County Londonderry. My first thought was Benone and Mussenden Temple.

Preparing for an over night photography trip At 11pm I packed the van.

The first location

Benone Beach.

My dog Boris and I headed north and arrived at Benone Beach around 12.30am.

Walking from the van along the beach towards my favourite spot for the known composition. I quickly realised that the light pollution levels were going to have an impact on the scene.

On to location number two.

Gortmore Viewpoint.

Arriving at Gortmore Viewpoint around 01.30 am to photograph the Geminids Meteor Shower.

First priority was to find the composition. My Vision was all setup. I was so pleased with the composition seen here. My vision was that the statue was going to interact with the scene and the meteors were going to flow throughout the sky.

Now all I had to do was to wait. Capture the showers of meteors. However, my efforts were in vain the clouds were not going to let me see the astronomical event unfold.

This image which I share with you here was the clearest of the sky shots from this morning.

I continued capturing a series of images. After shooting this composition for another couple of hours. I had been anxious about the fact that over an hour had passed without me personally seeing the stars.

Visibility had been poor because clouds had come between my camera and the meteor shower. This was why I had reached the point where my enthusiasm had dipped, and then questions set in. Will the clouds ever blow away and once more reveal the sky showing the meteors in flight?

At three in the morning, I finish capturing images, turn off the camera, lift my tripod and carry it back down to the van.

After the Photography is Over

Now is the time to make another decision. My options are to either roll up in the sleeping bag in the van. Which will allow me to get a few hours of sleep before sunrise bringing the potential of a new day. Or drive back to the comforts of home.

At this time I’m unsure of a safe place to park for the night therefore, I decided to drive the one-and-a-half-hour journey home.

Reaching home at close to 5 am I grab my camera gear and leave my overnight bag in the van. Into the house and download the raw photo images onto the hard drive of my computer. Resisting the temptation to start the editing process. Finally, I head up to get some rest as I had been awake for over 20 hours at this point.

In Summary.

The meteor shower had happened in the sky above me and my camera where my dog Boris and I sat trying to watch the night sky however the clouds were in the way.

Had I wasted my time and effort?


This morning I was confident that I had made the right choice. As whenever it came to the crunch and my choice was either, to head out for photography of the Geminids Meteor Shower or to have a warm night at home wandering what the universe could have shown me had I ventured out.

I’m now certain that I did my best this morning to get an image.

The weather on this day was the best of the week and it was at this point that the reality of everyday life required that I came home to Belfast.

My trip along the Wild Atlantic way was my longest journey up to this point. The weather threw in a few obstacles along the way and quite a lot of the locations where I had stopped didn’t see my camera come out of the bag.

I really enjoyed my travels along the Wild Atlantic Way therefore I have no doubt that I will be revisiting the West coast of Ireland several times to capture the amazing scenery it has to offer.

The Images which I have captured on this trip are available for online purchase.

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