Seeing the Morning light
By : Diana van den Berg
Dreaming into the light
the spreading awareness
losing self in the light
finding the harmony of balance
in namaste and ubuntu
and the messages of the clouds
in the light
amongst tall sunpainted autumn grasses
inhaling the unconscious grace
of a giraffe melting into
the late afternoon gold
of light caressing the shadows
and drawing them
into the light
Way back in 1986 I purchased a Tamron SP500 f8 Mirror (Telephoto) lens from a camera shop in London, it was second hand and cost around £150 back then.
The lens is reviewed very well here : Photozone review
I came across this lens again while sorting out some equipment last week and could not resist taking some images with it, so I put it onto my Sigma x3 camera and took a walk with both through some local fields.
I am not going to reviews the lens as such here as this is done so well in the above review, what I would say however is that this is a manual focus lens that is able and very capable of producing some very detailed and delicate images.
I really enjoyed using it again, if you are looking for a lens that is quick to use then this lens is not for you. If you take your time while creating your images however then this lens offers some very different and interesting results. I very much liked the shallow depth of field, there is something about the design in a mirror lens that produces a very find focus area in the image results.
I also felt that the combination of this lens alongside the sigma x3 sensor, produced some of the closest results to using film that I have noticed while using a digital camera.
The lens is very sharp, it produces wonderful colour and contrast, focuses down to 1.7 meters from the nearest subject and has a very shallow depth of field through out its focus range. Photographers spend a lifetime looking for lenses that have these features along with very distinctive results, if you can give this lens the time to learn how best to use it, I feel you will love it !
These lenses are often for sale on Ebay, if you want to purchases one and try one out !
One evening a little time back , while staying in country Wexford, I visited the lighthouse at Hookhead.
I always wanted to visit this great lighthouse, just before dusk and at the point that the lights are turned on for the night. It was a great feeling to stand below the tower and experience the darkness arriving over the coastline of Wexford.
The following images show this transition from evening light to darkness over the open Celtic sea.
CAPTAIN OF THE LIGHTHOUSE
By : Togara Muzanenhamo
The late hour trickles into morning. The cattle low profusely by the anthill
where brother and I climb and call Land’s End. We are watchmen
overlooking a sea of hazel-acacia-green, over torrents of dust whipping about
in whirlwinds and dirt tracks that reach us as firths.
We man our lighthouse – cattle as ships. We throw warning lights whenever
they come too close to our jagged shore. The anthill, the orris-earth
lighthouse, from where we hurl stones like light in every direction.
Tafara stands on its summit speaking in sea-talk, Aye-aye me lad – a ship’s a-
coming! And hurls a rock at the cow sailing in. Her beefy hulk jolts and turns.
Aye, Captain, another ship saved! I cry and furl my fingers into an air-long
telescope – searching for more vessels in the day-night.
Now they low on the anthill, stranded in the dark. Their sonorous cries haunt
through the night. Aye, methinks, me miss my brother, Captain of the
lighthouse, set sail from land’s end into the deepest seventh sea.
Located in the beautiful Glen of Aherlow, looking out to the stunning Galtee Mountains are the ruins of Moor Abbey.
This Franciscan friary was founded in the 13th century by Donnchad Móir Ó Briain, King of Thomond (1210-1242). Historical evidence suggests that in 1471 a new church was constructed at the site, but that the following year it was destroyed by fire. The buildings that survive today date from this period.
The church consists of a nave and chancel, separated by a tall bell-tower. In the chancel is a double piscina for washing liturgical vessels. Beside the doorway in the north wall of the chancel is a stoup which contained holy water that would have served the friars entering the church from the sacristy which formerly stood to the north.
In 1541 the friary was dissolved and later became the property of John Fitzgerald, brother of the Earl of Desmond. In 1569, during a rebellion led by the Earl of Desmond, the abbey was burned by government soldiers led by Sir Humphrey Gilbert, originally from Devon and a half-brother of Sir Walter Raleigh. The following year Fr. Dermot O’Mulrooney and two other friars returned to the friary, but were murdered by government forces.
The south east of Ireland has many Abbey’s such as this one, Moor Abbey however is top of my personal list. I love a visit here , the Abbey is well kept and the location is just wonderful to spend some time in.
Moor Abbey a Gallery
The lighthouse at Youghal’s, County Cork, is situated on the cliffs at the entrance to Youghal Bay.
The Geraldine owners of the town first built a tower on the site in 1202 and funded the nuns of the Chapel of St. Anne under the condition that they maintain the light in the tower.
his tower was demolished in 1848 to allow for the construction of the present lighthouse due to the large number of vessels using Youghal Bay – over 500 circa 1850.
The current lighthouse was built of granite and began working on 1st February 1852. It has since been automated with a light flashing every 2.5 seconds reaching a distance of 17 nautical miles miles from shore.
There are diving rocks below the lighthouse for those wishing to take a refreshing dip!
The river Suir in county Tipperary is one place I just love to spend sometime, in the winter it floods and bursts its bands many times. During these times it wonderful to get very close to the river , to walk along its banks and see the fields along side flooded with river water.
These Images are from a walk taken yesterday afternoon, the weather this week is predicted to give even more rain, I may get time to return and see the effect that this will have on the river bank.
When The river is high, Black and white Gallery
Happy Burns night to everyone who would like the celibate the life and works of this great Scottish poet and Artists.
The following images are from a visit I made last year to his birthplace Museum located in the town of Ayr, Alloway, Scotland
Once again Happy Burns night !!!
Robert Burns Birthplace Museum offers a truly unique encounter with Scotland’s favourite son.
The museum comprises the famous Burns Cottage where the poet was born, the historic landmarks where he set his greatest work, the elegant monument and gardens created in his honour and a modern museum housing the world’s most important collection of his life and works.
The images below I feel show the life that this young poet lived and include the small rooms that he grew up in with his brother and sisters ( Analella, Gilbert and Agnes Burn), the display of the bed they shared and their bed clothes, I felt was just brilliant.
Molly is our ten year old Golden Retriever and she just loves the water, here are some images of her as she was taking a swim the the lake at the Glenveagh National Park, Co. Donegal.
Glenveagh National Park
Glenveagh National Park is one of six national parks in Ireland. Situated in the Northwest of Co. Donegal, Glenveagh encompasses some 16,000 hectares in the heart of the Derryveagh Mountains. Such a great wilderness is the haunt of many interesting plants and animals. These lands were managed as a private deer forest before becoming a national park in 1975. With the completion of public facilities Glenveagh National Park was officially opened to the public in 1986.
A river walk in January along side the river Nore, county kilkenny, offers some great views.
Amongst the best of these views are the great leafless trees, their hight and their shapes casting long shadows, their reflections in the water.
My Secret Spot on the Beach
To a few I showed my secret Spot,
To many I reveal it is on The Beach,
In Waterford, still without my help,
none may find, because is called mine,
My hidden Beach Spot
Its open, its free, yet guarded and protected
All can find, all can see, but beyond the vision,
belongs to me, My Secret Spot,
On the Beach, in Waterford…
A friend I call to Show my Paradise,
and share the secret rooted
inside my heart, with all my soul,
My loved Beach spot,
Loved , and so very special to me!
On a very enjoyable visit, I managed to Capture these Herons during a spring time visit to Galway Bay. At this time of year the Local Herons are hunting along the coast line for fish and getting ready to nest build in the spring.
To get these images I stood under some trees along side a beach and captured them as they flew above me.
The Herons flight : Gallery
Photographing and capturing Nature is something I love doing through out the year.
In January the woodlands are still full of life, it may be a little harder to find but it is still all around. Mushroom are enjoying a very mild winter here in Ireland and I managed to find and capture these (Wood Mushrooms and Common Puffball Mushrooms) yesterday in a local woodland nature reserve.
Gallery and details
Common Puff ball Mushrooms
Lycoperdon perlatum, popularly known as the common puffball, warted puffball, gem-studded puffball, or the devil’s snuff-box, is a species of puffball fungus in the family Agaricaceae. A widespread species with a cosmopolitan distribution, it is a medium-sized puffball with a round fruit body tapering to a wide stalk, and dimensions of 1.5 to 6 cm (0.6 to 2.4 in) wide by 3 to 7 cm (1.2 to 2.8 in) tall. It is off-white with a top covered in short spiny bumps or “jewels”, which are easily rubbed off to leave a netlike pattern on the surface. When mature it becomes brown, and a hole in the top opens to release spores in a burst when the body is compressed by touch or falling raindrops.
The puffball grows in fields, gardens, and along roadsides, as well as in grassy clearings in woods. It is edible when young and the internal flesh is completely white, although care must be taken to avoid confusion with immature fruit bodies of poisonous Amanita species. L. perlatum can usually be distinguished from other similar puffballs by differences in surface texture. Several chemical compounds have been isolated and identified from the fruit bodies of L. perlatum, including sterol derivatives, volatile compounds that give the puffball its flavor and odor, and the unusual amino acid lycoperdic acid. Laboratory tests indicate that extracts of the puffball have antimicrobial and antifungal activities.
This species was originally noted and named in 1753 by Carolus Linnaeus as Agaricus campestris. It was placed in the genus Psalliota by Lucien Quelet in 1872. Some variants have been isolated over the years, a few of which now have species status, for example, Agaricus bernardii Quel. (1878), Agaricus bisporus (J.E. Lange) Imbach (1946), Agaricus bitorquis (Quel.) Sacc. (1887), Agaricus cappellianus Hlavacek (1987), and Agaricus silvicola (Vittad.) Peck (1872).
Some were so similar they did not warrant even variant status, others have retained it e.g. Agaricus campestris var. equestris (F.H. Moller) Pilat (1951) is still valid, and presumably favors pasture where horses have been kept. Agaricus campestris var isabellinus (F.H. Moller) Pilat (1951), and Agaricus campestris var.radicatus, are possibly still valid too.
The specific epithet campestris is derived from the Latin campus “field”.
The cap is white, may have fine scales, and is 5 to 10 centimetres (2.0 to 3.9 in) in diameter; it is first hemispherical in shape before flattening out with maturity. The gills are initially pink, then red-brown and finally a dark brown, as is the spore print. The 3 to 10 centimetres (1.2 to 3.9 in) tall stipe is predominantly white and bears a single thin ring. The taste is mild. The white flesh bruises slightly reddish, as opposed to yellow in the inedible (and somewhat toxic) Agaricus xanthodermus and similar species.
The spores are 7–8 micrometres (0.00028–0.00031 in) by 4–5 micrometres (0.00016–0.00020 in), and ovate. Cheilocystidia are absent.
County Kilkenny has many rivers both small and large, flowing through its lands. The River Pollanassa, however would not be the best known or the most spectacular of them but for the waterfall it has created as the river flows towards the town of Mullinavat.
The following images show the river as it flows towards, over and past the Waterfall.
The Waterfall at Mullinavat
Each January The first flowers of spring are the snow drops, I love to see these flowers, the winter is not yet over, yet they bring into your mind the spring that will soon be here.
Early in the Spring
By : James Kent
Early in the spring
Not a leaf has struck the ground
The swallow has yet to sing
And the plowmen are no where to be found
Early in the spring
The forest stands still
And no creature dare come out
Before the sun rises o’er the hill
Early in the spring
The valley holds the morning dew
And its serenity may be captured
By only a certain few
Early in the spring
The trees turn, brown to green
Many changes occur
But few can be seen
Early in the spring
Or in the latter of fall
No matter the change of season
The evergreen stands tall
The Old Dead Tree
By : David Harris
The old dead tree stood
gnarled weather torn;
its limbs were now brittle.
What stories could it tell
of the centuries it had lived,
the passing lives it had seen,
and the storms it had weathered
when it was young and strong.
When its foliage was green
and gave shelter from the rain.
Now it stands bare and broken,
a sorry sight to be seen.
It must have been beautiful
when it was young
with its canopy of green,
and a nesting place for little birds
among its evergreen.
Now they only used it
as a resting place whenever they pass by.
The old dead tree,
which had seen so much life.
The Unnamed Lake
By : Frederick George Scott (1861-1944)
IT sleeps among the thousand hills
Where no man ever trod,
And only nature’s music fills
The silences of God.
Great mountains tower above its shore,
Green rushes fringe its brim,
And o’er its breast for evermore
The wanton breezes skim.
Dark clouds that intercept the sun
Go there in Spring to weep,
And there, when Autumn days are done,
White mists lie down to sleep.
Sunrise and sunset crown with gold
The peaks of ageless stone,
Where winds have thundered from of old
And storms have set their throne.
No echoes of the world afar
Disturb it night or day,
The sun and shadow, moon and star
Pass and repass for aye.
‘Twas in the grey of early dawn,
When first the lake we spied,
And fragments of a cloud were drawn
Half down the mountain side.
Along the shore a heron flew,
And from a speck on high,
That hovered in the deepening blue,
We heard the fish-hawk’s cry.
Among the cloud-capt solitudes,
No sound the silence broke,
Save when, in whispers down the woods,
The guardian mountains spoke.
Through tangled brush and dewy brake,
Returning whence we came,
We passed in silence, and the lake
We left without a name.
Just standing and watching the flow of a river when I am out walking I find an amazing thing to do , I love the challenge of capturing it even more. Placing a camera on a tripod and using a slow shutter speed about one second or so, it is not a technically difficult thing to do but getting a good composition is a little harder. I love the processing of searching out the best location in the river to place the camera and its usually well worth the time and effort.
I really enjoyed getting the images in this post and its a pleasure to share them.
By : Noel McGinnis
Be as water is without friction. Flow around the edges of those
within your path. Surround
within your ever-moving
depths those who come to rest
there – enfold them, while never
for a moment holding on. Accept whatever distance others
are moved, within your flow.
Be with them gently, as far as
they allow your strength to take them, and fill with your own being
the remaining space when they are left behind.
When dropping down life’s rapids, froth and bubble into
fragments if you must,
knowing the one of you-now many
will just as many times be one again. And when
you’ve gone as far as you can go,
quietly await your next beginning.
First paintings for over a year :
Its over a year since I did any painting, I have been working with my photography so much, but as its the start of a new year , I felt a real need to paint again.
This painting is the start of a project I will work on , based on the upland bogs of Kilkenny and Tipperary.
It based on a series of photographic images from these great places.
One of the most exciting ways you can see County Kilkenny and its surrounding counties is from the air, the images posted here are taken during a flight in a light aircraft.
You can fly from Kilkenny air field on a sight seeing visit to any location you would like, on this trip we travelled south of Kilkenny and followed the river Suir towards Waterford city, returning to the airfield about 2 hours later.
Its a great way to see Ireland and wonderful on a sunny clear day.
Gallery of the flight
The Spring and late Winter is one of the best time of year to visit Spain, the following images are taken in a the small coastal town of Cartagena , a very friendly and lively little town that has a colourful history including having been of the the key ports for the Roman empire.
“Much of the historical weight of Cartagena in the past goes to its coveted defensive port, one of the most important in the western Mediterranean. Cartagena has been the capital of the Spanish Navy’s Maritime Department of the Mediterranean since the arrival of the Spanish Bourbons in the 18th century. As far back as the 16th century it was one of the most important naval ports in Spain, together with Ferrol in the North. It is still an important naval seaport, the main military haven of Spain, and is home to a large naval shipyard.
The confluence of civilizations as well as its strategic harbour, together the rise of the local mining industry is manifested by a unique artistic heritage, with a number of landmarks such as the Roman Theatre, the second largest of the Iberian Peninsula after the one in Mérida, an abundance of Phoenician, Roman, Byzantine and Moorish remains, and a plethora of Art Nouveau buildings, a result of the bourgeoisie from the early 20th century. Cartagena is now established as a major cruiser destination in the Mediterranean and an emerging cultural focus.”
Cartagena : Street Photography Gallery
One evening on a visit to Killarney, National park, I was just returning from a long walk after watching the Stag’s in the mountains above the lakes and getting some photographs. I then noticed that the Sun-set was just wonderful over the far hills in the west.
I had about 20 shots left on the card I had, so captured a few images from the grounds of the Hotel.
I have shared some of them before but still enjoy looking at them and remembering this wonderful moment, so here is another one that I wanted to share and post.