In My Dreams I was traveling, Probably in my car, through the hills of Kerry, little valleys where everyday life is lived, A voice reproached me for squandering my time on trifles , instead of writing about the essence of life, which is such a so-ness.
Probably all my voyages in dreams have a model in one, very real, by car from cork to Kerry, A boggy road with ruts, always either up or down, stubble fields on the hills in the rain, here and there a spruce grove, then alders by streams,huts,well-sweeps.
Taken from : Czeslaw Milosz
Its the weekend so why not find a coastline to visit, take a walk along the cliff tops and watch the tide come in on the beach below ……
Have a great weekend …
Irish arts festival season.
The next two weeks is and big period in Ireland for arts festivals (From Carlow,Kerry to Galway) and I intend to visit as mush as I possible can, so I will not be posting as much as usual over the next two week’s.
I will when possible check peoples blogs and see what your all up to, but for the time being I will be getting out and about to learn about and see as much art work as I possible can.
Fethard on Sea, Wexford
Ireland has many small fishing village’s around its coast-line, Fethard on Sea, Wexford being just one of them. There is nothing special or different about it, compared to any one of the others. Yet when you visit you will feel at home very quickly with this small town and it’s people.
The fishing Harbour is just wonderful and the relaxed feeling of the people who live and work here comes across very quickly.
I took these two images of some of the fishing boats near the harbour last year, on a weekends visit.
Twelve Months with a Canon G1x (Comments and Gallery)
It is just over a years since I purchased a reconditioned (Canon G1x) from Canon in the Irish republic.
I posted a personal review of the camera at the start of March here: “Canon G1x review“, so to avoid myself doing a repeat here you can read what I felt about the camera back then from this link.
I have taken about four thousand images with this camera in the first year and I have to say I just love it, before I decided to get it I was looking to replace a Contax G2 camera as I was finding it very hard to get film processed without posting it back to the UK. The idea of a compact system camera i.e. one that can work with extra items like a external flash gun, had been something I was very interested in.
For many years compact digital camera’s have not been of a good enough quality to consider purchasing and using if you intend to produce marketable images, I.e. anything from stock photography to commissioned work. The sensors where just to small to produce clean and detailed enough images.
From the moment I took collection of this camera I have to say it’s impressed me, I have most often used Film or Digital slr equipment apart from the Contax G2 that I had for many years. The camera is of good enough size a weight to feel like a good pro level compact and it is built to last that’s for sure. The body is equipped with every feature that an advanced user could need and is identical to a Digital slr.
I was looking for a camera that I could keep in a bag as a backup to my slr’s and this camera has been that, however I have found myself looking at what it is I need to do before I go out and deciding what type of Camera I need with me. I feel that If I have been booked to do some work then a customer needs to see an slr and the results are of a higher quality, but not by much. How and ever for personal work like this blog or books, holidays and events then this camera is perfect. I have produced double A3 wide prints from its images and they look as good as my Nikon pro equipment. It has all the needed quality, is fast to use acts exactly like I need it to and produces great results.
I was looking for a compact camera that didn’t make me feel like I wished I had packed an slr and this Canon camera is it, it has always filled me with confidence and been a pleasure to use.
Canon G1x Gallery
Make Hay while the sun shines
This time of year in county kilkenny brings many great subject to take photographs of, Freshly cut fields of hay are most definitely one of them. June and July have been wonderful warm months and the farmers have been very lucky at last. This Time last year we had weeks of heavy rain and even floods.
I captured these Hay bales before they were rapped, early morning when the mist still sat on the fields, it lifted soon after but I feel it made for some great images.
If you plan to visit County Wexford, Duncannon fort is well worth a visit, I took the images in this post on a visit earlier in the summer.
The fort was built in 1588 in the expectation of an attack on the area by the Spanish Armada. The Fort is surrounded by a 30 ft high dry moat and has one of the oldest lighthouses of its kind in Ireland. All the major buildings in the Fort surround a parade ground. A walk around the outer ramparts afford spectacular views across the estuary to Co. Waterford and down to Hook Head. Located at a lower level than the moat is the croppy boy cell. After the 1798 rebellion, prisoners were detained here pending transfer to Geneva Barracks for trial and sentencing. An added attraction is the Maritime Museum which charts the maritime history of one of the most dangerous coastlines in Ireland, the Wexford coast.
incorporates a maritime museum, Arts centre, café and craft shop and is open daily to visitors from June to September. Guided tours are available. Duncannon and Fort was the location for the opening scenes of the 2002 remake of ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’, starring Jim Caviezel and Richard Harris.
A little while back on a visit to Tramore Beach, County Waterford I photographed these art students working on beach sculpture before a competition the following weekend.
It was amazing to watch them for a while as they practised their projects, the images below are of a dragon that they intended to create on the day.
Sunday and today I just wanted to be silent to be still and think of nothing, so often we hear the sound of voices around us, people who just cannot stop for fear of a gap.
The most I wanted to hear was a song, the song that nature makes on the hillsides.
So a poem for a Sunday evening :
Today seemed like a day I should be silent.
The silence seemed so absolute, every small sound
My annoying voice would shatter such a perfect peace.
Perhaps a song.
If a song were to break out over this hillside,
causing the grass to move, that might be acceptable.
The silence their audience,
a brilliant song.
I wish it so, but I know my voice has not that song,
and in thinking so I find I’ve lost it altogether.
So I sit back, a supportive member of the audience.
So step up; we’re listening.
We silenced wait for your beautiful lucid song.
Someone to save us from the silence we trapped ourselves in,
afraid to break perfection.
Someone to tell us that imperfection is something that’s okay.
Your song can rescue us.
Your voice can come and let us sing again.
Let your music ring across this silence.
We’ll rise up, a chorus of flaws, and be beautiful.
Set us free.
Sophiea · Oct 28, 2011
It’s the weekend so why not find a coast line to walk along, look at the views and relax yourself.
Stay for the evening and watch the sun go down.
I just wanted to say thank you, since I started posting again on this blog back in February I have got to know some great people, received some wonderful and very welcomed comments and increased the size of my own world. Seeing images and talking to people from almost every corner of the planet.
So thank you to everyone who has been here and I have truly enjoyed seeing your own blogs !
A very different post today, For many weeks I have just posted photographs and it remains my main interest here but I just wanted for a little time to talk about Abode photo-shop and an application called My-paint.
Art has always been of a big interest to myself and I view all my images as a form of artistic production, some people don’t see photographs as art they are to much of a completed process or they don’t see any artistic process involved in the taking of images using a camera. To a point I do get this view, however I think the speed and directness of a camera can offer results that a painter or an artist with a pencil will not capture.
Here I post some result from working with a photograph in adobe camera raw and then photo-shop, in order to produce more developed results. In the first of the images below I have converted the photograph into black and white then using photo-shops levels and curves tools I have increased the brightness and contract until only the outlines of the trees exists.
In the third image down I have taken one of these black and white images and over painted it with photo-shops brush tool adding layers of different colour.
The last image and painting is taken from the second black and white image loading it into an application called My-paint, this is a free painting tool and is packed with great brush and pen tools. Using it I have created lots of layers of different colours and opacities in order to produce the final result.
For myself I love being out on a summer evening walking in the hills, a lot of the Irish hill sides are defined as common land and even though farmed by the same families for many generations these areas are by law open land.
The Comeragh mountains in county waterford has many locations well worth finding but for myself the most interesting are the neolithic monuments and grave sites.
While out last evening I came across this stone circle resting in one of the many valleys in this area, it once would have been a monumental site with its some eight foot high standing stones used to mark the passing of the farming year.
Ireland has a wealth of prehistoric sites that few since the Christian period pay any attention to, for myself however this is where the true history of Ireland exists, People existed in small communities at a local level, however they had everything in common with and communicated with people throughout Europe.
They existed in nature, out in the wilds and they understood the world around them with their very survival in mind, they held personal skill that they learnt from each other.
This stone circle marks those skill’s very well as measuring the seasons was vital to them.
NB: I have circled the above map to locate the stone circle and give some idea as to its size.
Comeragh mountains stone circle – Gallery
Wild Cotton grass, Comeragh mountains, county Waterford
Last evening we went for a long walk with our dog through the comeragh mountains and came across an area of Bog cotton, it covered the entire hill side and valley in front of us as we walked through it.
So I just wanted to share this wonderful view and I hope get across just how amazing a view this offers on the hill sides of these mountains in the middle of a very warm July.
Common Grass Cotton
As its other common name, Bog Cotton, might suggest, this is a plant of very damp peaty ground. Its leaves mostly arise from the base of the plant, often being tinged with red or brown. It has tiny insignificant little brown flowers in April and May but it is really when it is in fruit that this becomes a most eye-catching and attractive plant. Borne on 30-50cm high, cylindrical stems, the little seeds are held in fluffy, downy, white tufts which quiver and shake in the wind, a most effective dispersal method. This is a native pant belonging to the family Cyperaceae.
Wild Cotton grass – Gallery
Graystown Castle- Tipperary
A little time back I blogged about the area of Burnchurch and Graystown, Killenaule, Co Tipperary (70 years of Potato farming), writing then about my in-laws history of farming in this area. At the time I was asked about the castle that was in one of the pictures at the end of the farm, in the distance.
The castle is Graystown Castle- Tipperary and it has stood in this area since 1654.
This is the best article I can find on the internet :
An old castle stands in ruins on the road from Moyglass to Graystown and it is called Graystown Castle. It is mentioned in Gough’s Camden as being in ruins and situated near Killynaul. It is built on a limestone rock of considerable height on west and north sides and sustaining on one extremely the north-west angle of the building.
The original castle was probably built around 1170, by a man named Raymond Le Gros who was a Norman. From the word ‘Gros’ we got we get the name Graystown or Baile Le Gros as it is known in Irish.
However, the present ruins can hardly be older than the 16th century. It is described in the Civil survey (1654) as follows “Upon this land standeth a good castle, a slate house wantinge repaire with a large bawne and severall cabbins”.
Henry Laffan who was an official of the Butler Family, acquired considerable property in Co. Tipperary at the beginning of the 14th century. In 1305 he got 120 acres in Graystown from Geruase De Raley. This Henry Laffan was said to be the first of the Laffan Family, whose chief seat was in Graystown from then on. In 1521, Thomas Laffan, Lord of Ballingarry, granted to the Earl of Ormonde, the land of Ballinure. He was probably dead before 1524, in which year James Laffan of Graystown was one of the freeholders of Tipperary, who complained to King Henry VIII of the extortions, coyne and livery levied on them by Sir James Butler of Kiltinan and Sir Edmond Butler of Cahir as dupties of the Earl of Ormonde. James Laffan died in 1607.
In 1613, Thomas Laffan of Graystown was a member of Parliament for Tipperary. The proprietor of Graystown and Noan, 3200 acres in 1640, was Henry Laffan of Graystown while Marcus Laffan, his son, apparently held the remainder of the family property in Lurgoe, 640 acres. Henry was dead before 1649, for Marcus was found in Graystown in that year and was a Commissioner for the levying of troops and taxes in Slieveardagh. Marcus was transplanted to Connaught where he was alotted 1184 acres.
The Cromwellian grantee of Graystown was Gyles Cooke. He held the title of the area in 1659 and had two hearths there in 1665 (Petty Cenus Money Records).
So here it stands today, sitting at the end of a valley in this wonderfully peaceful landscape.
Graystown Castle – Gallery
A sense of Kilkenny
Getting out and about in county Kilkenny on these summer days is just wonderful, this Gallery of images was from an evenings walk through some local country lanes. I hope they get across a sense of the county and its wonderful landscape on an evening in July.
Kilkenny through its trees – A Gallery
A Monday sunrise
Up early this morning I returned to the same location as I walked in yesterday afternoon.
It is near a place called Ahenny, County Kilkenny. the road from the village rises up over some hills and at the top offers some great views of both county’s Kilkenny and Tipperary. The Sun has risen a little time before and is just hiding its self behind some clouds. It has been totally blue sky’s for about ten days which for Ireland is very rare, this morning however we have some light cloud cover that is moving inland.
Monday Morning’s and starting a new week, well I feel a little cloudy myself this morning for some reason and need to get moving but just for a moment I stop to look at the views. When you work for yourself is would be very easy to just give in to these views and stay here for the day just looking at any changes that the day will bring to the landscape, the movement of the sun, farmers working in the fields, wildlife moving its way across the land.
We live our lives as part of this moving landscape below, yet how often do we stop and look at it. We just keep moving in it, life flying past.
Maybe just now and then we should press the stop button and stand still for once, maybe to truly stop and look at all this movement will give use something of a gift. A gift that we can use once we see everything for what it is.
Examining the movement of life may help you understand, needed movement the things we need to do, the things we want to do and then the things we just do for no valid reason what so ever. Pointless time spent doing things just because we always do them. Never stopping to see that we don’t need to do these things they are not doing anything for us or for anyone.
I have a feeling just looking at the week starting that my future is in this story somewhere, finding the things I should be doing, the things I want to do but most of all cutting out the things I just do not have any reason or obligation to do.
Sunday evening and the last light of the weekend is fading once more, I love this time of the week. Everything that happened last week is in the past and we have a new start for our week ahead.
So then a Poem :
Evening Without Angels
the great interests of man: air and light,
the joy of having a body, the voluptuousness
Why seraphim are arranged
Above the trees?
Air is air,
Its vacancy glitters round us everywhere.
Its sounds are not angelic syllables
But our unfashioned spirits realized
More sharply in more furious selves.
That fosters seraphim and is to them
Coiffeur of haloes, fecund jeweller—
Was the sun concoct for angels or for men?
Sad men made angels of the sun, and of
The moon they made their own attendant ghosts,
Which led them back to angels, after death.
Let this be clear that we are men of sun
And men of day and never of pointed night,
Men that repeat antiquest sounds of air
In an accord of repetitions. Yet,
If we repeat, it is because the wind
Encircling us, speaks always with our speech.
Light, too, encrusts us making visible
The motions of the mind and giving form
To moodiest nothings, as, desire for day
Accomplished in the immensely flashing East,
Desire for rest, in that descending sea
Of dark, which in its very darkening
Is rest and silence spreading into sleep.
…Evening, when the measure skips a beat
And then another, one by one, and all
To a seething minor swiftly modulate.
Bare night is best. Bare earth is best. Bare, bare,
Except for our own houses, huddled low
Beneath the arches and their spangled air,
Beneath the rhapsodies of fire and fire,
Where the voice that is in us makes a true response,
Where the voice that is great within us rises up,
As we stand gazing at the rounded moon.
Its the weekend so why not find a river bank to sit on and let time pass you by …….
A Roman sunset
These images where taken on the last evening of a trip to Rome two years ago, its was one of the best city holidays I have ever been on and the last days weather was just amazing. My brother had already left on a train from Rome’s Termini train Station and my own bus to the airport was only about an hour away but the sunset was just wonderful so of I went in a mad rush to get some images and here they are.
They cost me €80 to get, as this was the cost of the taxi, by the time I got to the bus – well I only got a view of the back of it as it speeded away minus myself.
Sunset over Rome – a Gallery
The Lake district national park
I just want to spend sometime today away from Ireland, my fathers family are from the Windermere area in the lake district and until recent years we still had at least one relative living here. I have visited may times and enjoyed boating on the lakes here as much as possible.
So I just want to share some images I have taken during these trips, its a wonderful part of the UK and if you get a chance I would most definitely recommend you spend a week here.
Boating on the lakes – A Gallery
By far the biggest industry in county Kilkenny is farming, The main land use is grassland, dairy farming and tillage farming especially around Kilkenny City and in the fertile central plain of the Nore Valley. Conifer forests are found on the upland areas.
Last year I set out to produce a collection of farming images and have worked with some of the counties Farmers on this. The images below are just some of the pictures so far, its a pleasure to be working out in the fields and watches the work being carried out.
Images from the farm – Gallery
Two more images to help cool down a little on what is going to be a very warm day here in Kilkenny, these images are taken in the Butler house gardens, county kilkenny. I will post fully at some point very soon on this wonderful location but just for now here are these very cooling water lilies.