The Story Behind The Photo: Sunset Dream

This entry is part 6 of 19 in the series The Story Behind The Photo

The latest photo in our series ‘The Story Behind The Photo’ is a stunning shot from John Mee of a dreamy sunset over iconic Croagh Patrick. Check out to see more of John’s superb work.

Croagh Patrick, County Mayo

This is probably one of my most popular photos and a personal favourite too. I shot this about three years ago. The holy mountain of Croagh Patrick (764 metres), known locally as The Reek forms a backdrop for quite a few of my photos. Although quite a bit smaller, it always reminds me of Mount Fuji in Japan (3,776 metres) I really do count myself lucky to have it so close by – relatively speaking. It is actually 30 km away.

On the last Sunday in July every year, over 20,000 people ascend the mountain for a variety of reasons, including personal, religious and just for the hell of it! I have only ever climbed it once (for the hell of it) many years ago but I do intend to get up there early next year to once again enjoy and photograph the view.

“Sunset dream was shot from Lough Lannagh in Castlebar. It’s a local beauty spot popular with families, their dogs and of course the kids”

On a fine summer evening, many of those kids stroll to the end of the lough to enjoy a few beers before “hitting the town”. Despite what you might think, it always appears to be a “chilled out” occurrence. I guess the setting sun helps in that regard.

This was shot on an older, but very capable camera. A 6 Mp Nikon D40. The lens was a Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6. None of these are expensive pieces of kit. It was shot at the long end of the lens (300mm). This has the effect of compressing perspective. That is why the mountain appears much closer than it is, and why the light is softer.

Interestingly, this scene no longer exists as you see it now. This small headland between the two lakes has been raised considerably and a footbridge now spans the lake allowing access to the other side. Indeed, there have been many changes at Lough Lannagh, both good and not so good. I was happy to have recorded many images up here before all those changes.

However, on the other hand, Croagh Patrick will be here long after we have all gone.

Many thanks to John for sharing this fantastic shot of one of Ireland’s most Iconic Mountains with us. Check out for more of John’s work.

We hope to get down to Croagh Patrick shortly to put together another article for our ‘Walking Ireland’s Iconic Mountains’ series.