Southwest Ireland Photo Tour Light and Landscape

Tour Intro

Explore and photograph Southwest Ireland on this unique photo tour with Brenda Tharp and Jed Manwaring. You will travel south to Killarney in County Kerry and continue on to the rich landscapes and dramatic coastline of the Beara, Dingle, and Inveragh peninsulas. Each presents endless photographic opportunities including beaches, cliffs, colorful painted fishing villages, quaint harbors, and smiling faces. It wouldn’t be a trip to Ireland with out going to the local pubs after dinner for traditional Irish music.

Included with Brenda and Jed is Western Ireland. Doolin is a magical town that sits just outside a wondrous landscaped area called ‘The Burren’. It’s a karst landscape of bedrock incorporating a vast cracked pavement of glacial-era limestone, with cliffs and caves, fossils, rock formations and archaeological sites. Continue your photography on the lesser-known Loop Head Peninsula. Experience incredible land and seascapes from the Bridges of Ross to the Loop Head Lighthouse.

Tour Highlights

  • Photography instruction with accomplished tour leaders Brenda Tharp and Jed Manwaring.
  • Tour limited to 12 participants for extra attention.
  • Dramatic coastlines of Beara, Inveragh, and Dingle Peninsulas.
  • Sunrise light on the picturesque lakeside Gougane Barra Priory.
  • Portmagee, Dingle Town and other colorful fishing villages.
  • Weather permitting boat trip to Skellig Michael to photograph the Christian monastery and beehive shaped huts.
  • An evening or two in traditional Irish pubs with live music.
  • Flexible itinerary to make the most of photo opportunities that come our way. *Those wanting to fly home 16th, reduced rates listed in Additional Notes section.

Tour Itinerary

June 6: Home

Photo By: Brenda Tharp

Photo Location: Ireland

Your journey to Ireland begins with an overnight flight from the U.S./Canada to Shannon (SNN), Ireland. (meals on plane)

June 7-8: Beara Peninsula

Photo By: Brenda Tharp

Photo Location: Ireland

The majority of flights land quite early in Shannon. You will need to arrive by 9AM. If your airline of choice arrives after that we can recommend a choice of hotels you can stay at and arrive one day early. Your local Irish guide will meet you at the Shannon Airport (time to be announced) to begin your journey south to a lovely town along the less frequented Beara peninsula.

Beara is the peninsula south of the famous Ring of Kerry. Quieter and more relaxed, you will be away from the crowds and experience Ireland as it was meant to be. Photograph the rugged Atlantic coast while traveling across the Healy pass and photograph the colorful village of Allihies. Overnight Beara (D, B)

June 9: Gougane Barra
Gougane Barra Lake

Photo By: Brenda Tharp

Photo Location: Ireland

After enjoying another day on Beara or further south continue on to the Gougane Barra Forest Park. This is not a place tourist buses go to, it is a place of natural beauty, meant to be experienced at just the right light. Brenda and Jed’s fingers will be crossed that you have just the right light this evening for sunset in the park and tomorrow morning to photograph reflections of St. Finbarr’s Oratory on the lovely lake island it sits on. Overnight Ballingeary (B, D)

June 10-11: Killarney-Portmagee-Ring of Kerry
Waterfall Stones

Photo By: Brenda Tharp

Photo Location: Ireland

Rise early this morning if the weather cooperates as sunrise is at 5. After your photography session this morning return to the hotel for breakfast. Leaving Gougane behind, we travel onward. You may stop in Killarney National Park where you find Ross Castle with colorful rowboats and a stop in town for additional architecture and time for those that would like to do a bit of shopping. Your next adventure takes you to the Inveragh Peninsula and the colorful fishing village of Portmagee, your home base for the next two evenings. From Portmagee, again weather permitting travel via boat to Skellig Michael, a wonderful experience to document with your own vision the historic monastery and beehive shaped cones. It is quite a hike up and not for the faint of heart to these amazing ruins, but don’t be concerned if you feel you cannot make the climb, there are so many things to photograph on the island. If the winds and waters don’t cooperate this morning, Brenda, Jed and your local guide have many options available.

The monks from Skellig Islands moved their priory to Ballinskeligs in the mid twelfth century and dedicated it to St. Michael. It’s a beautiful setting that looks out over the bay. Sunset photography at Geokaun Mountain or Fogher Cliffs on Valentia Island is breathtaking. There is also a lighthouse at Cromwells Point. Overnight Portmagee (B, D; B)

June 12-14: Dingle Peninsula

Photo By: Brenda Tharp

Photo Location: Ireland

After a morning photo shoot in Portmagee we continue through County Kerry, to the Dingle Peninsula, which thrusts out into the Atlantic, claiming Ireland’s most westerly point. Here, majestic hills soar over vast bowls of unspoiled valleys, glittering mountain streams tumble down to lakes, summer hedgerows blaze with fuchsias, and soft, golden beaches stretch for miles. It has mountains, rugged coastline, and small towns with traditional Gaelic character.

The region boasts of some 2000 prehistoric and early Christian remains. We make our way along the lovely Slea Head Drive, looking out onto the resplendent Blasket Islands, offering us a grand land and seascape. There will be many photographic opportunities including Iron Age and early Christian rocks and ruins. Clustered on hillsides over the cliffs are beehive-shaped stone huts built by monks as a place of worship. The Town of Dingle, has a lovely harbor and painted storefronts will delight your senses. Overnight Ballyferriter (B, D; B; B, D)

Those who cannot continue on to The Burren and County Clare, exploring and additional photography instruction with Brenda and Jed will overnight June 15th at the Radisson Park Inn for flights home tomorrow. It is located within walking distance of the Shannon Airport, your return flight can be anytime on June 16th. See reduced rates under General Information.

June 15-16: Doolin-County Clare-The Burren

Photo By: Brenda Tharp

Photo Location: Ireland

After breakfast, we will pack up and depart north, with photography opportunities as you make your way towards County Clare. Doolin is a quaint Irish town nestled near the Cliffs of Moher, actually it is walking distance to the walking trail for the cliffs. Enjoy two evenings in this area photographing the Burren with Brenda and Jed. Very different from earlier landscapes you have been exposed to thus far, but just as photogenic. Poulnabrone dolem is close by as well, a megalithic tomb or portal. Overnight DOOLIN  (B, D; B)


June 17: Loop Head Peninsula-Shannon
Pub Bicycle

Photo By: Brenda Tharp

Photo Location: Ireland

After sunrise photography in the Doolin area, we return to the hotel for a leisurely breakfast. Depart late morning on the coastal route to Loop Head Peninsula. This is another less traveled area of Ireland with breathtaking cliffs and rock formations. Given time you will return to Shannon and have time to photograph a beautiful Abbey and cemetery before your local guide leaves you at the airport hotel. Overnight Shannon Airport Hotel (B)

June 18: Shannon – U.S.

Photo By: Brenda Tharp

Photo Location: Ireland

After breakfast this morning, say good-bye to your new friends and board your flight for home. (B)

Photo Leader

Brenda Tharp
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Brenda Tharp

Brenda is a professional photographer, speaker and educator with a life-long wanderlust for exploring the world and photographing it. Her photographs have appeared on the pages of Sierra Club, Audubon, National Geographic Books, Michelin Travel Guides, Nature Conservancy, and many more. She is the sole author/photographer of two books, her most recent Expressive Nature Photography, and she co-authored Extraordinary Everyday Photography with Jed Manwaring. Her fine art images are in private collections across the country.

For years and continuing today, she has escorted people to a variety of wonder-filled places to share in the adventure of the place and to help in the making of memorable images. Brenda believes that in the process of exploring and photographing the world around you, you gain so much more than just photographs - you bring back the experiences from those places that remain with you forever. She advocates photographing with a sense of purpose, keeping your eyes and your soul open to what's going on around you. Brenda's love for the natural world is evident in her dramatic landscapes and wildlife images. Her cultural images portray a sense of place, and her portraits are approached with sensitivity and respect for the person and the culture. Brenda challenges you to see in new ways.

Topics of discussion on each trip are tailored to the groups' needs, yet typically include: creating dynamic landscapes/scenes, paying attention to gesture and moment with both wildlife and people, working effectively with the light you have, using elements of design to create strong compositions, creating visual depth, and storytelling with your images. Additional discussions often include processing and workflow. She is always available for technical or visual help, offering tips and suggestions to help you to refine their own vision of the place.

Note from Instructor: “I believe that you workshops and tours are a great way to work on improving your artistic vision and your technical skills, while being inspired by a great destination, not to mention the fun of sharing the adventure with like-minded photographers. I am available to lend advice and review images any time on the journey.”

I really enjoyed Brenda's style of talking as we were on the bus. Very informative without being too formal. Lots of chances to learn as we took photos as well - in early morning or in evening. Got some great tips from Jed as I was photographing on various occasions. Very responsive to our questions with NO judgement about our skill levels. I have told many people that this was the best or one of the two best trips I have ever been on. The leaders great, group jelled fabulously and for me, traveling with all photographers was amazing.


Nancy Hauserman

Photo Leader

Jed Manwaring
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Jed Manwaring

Jed Manwaring is an accomplished photographer and teacher. His travel, environmental and nature photographs have appeared in a variety of magazines including Alaska Airlines, International Wildlife Conservation, Navigator, Outdoor Photographer, Outside, Sierra, Sunset, Via, and Wilderness Society magazines, as well as in books, calendars and cards. Jed’s passion for photography and teaching make him an amazing instructor and enthusiastic leader.
Jed taught basic photography at the College of Marin for 14 years and continues helping others make better pictures when on photo tours and workshops. He has worked in a variety of challenging situations, including running the Colorado River in a dory, sea kayaking in Costa Rica, llama trekking, and exploring in Italy, Mexico, Hawaii, and throughout the west.

Note from Instructor: “Workshops and photo tours are a fantastic way to develop your personal vision and refine your skills while having a great time in a wonderful location. I’m always available to offer advice and critique of images.”

Welcome back to you! Chris and I just returned from our own extension to Venice you planned for us.  Wonderful!!!
Attached is my evaluation of the tour with Brenda and Jed!
Loved every minute…! Many thanks to everyone who took part in the planning…and to Brenda and Jed for the expert  execution of the plan!

The tour was perfect, I would highly recommend it. Both Brenda and Jed were knowledgeable about each location, and knew the very best places for photo shoots. They were not rigid, in fact, they were flexible and were able to 'read' the interests of the participants very well and make any changes to our schedule to fit the desires of the individual wishes. So well done.... so difficult to do. I would travel anywhere with Brenda & Jed.

Gretchen Taylor

Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 8 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $500 if 6-7 paying participants. All our program prices are based on double occupancy unless noted in exceptions.

Single rooms are subject to availability. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested, or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, you will be required to pay the supplement.


This was a wonderful trip to Ireland. Loved the different locations - city and countryside - that we encountered along the way from Dublin to Dingle. Our local guide was amazing. His knowledge of Irish history and its topography knows no bounds. Our photography guide, Nancy Ori, and Strabo's owner, Jacque Steedle, round out this amazing trip which made the photography tour possible.

M Menago

Hi Jacque.

I made it home from Ireland. I just wanted to say again how wonderful the trip was. I enjoyed every place we visited, stayed over night and photographed. I especially like that you arranged for such good weather! I thought the group of people were very nice and easy to get along with, as was our drive and guide.

Thanks for all the time and effort that you put into this trip. I really appreciate it.


K Curtis

Nancy was amazing. Extemely patient and nothing ruffled her. She was helpful with both photography and logistics and often went beyond what would be expecgted in her role.

B. Schultz

Additional Notes

For those departing on their own June 16th the land cost will be reduced $210 per person in double occupancy or $340 for single travelers. You would then be missing the Burren and Loophead Peninsula with your guides. Contact Strabo Tours for any questions.

Terms and Conditions

Unless otherwise noted, this information applies to all tours.


Contact Strabo Tours if you would like rates on International Airfare. Please note on your trip application form if you would like us to assist you with your airfare needs, a charge is added for this service. If making your own arrangements, it is important to discuss flight times with Strabo Tours before booking any airline tickets. This will avoid you having to pay airline cancellation penalties. Please contact Strabo Tours for destination airfare estimates, specific flight time arrivals, and departures.

The land cost includes:
  • Group transportation for tour events in the tour van.
  • Accommodations based on two people sharing a room, singles are assigned on a first come, first served basis.
  • Services of driver, English speaking cultural guide (if applicable) and photographic leader, during the tour.
  • Meals as listed in itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner).
  • Park entrance fees, day tours and excursions as shown in the itinerary.
  • Extensive pre-departure information and services.
The land cost does not include:

Domestic or International air fare; other airfare if noted in exceptions; air fare tax; airport departure tax; airport transfers; additional transfers or accommodations that may be required by those not traveling with the group; excess baggage charges; meals not included in itinerary; activities taken on your own; passport/visa expenses; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature, such as room service, laundry, beverages not included with meals, medical expenses, photographic equipment, any activities not specified in tour itinerary or listed as optional, or any items not listed in what is included; fuel surcharges; exchange rate surcharges; upon the completion of your trip, modest gratuities to the local guides and the drivers are customary; tips for meals not included in itinerary.

Fitness and Health

The majority of trips are not strenuous (see exceptions below for particular destinations) and anyone who is reasonably fit should be able to take part in most of the activities. You may experience general fatigue due to the long flights and the change in time zones. You will need to be sufficiently agile to climb in and out of the tour van and be able to carry and manage your own equipment. We will frequently hike trails ranging from easy to moderate. Some hotels do not have elevators or air conditioners.

If you have any special needs or any physical condition that you feel might prevent you from fully participating, please contact Strabo Tours with your concerns (607-756-8676).

You should also be aware that medical services or facilities might not be readily available during all or part of your trip. This could include emergency medical care, presence of physicians, or adequate medication.


The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

Deposits, Cancellations AND Refunds

A deposit of $750 ($500 on domestic tours) per person is required. Specific tours may require an additional deposit due to accommodation bookings or transportation requirements. If applicable these will be noted on your invoice. Payment in full is required when bookings are made less than 120 days before the departure date. Space is subject to cancellation by Strabo if payment is not received when due.

If a passenger wishes to cancel they must send notification in writing to: Strabo International Tour, Co., P.O. Box 580, Dryden, NY 13053; fax 208-545-4119. At the time we receive your notification, the following per person charges apply:

  • 91 days or more before departure: $300 cancellation fee ($150 fee on domestic tours), plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation.
  • 61-90 days before departure: $500 ($250 on domestic tours) minimum cancellation fee, plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation. Fees may range from 25% to 100% of tour costs.
  • 60 days or less before departure or anytime after departure: NO REFUND.

Refunds for services that are voluntarily not used by you cannot be made.


Each participant must be covered by medical insurance that is valid overseas.

We strongly urge you to evaluate your risk and to take out insurance on your trip. It is vital for you to realize that if you experience a delay or find it necessary to cancel or cut short your trip for any reason, you will lose part or the entire sum you’ve invested in it (see the section “Deposits, Cancellations and Refunds” in the trip brochure).

Travel insurance helps to minimize the risk of monetary losses you would incur in the event of a delay of your departure due to weather, airline strike, missed connection, etc., your inability to travel for reasons such as illness, injury, unforeseen financial complications and other personal circumstances, or if you were required to cut your trip short for medical or any other reasons.

There are restrictions and limitations on any insurance program. For this reason, please read carefully the enclosed pamphlet, which outlines their program of trip cancellation, baggage, and medical insurance. Trained agents are available to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to call the toll free number in their brochure. It is to your advantage to apply for insurance at the earliest possible time, so don’t delay in making a decision.

Subject to Change

Itineraries have been carefully constructed to assure participants the best each destination has to offer; however, should events arise that are beyond our control, activities and hotel arrangements are subject to change without notice. The itineraries summarize typical areas you will explore. Since there is no possible way to visit all of them, your guides will plan each day considering the interests of the group and the weather at hand. Be assured that we will make substitutions that are as similar in quality and interest as possible.

Photo Release

Strabo International Tour Company, Inc. reserves the right and permission to use photographs of individuals on tour for use in promotional and publicity purposes. We also reserve the right to use clients photographs for promotional and publicity purposes, when submitted to Strabo International Tour Company, Inc.

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