Once in a lifetime shot during lucky moment in Donegal

PHOTOGRAPHER Gareth Wray could not believe his luck when he managed to capture a perfect shot of an Aer Lingus plane descending into Donegal Airport last week with Errigal Mountain in the backdrop.
The Strabane man was not out plane spotting at the time and it was just by chance the aircraft flew into his shot.
Speaking to the Donegal News this week Gareth said at that very moment he was standing on a sand dune on the shore in Carrickfinn and was in the process of aligning up two cows with Errigal.
“I heard the plane coming in on the left and I thought to myself wouldn’t that be lovely if it came into my frame,” Gareth recalled.
“I never believed it would happen.”
Errigal Mountain was a staggering 15km away from where he stood. He had his camera on a tripod, locked onto this scene with his zoom lens attached.
Gareth said it was challenging enough to get the two cows aligned with the mountain never mind adding the plane to the mix. His lens had a 200mm magnification which means that the plane had to fly into an area the size of a matchbox in order for him to capture it.
Taking to Instagram to share the moment Gareth snapped a quick shot of his camera screen captioning it ‘what a lucky shot’.
Donegal Airport were quick off the mark and shared the image which caught the attention of the plane’s captain Patrick Khan.
When the plane landed he got in touch to admire the stunning image and asked if he could get a copy.
“I think that is amazing as it adds even more to my very lucky moment in Donegal,” said Gareth.
“It is actually the first plane I have ever photographed. The photo is doing well online, it is going a bit viral and gathering momentum.”
With Donegal on his doorstep the photographer is never too far from the county. He regularly puts in twelve hour shifts visiting as many spots as he can along the coastline in the hope of capturing images just like this one.
He has also taken photos in Donegal for Tourism Ireland and has a holiday home in the county.
While he has always had an interest in photography it was ten years ago when his hobby turned into something more after his wife suggested he invest in a professional camera.
“That was ten years ago and I haven’t looked back,” said Gareth.
To check out more of Gareth’s work you can visit his website at and his Facebook page is

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