Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Welcome

I started this blog in 2011 with the aim of sharing some of my images capturing many of the locations here in Ireland where I live, along with some great places visited on my travels. I very much hope you enjoy the posts you find here, since 2011 this blog has had well over 150,000 visits and 70,000 likes for it's pages and I would like to say a big THANK YOU ! to everyone who has already visited this blog leaving a like or making a comment, both of which are very much appreciated. I look forward to many more posts and also reading all the great blog posts from so many great people in the WordPress community :)

Latest

Tamron SP 35-210mm f3.5-f4.2 – Classic lenses

Tarmon SP 35mm-210mm f3.5-4.2 Classic Lenses  Nigel Borrington

Tarmon SP 35mm-210mm f3.5-4.2
Classic Lenses
Nigel Borrington

Using classic Camera lenses

In the world of Digital photography it feels like a new bit of equipment is released almost every month, new Camera bodies, lenses, flash guns etc….

In the last few years however the image quality of digital cameras has begun to reach such high standards that its hard to see as bigger need than every before to keep upgrading your SLR camera body. I remember so clearly the day I first purchased a digital SLR, it was a Nikon D100, a body that was very closely based on the Nikon F80. I also remember reading sometime later that for a digital Camera to match the print size of 35mm film you would need 24 million pixels, a target that was reached sometime back in the Nikon range and surpassed with the 36mp Nikon D800.

Looking back at Film cameras, most of the end print size and quality came from the type of film you selected to use. The camera bodies themselves offered different levels of capture capabilities, some bodies offered all you needed to take landscape images while other more advanced bodies allowed you to capture fast action activities such as sports.

Once you had the camera body that you needed, for the type of photography you worked with, there was little need to upgrade until you had almost worked your camera into the ground.

Today in 2017, it is a very legitimate question to ask if at last after many years of the megapixel race, have we not now reached the point that you can purchase a camera body and keep it for life or until you finish it off by using it so much ?

What about Lenses ?

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In the first years of digital SLR cameras it was not always possible to use all your old lenses with your new wonderful Digital body, Many Cameras would only for example allow you to use the latest Auto-focus lenses.

Over time the manufacturers started to launch bodies at the top end of their range that allowed you to use many older lenses including Manual focus lenses. Once this happened many photographers started to look backwards at the classic lens market, to workout what lenses from the past still offered great performance on modern cameras.

Personally I love using classic lenses and the Tarmon Sp 35mm-210mm F3.5-4.2, is one of the lenses I love using the most, produced by Tamron in Japan in the early 1980’s and only ended production in late 1987, it was available new well into the 1990’s.

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This lens is one of the best made Zoom lenses of all time and even includes a Macro mode, offering a close focus of 11.8″ (0.3m), for a zoom lens this is very good. It is also very fast and falls into the professional level of F3.5 at 35mm to F4.2 at 210mm, on a current Digital slr with its low ISO noise this speed is excellent. It also has some amazing Lens flare that when used in video mode is amazing !

For times when I can use manual focus and want a zoom lens that has a great focus distant range and is fast, I am more than happy to have this lens with me. Its sharp at all F-stops, feels just amazing to use and can take any kind of usage in any type of conditions.

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I will let the images below do the rest of the talking here, its fair to say however that not all old camera equipment is outdated and not worth using anymore. Great Lenses like these ones, if looked after last for ever.

When new this lens would have cost top money and for a reason!

Lens Gallery

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Arley Hall, a country house in the village of Arley, Cheshire, England,

Arley Hall  country house  village of Arley, Cheshire, England,

Arley Hall
country house
village of Arley, Cheshire, England,

If you looking for a place to visit in the UK, the county of Chesire has many great country houses and estate lands that you can visit, including Dunham Massey Hall, Tatton Park and Arley Hall.

Over the Christmas and New year period I visited Arley Hall and its great Gardens

Arley Hall is a country house in the village of Arley, Cheshire, England, about 4 miles (6 km) south of Lymm and 5 miles (8 km) north of Northwich. It is home to the owner, Viscount Ashbrook and his family. The house is a Grade II* listed building, as is its adjacent chapel. Formal gardens to the southwest of the hall are also listed at Grade II* on the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. In the grounds are more listed buildings, a cruck barn being listed as Grade I, and the other buildings as Grade II.

The hall was built for Rowland Egerton-Warburton between 1832 and 1845, to replace an earlier house on the site. Local architect George Latham designed the house in a style which has become known as Jacobethan, copying elements of Elizabethan architecture. A Gothic Revival chapel designed by Anthony Salvin was subsequently built next to the hall. By the mid-20th century parts of the house were in poor condition and were demolished, to be replaced by five private homes in a matching architectural style.

Arley Hall, Gardens

Arley Hall, Gardens

The present gardens were created in the 1830s, and were developed during the 20th century. The garden’s Herbaceous Border was one of the first of its type in Britain, and remains one of the finest. The house and its gardens have been open to the public since the 1960s, and have also been used as a film location. Stockley Farm, part of the Arley estate, is an additional visitor attraction for children and families.

Burnt out and left in the woods

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Sometimes when out on a walk you find things that ask questions in your mind, old cookers or TV’s, items long past there use. At the weekend I came across this burnt out car, turned over and then burnt until all that remains is a twisted rusting shell.

I my mind it is most likely stolen but then it has its own story to tell !

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Pencil on paper, Drawing from life – My Violin

My Violin  Drawing from life Pencil on Paper Nigel Borrington

My Violin
Drawing from life
Pencil on Paper
Nigel Borrington

I am a big believer that the skills involved in producing any kind of art work come from the base level of being able to represent the world around us, even the most abstract of painting and sculpture has to come from some kind of desire to represent thing in the real world.

So I wanted to before doing any more painting, take a step back into working on basic drawing skills.

The images here are taken over two nights during the week as I started and finished a pencil drawing of my Violin. they show some of the steps as I first worked on the basic outlines of the image and then moved into adding some details and shading.

I am happy with this first effort but will keep working over the next few weeks on different angles of the violin as well as working in different mediums such as pens and ink and charcoal.

Drawing progression

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The House on the Hill, By : Edwin Arlington Robinson

The Old house on the hill County Kilkenny  Ireland Nigel Borrington

The Old house on the hill
County Kilkenny
Ireland
Nigel Borrington

The House on the Hill

Edwin Arlington Robinson

They are all gone away,
The House is shut and still,
There is nothing more to say.

Through broken walls and gray
The winds blow bleak and shrill:
They are all gone away.

Nor is there one to-day
To speak them good or ill:
There is nothing more to say.

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Why is it then we stray
Around the sunken sill?
They are all gone away,

And our poor fancy-play
For them is wasted skill:
There is nothing more to say.

There is ruin and decay
In the House on the Hill:
They are all gone away,
There is nothing more to say.

Pencil and Watercolour Sketching, the great outdoors

Watercolour Sketch County Kilkenny Ireland

Watercolour Sketch
County Kilkenny
Ireland

Sketching in the great outdoors

This year I hope to use other forms of recording the landscape that I find around me other than photography alone, I love creating images using my camera but I want to dig in a little deeper and spent a lot more time at each location.

There are so many art based media that can be used to create a sketch, such as (Pastels, pens, pencils, charcoal and paint).

Personally I love using Pencils and Waterolour paints, both are very simple to use and very easy to carry around. Pencil is the most direct and very easy to always have with you in a bag. Watercolour paints requires you to have a supply of water and a palette for mixing colours, both simple to have available and easy to use. A monotone Watercolour sketch is a great way to make use of this medium, used to capture all the tones that you can see in the landscape in-front of you and a lot faster than using a pencil to record the lights and dark’s in your image.

I find that the process of starting and finishing a sketch outside to be the perfect way of relaxing, its very hard to think about anything else on your mind from the moment you start working and by the time you have finished, your mind is filled with little else other than how you can use you finished sketch later for a painting or more detailed drawing.

Add your sketch to some photographs you took and you have the perfect set of images available to create larger works in oil or acrylic paints.

The sketches here are a small sample of some work produced during an art course I completed a while back …..

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Making plans and getting projects ready for 2017

Abstract Sunset Nigel Borrington

Abstract Sunset
Nigel Borrington

So then ๐Ÿ™‚ , this is my first blog post of 2017 – Happy belated New year to everyone ๐Ÿ™‚

We returned home to Ireland a couple of days ago , following a wonderful Christmas spent with my sister and family in Manchester. It was a great time catching up sharing time, out side walking and visiting museums and art galleries, talking lots and watching the odd movie or two.

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Today I spent sometime organizing my studio room and then shopping, I needed to get some new art supplies , including paint, brushes and sketch pads. Towards the end of last year I worked mainly with digital media for both photography and art work, however in 2017 I want to add real media including pencils , charcoal and acrylic paint to my work.

I am approaching this year in the form of a set of projects that I want to work on and complete by the end of the year. My main aim is to spend as much time as possible developing real skills and end up with a developed portfolio of work that records all the small steps involved with anything I do.
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I feel strongly that art of all forms (including photography, drawing and painting) is a skill that involves development. This development needs in some way to be captured/recorded so that you can look back on the steps taken.

So I hope to find a method to record my year ahead, in the form of recorded steps that involve (notebooks, sketches, photos, poems, painting etc…) that all in all build towards finished works.

Above all I am looking forward very much to just getting going and being on a path again ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

Some work from 2016 …..

Two fishing boat Keem Strand Achill  Island County Mayo

Two fishing boat
Keem Strand
Achill Island
County Mayo

Happy Christmas and New year to everyone ! .. A 2016 Gallery

January 2016

January 2016


Happy Christmas and a happy new year for 2017 to everyone
๐Ÿ™‚

Todays post is my last for the year, I want to spend sometime off line with my family for the holidays.

I also want to say a very big thank you for such a great 2016 to everyone here in the word-press community, it has been great fun sharing posts with you all and reading your own posts!!!, its a great thrill to know so many great people and blogger’s here !!

Have a great Christmas time and a wonderful new year period, I look forward to sharing some on-line time with you all again in January 2017 – ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

A gallery of images from 2016

January 2016

January 2016

February 2016

February 2016

March 2016

March 2016

April 2016

April 2016

May 2016

May 2016

June 2016

June 2016

July 2016

July 2016

August 2016

August 2016

September 2016

September 2016

October 2016

October 2016

November 2016

November 2016

December 2016

December 2016

Marking Midwinter’s day, Pagan beliefs – Gods the Goddess of the winter solstice

Midwinters day 2016 Nigel Borrington

Midwinters day 2016
Nigel Borrington

Today is Mid winters day or the Winter Solstice.

History and cultural significance

The solstice itself may have been a special moment of the annual cycle of the year even during neolithic times. Astronomical events, which during ancient times controlled the mating of animals, sowing of crops and metering of winter reserves between harvests, show how various cultural mythologies and traditions have arisen. This is attested by physical remains in the layouts of late Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeological sites, such as Stonehenge in Britain and Newgrange in Ireland. The primary axes of both of these monuments seem to have been carefully aligned on a sight-line pointing to the winter solstice sunrise (Newgrange) and the winter solstice sunset (Stonehenge). Significant in respect of Stonehenge is the fact that the Great Trilithon was erected outwards from the centre of the monument, i.e., its smooth flat face was turned towards the midwinter Sun.

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The winter solstice may have been immensely important because communities were not certain of living through the winter, and had to be prepared during the previous nine months. Starvation was common during the first months of the winter, January to April (northern hemisphere) or July to October (southern hemisphere), also known as “the famine months”. In temperate climates, the midwinter festival was the last feast celebration, before deep winter began. Most cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the winter, so it was almost the only time of year when a supply of fresh meat was available. The majority of wine and beer made during the year was finally fermented and ready for drinking at this time. The concentration of the observances were not always on the day commencing at midnight or at dawn, but the beginning of the pre-Romanized day, which falls on the previous eve.

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Since the event is seen as the reversal of the Sun’s ebbing presence in the sky, concepts of the birth or rebirth of sun gods have been common and, in cultures using winter solstice based cyclic calendars, the year as reborn has been celebrated with regard to life-death-rebirth deities or new beginnings such as Hogmanay’s redding, a New Year cleaning tradition. Also reversal is yet another usual theme as in Saturnalia’s slave and master reversals.

Midwinters day 2013 CAILLEACH BHEUR

CAILLEACH BHEUR : The Celtic Goddess of winter

CAILLEACH BHEUR : Scottish, Irish, Manx, Great Goddess in her Destroyer aspect; called “Veiled One”. Another name is Scota, from which Scotland comes. In parts of Britain she is the Goddess of Winter. She was an ancient Goddess of the pre-Celtic peoples of Ireland. She controlled the seasons and the weather; and was the goddess of earth and sky, moon and sun.

Other Gods

Saturn (Roman): Every December, the Romans threw a week-long celebration of debauchery and fun, called Saturnalia in honor of their agricultural god, Saturn. Roles were reversed, and slaves became the masters, at least temporarily. This is where the tradition of the Lord of Misrule originated

Alcyone (Greek): Alcyone is the Kingfisher goddess. She nests every winter for two weeks, and while she does, the wild seas become calm and peaceful.

Ameratasu (Japan): In feudal Japan, worshipers celebrated the return of Ameratasu, the sun goddess, who slept in a cold, remote cave. When the other gods woke her with a loud celebration, she looked out of the cave and saw an image of herself in a mirror. The other gods convinced her to emerge from her seclusion and return sunlight to the universe.

Baldur (Norse): Baldur is associated with the legend of the mistletoe. His mother, Frigga, honored Baldur and asked all of nature to promise not to harm him. Unfortunately, in her haste, Frigga overlooked the mistletoe plant, so Loki – the resident trickster – took advantage of the opportunity and fooled Baldur’s blind twin, Hodr, into killing him with a spear made of mistletoe. Baldur was later restored to life.

Bona Dea (Roman): This fertility goddess was worshiped in a secret temple on the Aventine hill in Rome, and only women were permitted to attend her rites. Her annual festival was held early in December.

Demeter (Greek): Through her daughter, Persephone, Demeter is linked strongly to the changing of the seasons and is often connected to the image of the Dark Mother in winter. When Persephone was abducted by Hades, Demeter’s grief caused the earth to die for six months, until her daughter’s return.

Dionysus (Greek): A festival called Brumalia was held every December in honor of Dionysus and his fermented grape wine. The event proved so popular that the Romans adopted it as well in their celebrations of Bacchus.

Holly King (British/Celtic): The Holly King is a figure found in British tales and folklore. He is similar to the Green Man, the archetype of the forest. In modern Pagan religion, the Holly King battles the Oak King for supremacy throughout the year. At the winter solstice, the Holly King is defeated.

Horus (Egyptian): Horus was one of the solar deities of the ancient Egyptians. He rose and set every day, and is often associated with Nut, the sky god. Horus later became connected with another sun god, Ra.

La Befana (Italian): This character from Italian folklore is similar to St. Nicholas, in that she flies around delivering candy to well-behaved children in early January. She is depicted as an old woman on a broomstick, wearing a black shawl.

Lord of Misrule (British): The custom of appointing a Lord of Misrule to preside over winter holiday festivities actually has its roots in antiquity, during the Roman week of Saturnalia.

Mithras (Roman): Mithras was celebrated as part of a mystery religion in ancient Rome. He was a god of the sun, who was born around the time of the winter solstice and then experienced a resurrection around the spring equinox.

Odin (Norse): In some legends, Odin bestowed gifts at Yuletide upon his people, riding a magical flying horse across the sky. This legend may have combined with that of St. Nicholas to create the modern Santa Claus.

THE TREE SINGS TO THE RIVER – By Lea Goldberg

The tree sings to the river Irish landscapes Nigel Borrington

The tree sings to the river
Irish landscapes
Nigel Borrington

He who carried my golden autumn,
Swept away my blood with the leaf fall,
He who shall see my spring when it returns
To him with the turning of the year.

My brother, the river, who is forever lost,
New each day and different and one,
My brother the stream between his two shores
Who flows as I do between spring and fall.

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For I am the bud and I am the fruit,
I am my future and I am my past,
I am the solitary tree trunk,
And you โ€” you are my time and my song.

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