Our Story

About Us

Welcome to our website! We are Martin Critchley and Sharron Schwartz, and we live in County Donegal, Ireland.

Martin is a qualified geologist, earning his PhD at the Royal School of Mines. In 1984, he founded ERA-Maptec, Ireland’s first remote sensing company utilising satellite imagery from space, which he managed until 2018. He is a keen amateur astronomer.

Sharron is a qualified historian, having obtained her PhD at the University of Exeter, and worked in the university and heritage sectors before moving to Ireland. She is a published author of numerous books and papers and excels at creative writing.















We share a passion for the outdoors, and relish adventures and challenges. For the past 15 years we have enjoyed trekking and travelling independently in six continents. We have summited mountains including Kilimanjaro, Jebel Toubkal and Gran Paradiso, walked the Inca Trail, and undertaken wilderness trekking in Greenland, Chilean Patagonia, and Sweden.

We are also proud owners of a Land Rover Defender, and have overlanded in Spain, Oman, Zambia, South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia and Botswana, including driving Lesotho’s notorious Sani Pass. We recently lived in our Land Rover camper for over four months on an 18,000km road trip to the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Arctic Sweden and Norway.

During our travels we discovered that the world looks infinitely more interesting and wondrous through a camera lens. We began our photography careers by making short videos to record specific treks, and progressed to creating timelapse sequences for documentary-style films. Our material has been used by the BBC, Channel Five, RTE and Fuji-TV (Japan). As our film-making developed, so did our still photography to a point where we decided to become full-time professional landscape photographers.


To be a successful landscape photographer requires a good technical understanding of how a camera works in order to get the best from your photography. It also demands a degree of creativity in order to capture the mood and essence of the scene before you. Landscape photography melds the fields of art and science together, and beautifully compliments our backgrounds in the sciences and humanities. In 2017 we set up Purple Peak Adventures to provide workshops and photo-tours where we share our love of the landscape, and our knowledge and skills with like-minded people.

In 2022, we rebranded ourselves Ethereal Light Photography.

Why not feed your passion for photography by joining us on a tour or workshop?