Feb 122017
 

The greater our connection to our environment the more it teaches us.  January daylight hours are short and often cold; winter’s darkness is a time for rest, rejuvenation, stillness and going within

Our January countryside is quite, tight, tucked in and still – reflective.  Low winter light varies from clear, bright & colourful to dense and grey – much like our own moods and being at this time.

Slaney Estuary, Ferrycarrig

Slaney Estuary, Ferrycarrig

Wintertime nature displays it’s structure, it’s skeleton in stark nakedness. Stillness and clear light reflect a beauty that’s invisible in the lushness of late spring and summer. Strong harsh winds clear debris, the strong and adaptable survive through natural selection to emerge, energised and eager from the sun warmed earth as day’s lengthen

Still Presence

Still Presence

Trees in their skeleton majesty and in the grip of winter stand firm against cold winds, frosts and driving rain to reflect

Reflective Slaney at Ferrigcarrig

Reflective Slaney at Ferrycarrig

Even birds of the air and the estuary know it’s a time for stillness

Bannow Bay

Bannow Bay

I see this stillness, this waiting, this reflecting all about me as I point my lens – there are lessons in nature for me, for my well-being – for all our well-being when we follow nature’s example

Wellingtonbridge

Wellingtonbridge

Reflections, beauty and stillness after sunset in cool January evening light

Reflections

Reflections

Water reflecting sky tones of amber and gold as the day ends.  All earth’s life is cyclical with periods of stillness, raging storms, reflection, anticipation and productivity – this is no different to our own lives when we’re attuned to our elements

Oct 102016
 

While the main business of Ballinasloe Horsefair took place in the Fairgreen, there was a sense of festival on the streets.

Street Traders lined all the streets off the Fairgreen, a band played on the square, people relaxed enjoying both the music and the sunshine of the day while buskers performed on the sidestreets

 

Oct 092016
 

Ballinasloe Horsefair is not just about showing and trading horses, it’s also about the people who own the horses

Cigarette

Cigarette

It’s about the men who stand in the middle of the Fairgreen and hold their horses, those who led their horses through the throngs and those who rode their horses with saddle & bareback

It’s about the children who accompany the men to the fair and it’s about the women who throng the streets, dressed in their finest – some accompanied by friends, some with children, many in family groups.  There was sound, colour and activity to mesmerise.  There were painted wagons and horse drawn traps of different types – none of which I can confidently name

Horse Drawn Wagon

Horse Drawn Wagon

 

Miniature Horse & Cart

Miniature Horse & Cart

The Driver

The Driver

There were beautifully groomed, horses in the finest livery put to these vehicles and there are equally well groomed men to drive them

I walked amid conversations and dealings.  Having grown up in rural Ireland with memories of my father driving cattle to the local fair I felt I ‘got’ the Ballinasloe Horsefair in it’s true sense.  I kept an eye and an ear to activities and my enjoyment of my visit was totally out of proportion to the event itself.  I loved it!

There were no cheques, credit or debit cards in the Fairgreen on Sunday, all transactions were discreet and in cash.  Given the number of horses, the number of traders and theprobable value of some of the animals, I’d hazard a guess that there was many times more cash in their pockets on the Fairgreen on the opening day of the Horsefair than was in all the established businesses in Ballinasloe combined

There were also the Street Traders; from traditional tinsmiths to sophisticated auctions held in open curtained, ridged trucks.  Ballinasloe had all the trappings of a market town fairs from the late 1800’s ~ mid 1900’s.  Although an event of the 21st century, the Ballinasloe Horsefair is a ‘must have’ experience for anyone interested in traditional Irish rural living

Tinsmith

Tinsmith

 

And finally there were those who perhaps like me – may have come just to see…

 

Apr 012016
 

The first time I saw this piece of street-art I was quite taken aback. At the time it was pretty much in the middle of nowhere, under an unappealing but functional concrete bridge on the by-pass in Kilkenny

Since then the area has been developed with a super-duper raised walk along by the river Nore from the city and a pedestrian bridge which runs directly beneath the road bridge.

This first image was the one that surprised me

Street Art

Street Art

This is how it looks from the super-duper pedestrian bridge

streetart_5913

Pedestrian Bridge

Oct 142015
 

What a photographic trip

A plethora of subject matter – nature, landscape, seascape & heritage; amazing atmospheric/light conditions + continuous fun and incredible food, but it was the unexpected, the serendipity/chance of the whole trip that puts this one on a par with our excursion to Wales so many years ago…

Thank you Karen, Anne, Jo, Larry, Frank for making it possible

Sep 022014
 

I’ve been nominated by a friend on social media to post one photo per day for five days, and nominate 1 person per day to do the same

I’m delighted to participate, it compels me to take out the camera each day, to engage with other photographers and provides an opportunity to receive constructive critique from my peers.

So here goes

Thanks Cathy Burke for the nomination, I’m delighted to participate and I’d be delighted to receive constructive critique

Day 1 – ‘King of the Kingdom’

King of the Kingdom

Day 1: King of the Kingdom

Day 2 – ‘Reflections’

Reflections

Day 2: Reflections

Day 3 – ‘Caramel wants Lunch’

Caramel wants Lunch

Day 3: Caramel wants Lunch

Day 4 – ‘Pom Pom Dahlia’

Pom Pom Dahlia

Day 4: Pom Pom Dahlia

Day 5 – ‘Busy as a Bee’

Busy as a Bee

Busy as a Bee

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Main Gallery

All other images, albums and galleries including landscapes are linked from the main menu above and the Main Gallery

Hook Lighthouse

Hook Lighthouse

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Dec 132013
 

Like a Phoenix the city of Belfast has arisen from the ashes and debris of ‘The Troubles’ to emerge as a modern city of tall glass fronted buildings, public spaces filled with art and sculpture, museums to curate, remind and celebrate it’s social, economic and cultural history and a people resilient and filled with hope for the future.

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Main Gallery

All other images, albums and galleries including landscapes are linked from the main menu above and the Main Gallery

Hook Lighthouse

Hook Lighthouse

 

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Aug 202013
 

According to Wikipedia; the term blue moon is usually used to describe a second full moon in a single solar calendar month,  which happens every two to three years.

Owing to the rarity of a blue moon, the term “blue moon” is used colloquially to mean a rare event, as in the phrase “once in a blue moon”

All this talk about blue moons is by way of introducing our forth-coming Blue Moon tonight Aug 20th~21st – not a solar calendar month this time.

Super Blue Moon

Super Blue Moon

It’s possible to get reasonably good photographs of the moon even on fairly basic cameras with fairly basic lens if there’s a manual setting available.

To get detail and sharpness on the moon…

  1. open up the aperture to about 2 stops from its widest
  2. increase the ISO to the highest your sensor can tolerate without introducing noise
  3. use the fastest shutter speed available
  4. use a tripod
  5. use a remote shutter release or the timer to avoid camera shake
  6. compensate by under exposing by three to five stops, depending on how the moon fills the frame
  7. if the resulting image is still soft, lock open the mirror before taking the shot

Remember the earth is rotating and the resulting image will be soft if the shutter is open long enough to pick up this movement.

I switch my camera to manual metering and manual focus for this type of shot.

On a clear night or even a night with light cloud, the moon is an extremely bright object against a dark night sky.

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Main Gallery

All other images, albums and galleries including landscapes are linked from the main menu above and the Main Gallery

Hook Lighthouse

Hook Lighthouse

Aug 122013
 
Rear Window

Rear Window

Controversial they may be but I just love the images from Arne Svenson‘s series ‘The Neighbors’. Reminiscent of L.B. “Jeff” Jefferies, the character in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window; the photographer views his neighbours through a camera lens in their homes across the street.

Not being the subject of his images, it’s difficult for me to imagine how I’d personally feel about privacy issues but looking at his published work, all the images I’ve seen are skillfully and beautifully crafted, sensitive, intimate, discrete and pretty anonymous.  There is nothing in any of the images I’ve seen that could not be openly viewed in a densely populated city like New York.

Fish Bowl

Yes, I appreciate the photographs are the result of possibly many hours of looking through his lens, through a neighbours window and possibly being privy to much more than we’ve seen in his exhibited work. I have to question these ethics. However; densely populated environments are ‘fish bowls’ and choosing to live there is surely a lifestyle choice.  The responsibility for privacy in this instance must surely lie with the neighbours rather than with the photographer.

Right’s Upheld in Court

Without dismissing the morality, the voyeurism and the ethics of how the work was created, I’m glad the judge upheld Svenson’s right to photograph the unsuspecting neighbours.  It’s this very candid nature of the shots and how they’ve been cropped that gives them such beautiful intimacy.

Billed as a “voyeuristic and investigative social documentation in a very rarified environment” ‘The Neighbors’ series was exhibited in June 2013 in the Julie Saul Gallery, New York.

Photographs from the series is also published on his website, take a little time to view them and let us know what you think.

Images used under a commons license courtesy of Wikimedia

Rear Window: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rear_Window_film_poster.jpg

May 132013
 

As any artist will know, there’s an attachment to a piece of artwork and a blind side that cannot see the flaws.  I’ve yet to decide between the post-processing treatment of the following images and would value your opinion.  I recognise choice is always personal and while I may not agree with all the feedback, it is nevertheless incredibly valuable to view the piece through the eyes of others.

The image was a grab shot outside the supermarket at the end of a shower, as the sun caught the water.  This scene had disappeared a few minutes later as the water was absorbed by the stone.

Steel & Stone, Original

Steel & Stone, Original

 

Steel & Stone, Original, B&W

Steel & Stone, Original, B&W

 

Steel & Stone, Original, Cropped

Steel & Stone, Original, Cropped

 

Steel & Stone, Cropped, Sepia

Steel & Stone, Cropped, B&W

 

Steel & Stone, Cropped, Sepia

Steel & Stone, Cropped, Sepia