At the northern boundary of Dublin lies a mixed haven of urban life and wild hillside and scenery. The Irish town of Howth welcomes the natural forces of the open sky, land and sea; making it a perfect place for young vagabonds like travel photographer Anna Garcia.
Hi Anna! Thanks taking time with us here in Lomography! Firstly, we learned that you're actually from Barcelona. What made you interested in visiting Howth, Ireland? The comparison between two cities (Barcelona and Howth) is starking!
Hi! It's a pleasure to collaborate with Lomography! I've always been fascinated by Irish landscapes, cities, history and it’s rich culture. A couple of years ago I had the chance to visit Dublin and I felt the need to explore and discover the city’s surroundings. When I was in Barcelona preparing the journey, I saw some images of Howth, and I knew for sure that I had to visit this small fishing village.
From your photographs, you seem to have taken interest on hills and cliffs overlooking the sea. What were the things you were thinking of when you were photographing them?
We walked along the seaside from the top of the cliffs. It was a magical experience to have the Atlantic ocean by our side. All the time I was there I kept thinking about how much I loved this scenery and how much I would give to have it back home. I felt relaxed and peaceful. It gave me time to disconnect and clear my mind.
Usually, Barcelona would emit the auras of fun and warmth. What are the auras/vibes you got in Howth?
From the moment I hopped off the train from Dublin to Howth, I started getting a feeling of coziness and warmth. This place is a very small and calm fishing village and it was nice to walk across the streets accompanied by the melancholic overcast weather.
We stayed there in November when the weather was quite cold, but despite the climate, we stopped by a beach where we spent some time contemplating the seals. We saw an old woman swimming in the cold sea and when she emerged from the freezing water, we overheard her talking to her neighbours. Apparently, she goes for a swim every day! I felt really captivated with the quiet way of life of the citizens of Howth.
Have you also gone to other places in Ireland? What were they like?
Not yet. One of the things I want to do in life is to spend a couple of months driving through the west coast of this beautiful country; exploring its landscapes and villages as well as talking with the local people. Maybe in a couple of years I’ll have fulfilled my dream!
Among your travel photographs of Ireland and Howth, which among the photographs encapsulate the persona of city?
Some of Ireland’s best known landmarks are its famous cliffs and the breathtaking views to the sea. Even though the cliffs and hills I visited are not as enormous as the ones on the west coast, I was astonished and amazed. I was really happy that I was finally in Ireland, a trip that I had always imagined, and that I had it in front of my eyes. Personally, I think that the images of the cliffs and the views of the sea are the ones that encapsulate the country, because they have been my obsession since I was a child.
In your photographs, we noticed that there's mostly an absence of people, giving a sense of pure simplicity of the places. As a landscape and travel photographer, what are the elements you usually look for when composing them?
I try not to think too much about theory when I'm taking pictures. I capture the scene depending on what I'm feeling at that very moment and I often find myself composing images in a minimalist style, as I really enjoy taking pictures that sustain an aura of geometric correlation.
What's your favorite part/aspect of Dublin?
My favourite part of Dublin is not the physical part of the city, but the inner part of Dublin. There is always good music and good beer in the pubs. There’s even good music in the streets! It's magical to discover a city while you are listening to the local people singing. I think that Ireland is a country made of music.
Apart from Ireland, what other places are you planning to visit?
After Ireland, I visited Berlin and Copenhagen during the summer and in the winter I spent 4 days in Aquitaine, a region in the south-western coast of France. This year I’ve travelled across the Basque Country and now I'm preparing for my next trip in August. I'll be road-tripping across Lanzarote and Fuerteventura in a campervan for two weeks! I couldn’t be more excited!