Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Portrait images

The Last Sun light in an evening Haze

Evening haze from a March sunset
Nigel Borrington

The last Yellow beam in the sky drowns itself.
Haze tinged – leave-taken.
Delicate draperies of fog are waving.
A slight evening shadow sinks into them.

The Sun donates the last of its day.
Still standing alone in the early evening.
needing a resting from the dance.
Until starlight breaks through.

A wondrous silence falls like a dream.
The amazement of the coming night awakes.
A last call dies away, it is barely to hear.

And trees and bushes by the wayside
coming together tightly,
aspirating their song of praise into the night.


Irish Photographer Francis Browne and his lucky escape from the RMS Titanic …..

Francis Browne's pictures of the Titanic April 14th 1912

Francis Browne’s pictures of the Titanic
April 14th 1912

Francis Browne’s Finest Pictures

In 1985 an Edward O’Donnell was searching in the basement at the Irishjesuit Provincial’s House when he came across a large black metal trunk, in it he found a large colletion of negative albums, photographs and most amazingly of all an album containing photographs of Titanic’s voyage.

All these photographs were the work of Francis Browne who died in 1960 and was almost forgotten by this time. Subsequent investigations revealed he had enjoyed worldwide fame in 1912 when his photographs of the Titanic’s journey to Cobh were published worldwide. He had travelled first class to Cobh having been given a ticket by his uncle Robert Browne, Bishop of Cloyne. His remarkable pictures proved to be unique.

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So it was that Frank was presented with a first class ticket for the Maiden Voyage of the Titanic to bring him as far as Cobh. The morning of the 12th.April 1912 he arrived at Waterloo Station in London to catch the Titanic Special. He immediately started taking photographs, first recording the train journey and then life aboard the Titanic on the initial section of the voyage. Having made friends with a wealthy American family he was offered a ticket for the remaining part of the journey and no doubt excitedly telegraphed a request for permission to go on to New York, to which he received the terse response “Get Off That Ship——Provincial!” That telegram not only saved Frank’s life but also meant that this unique record of the voyage was saved for posterity and guaranteed overnight fame for Frank Browne.

Browne later described the event as “the only time holy obedience saved a man’s life.”

“Get Off That Ship——Provincial!” – I guess many have wondered about this instruction ? , its almost prophetic in its nature – I guess we will never know how or why it was such a strong and clear order . I think it relates to the fact that while many embraced the new-world of 1912 technology, many also stood in fear of it and in this case clearly for good reason.

Frank Browne , April 1912 – Titanic Gallery

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The Glassblower , Images from Waterford crystal and a Poem By : Jeff Crandall

Waterford Crystal Glass blower  Photography : Nigel Borrington

Waterford Crystal Glass blower
Photography : Nigel Borrington

The Glassblower

By : Jeff Crandall

This vessel has curves
pleasing to the eye, a soft lip,
a flat foot to rest on. I want to cup my palms
over the glowing color of its cooling,
but later. . . .

Now my eye is caught in the heat
of its final fire polish.
What dripped from the pipe
—radiant, thick as semen—
achieves fulfillment in the motions
of my own turning.

The amorphous, the malleable
awakens. There is a taste to the air here.
Steel. Iron in your mouth.

Waterford Crystal Glass blower 2

What formed at the glory hole
delicate as an adolescent
reflection in a mirror
cools in the first few minutes from that heat,
cools to the rigid shatter state.

If I hold this glass
suspended in the lit gas heat
I can watch it slump. I can let the thin walls
collapse and tear
back to a puddle of clear:

Waterford Crystal Glass blower 4

I wipe saliva from my chin.
I anneal myself with hugs.
I contain the polarized stresses.
I return to the cold of the holding shelf.

Waterford Crystal Glass blower 3


A 1920’s life in pictures, from Ireland to America

Life from Ireland to America 10
A 1920’s life in pictures, from Ireland to America
Copyright : Nigel Borrington

A couple of months ago an older family member asked If I would scan some old portrait images for a family tree that she was putting together. Over the next weeks I scanned many images and then took them back to her in order to get all the names and details that she could help with.

This was great fun and a truly interesting process. One set of images could not be identified however, yet they are among the most interesting.

I am Posting them here as I feel they show the life of a women (her family and her friends) from a small town in County Tipperary, Ireland, as she grow up going to school in a Farming community, eventually becoming independent enough to travel by boat from Cobh, in county cork and start a new life for herself in America.

If by any chance anyone knows who she or anyone in these pictures is, feel free to let me know as it would be great to put a name to these faces.

A life in pictures, Gallary

Life from Ireland to America 1

Life from Ireland to America 2

Life from Ireland to America 3

Life from Ireland to America 5

Life from Ireland to America 4

Life from Ireland to America 6

Life from Ireland to America 7

Life from Ireland to America 8

Life from Ireland to America 9


Sunday evening poem : Rippling stream’s circle

Rippling stream's circle 2
River Lingaun, County Tipperary
Landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

Rippling stream’s circle

By: Chris Matt

Out here watching the water flow by.
Talking to the wind, waiting for a reply.
I don’t know what it is about this stream I admire.
Like camping and gathering around watching the fire.

There is something about these inanimate objects.
It maybe the simplicity of beauty it reflects.
How it unconditionally forms over all in its liquidity.
It is the foundation of life being perfect in its ubiquity.

Rippling stream's circle 1

Watching this stream, there is so much to learn and gain.
This water can teach you, watch, as it starts as rain.
High above in the clouds, then it falls to the top of the peak.
As it slowly drips to the bottom, it mixes in with a creek.

It flows in a small brook, then ends up in this stream,
but it will one day rise up again to the clouds, as steam.
Like waters circle of life, we need to come together as one.
The lessons that we’ve learned here, have only just begun.

Rippling stream's circle 3


St Johns, Kilkenny. Images from a wedding day.

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All Images using a Nikon D700
A Wedding in St Johns, County Kilkenny
Kilkenny wedding photographer : Nigel Borrington

These are just some of the images from a wedding I photographed in St Johns, county Kilkenny a little time back.

The couple asked for some black and white images, so here are just some of the one’s that I worked on for them.

A wedding at St John’s

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Wedding musicians, St Johns, Kilkenny

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Images using a Nikon D700
Wedding Musicians, St John, County Kilkenny
Kilkenny wedding photography : Nigel Borrington

During a wedding at St Johns, I took a moment to get some images of the Musicians as they played.

Their Music was just wonderful to listen too and I was also very pleased with the photographs when I got back to the studio.

Images of the musicians

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Mrs Maura Hennessy – Making Bread

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Making the Bread – Maura Hennessy
Portrait photography : Nigel Borrington

I took these images of Mrs Hennessy, from West St,Callan Back in 2007 for a photography exhibition in the town.

She was a big friend of Joe my brother in law, who runs a local shop. We asked if she would let us take these pictures and I think she truly enjoyed them being taken.

The images played a big part in the exhibition and she came to the opening evening.

Sadly she passed away a little time ago, the local news paper published the following comments Callan Mourns . The family placed one of the photo’s on her coffin during the funeral service.

So here’s to you Mrs Hennessy, I hope your still busy making bread, at rest but most probably still busy !!!

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Mrs Maura Hennessy  07

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The Vikings in Ireland

A couple of years back I was asked to create some images for a group of Co.Kerry based Re-enactors and they selected the Vikings as there historic period, this shoot was great fun to do for the day. We selected the remains and grounds of an old church yard and this worked very well.

I have posted some history of the Vikings in Ireland at the bottom of the images.

Nigel

Irish Viking 1

Irish Viking couple

Irish Viking wife

Viking shield

THE VIKING AGE IN IRELAND

At the end of the eighth century the first Viking raiders appeared in Irish waters. These raiders came exclusively from Norway. The first recorded raid was in 795 on Rathlin Island off the coast of Antrim where the church was burned. On the west coast the monasteries on Inismurray and Inisbofin were plundered possibly by the same raiders. The Scottish island of Iona was also attacked in the same year.

For the first four decades, 795-c.836, the raids followed a clear pattern of hit-and -run affairs by small, probably independent, free-booters. Attacks were usually on coastal targets no Viking raid is recorded for areas further inland than about twenty miles. These attacks were difficult to defend but the Vikings were sometimes defeated. In 811 a raiding party was slaughtered by the Ulaid and the following year raiding parties were defeated by the men of Umall and the king of Eóganacht Locha Léin. By 823 the Vikings had raided around all the coast and in 824 the island monastery of Sceilg, off the Kerry coast, was attacked. The monastic city of Armagh was attacked three times in 832.

In the first quarter century of Viking attacks only twenty-six plunderings by Vikings are recorded in the Irish Annals. During the same time eighty-seven raids by the Irish themselves are recorded. An average of one Viking raid a year can have caused no great disorder or distress in Irish society. Attacks on Irish monasteries were common before the Viking Age. The burning of churches also was an integral part of Irish warfare. Wars and battles between monasteries also occurred in Ireland before the coming of the Vikings. Irish monasteries had become wealthy and politically important with considerable populations. The Vikings attacked the monasteries because they were rich in land, stock and provisions. They also took valuable objects but this was not their primary concern.

Intensified Raids and Settlements

From c. 830 Viking raids became more intense in Ireland. In 832 for instance, there were extensive plunderings in the lands of the Cianachta who lived near the sea in Louth. In 836 the Vikings attacked the land of the Uí Néill of southern Brega and attacked the lands of Connacht. In 837 a fleet of sixty ships appeared on the Boyne and a similar fleet on the Liffey. Soon afterwards Vikings made their way up the Shannon and the Erne and put a fleet on Lough Neagh.

The Vikings wintered for the first time on Lough Neagh in 840-41. In 841 they established a longphort at Annagassan in Louth and at Dublin and used these bases for attacks on the south and west. They wintered for the first time at Dublin in 841-842 and in 842 another large fleet arrived. Also in this year there is the first reference to co-operation between Vikings and the Irish though this may have occurred previously. A fleet was based on Lough Ree and the Shannon and built a fortified position on the shores of Lough Ree from where they ravaged the surrounding countryside in 844. Máel Seachnaill, overking of the Uí Néill attacked the Vikings, captured a leader called Turgesius and drowned him in Lough Owel in Westmeath.

From now on Irish kings began to fiercely fight back against the Vikings. Because they now had fixed settlements or fortified positions they were vulnerable to attack. Máel Seachnaill routed a Viking force near Skreen, County Meath and killed 700 of them. At Castledermot, in Kildare, the joint armies of the kings of Munster and Leinster defeated a large force of Vikings. The newly founded Viking settlement at Cork was destroyed and in 849 the Norse territory of Dublin was ravaged by Máel Seachnaill. The Vikings were now a factor in the internal politics of Ireland and were accepted as such. Norse-Irish alliances became commonplace.

During the years 849-852 new Vikings, probably from Denmark, arrived in the Irish Sea area and many battles took place between the new arrivals and the more established Vikings. In 853 Olaf the White arrived in Dublin and with Ivar, another Viking, assumed sovereignity of the Viking settlement there. Along the Irish coast were other Viking settlements. Vikings at Waterford attacked the King of Osraige but were slaughtered in 860. There was a longphort settlement at Youghal which was destroyed in 866. In 887 the Limerick Vikings were slaughtered by Connachtmen and in 892 the Vikings of Waterford, Wexford and St. Mullins were defeated.

Ivar, joint king of Dublin died in 873 and there were struggles and division in Dublin for the next two decades. In 902 the kings of Brega and of Leinster combined again the Norse of Dublin and defeated them, destroyed their settlement and expelled them from Ireland. By his time extensive cultural assimilation had taken place between the Irish and the Norse. Olaf, king of Dublin in the middle of the ninth century was married to the daughter of Áed Finnliath, king of the northern Uí Néill. The Hiberno-Norse also had gradually become christianised. The annals in recording the death of Ivar in 872 said that “he rested in Christ”.

The Second Phase of Viking Attacks on Ireland

By the first decades of the tenth century opportunities for Vikings in Britain and the Europe were limited. It is not surprising that they chose to attack Ireland again. From 914 large fleets again began to attack Ireland, these Vikings came from those already settled elsewhere in Britain. Munster was ravaged widely in 915 and the king of Tara was defeated when he went to the aid of the Munstermen. The king of Leinster was killed in a battle with Vikings under the leadership of Sitric at Leixlip. The king of Tara was killed in a combined Irish attack on the Norse of Dublin in 919. For the next two decades the Norse kings of Dublin were also trying to establish their power in York. Their activities in Ireland gradually became more confined to Dublin and its immediate hinterland. The Irish began to counter attack with growing success. Dublin was burned by the king of Tara in 936 and was sacked in 944. Its power had declined considerably by the second half of the tenth century.

The Wars of the Great Dynasties

One of the great leaders of this period was Brian Boru of Dál Cais in County Clare. He had defeated the Vikings of Munster. His great rival was Máel Sechnaill 2, King of Tara who had defeated the Norse of Dublin in 980. Brian at times made alliances with Norse as in 984 when the Norse of Waterford attacked Leinster by sea while he attacked by land. In 977 an agreement was made between Brian and Máel Sechnaill that the former would be king of the southern part of Ireland while the latter would be king of the northern part. In 998 the two kings co-operated in an attack on the Norse of Dublin.

A sculpture of Máel Seachnaill in Trim, Co. Meath, by James McKenna.

The next year the Dublin Norse allied with the Leinstermen revolted and were defeated by Brian. He spent January and February 1000 in Dublin, plundering the city and destroying its fortress. He expelled Sitric, king of Norse Dublin who could find refuge nowhere else in Ireland. He returned, gave hostages to Brian and was restored. Brian now claimed the kingship of the whole island and Máel Sechnaill submitted.

In 1012 Leinster revolted against Brian and the Norse of Dublin assisted them. Brian and Máel Sechnaill together attacked Leinster and blockaded the city of Dublin from September to Christmas before returning home. Knowing that the attack would be renewed the Norse set about getting help from allies. Sitric, king of Dublin visited Sigurd, earl of the Orkneys who agreed to be in Dublin on Palm Sunday 1014. Sitric then went to the Isle of Man and persuaded two Viking leaders Brodar and Ospak to support him.

Brian and Máel Sechnaill marched to Dublin but a dispute arose between them and Máel Sechnaill took no part in the battle. Battle was joined at Clontarf on Good Friday 1014 and after a long battle Brian’s forces were victorious. Brian himself was killed. Sigurd and Brodar were also killed though Sitric who remained inside the town during the battle survived.

In subsequent traditions, both Irish and Norse, Clontarf became a heroic battle of saga and story-telling. Fearsome portents and visions were said to have been seen by both sides on the eve of the battle. A fairy woman appeared to Brian’s followers and foretold disaster. Saint Senan appeared to Brian’s followers the night before the battle demanding compensation for an attack by Brian on a monastery years before. In the Isle of Man there were ghostly assaults on Brodar’s ships and ravens with iron beaks and claws attacked his followers. Evil portents were seen throughout the Norse world even in Iceland. Everyone wished his ancestors to have participated in the great battle.

While the battle of Clontarf was not a simple Irish against Norse battle it did signal the end of the power of Norse Dublin and the effective end of the Viking Age in Ireland.


Kilkenny Photography

Kilkenny Photography

Portrait of Kilkenny sculpture artist : Saturio Alonso
Outside KCAT art center Callan, Co.Kilkenny
Nikon D700

Kilkenny Photographer: nigel borrington


Waterford Crystal

Waterford Crystal Craftsman at work

Waterford Crystal Craftsman at work : Nigel Borrington

Waterford Crystal.

Waterford Crystal Limited was, until March 2009, a subsidiary of Waterford Wedgwood plc, itself formed through the acquisition by the then Waterford Glass Group of the famous pottery manufacturer Josiah Wedgwood in 1986. The last chairman was Tony O’Reilly, and the CEO John Foley. The leading shareholders of the holding company were former billionaire O’Reilly and his family, joined in the last decade by O’Reilly’s brother-in-law, Greek shipping heir Peter Goulandris. Waterford Wedgwood was forced into receivership in early 2009. On 5 January 2009, news of the receivership of Waterford Wedgwood Ltd.


Don Mescall

Portrait of Don Mescall, Nigel Borrington

Portrait of Don Mescall, Nigel Borrington

I have just completed some portrait images for Kilkenny based singer songwriter : Don Mescall.

Working on location in Callan, Co Kilkenny this was a great shoot and I think we have some very good images.

The following text is from Dons own web pages:

Don Mescall –

In his native country of Ireland, the name of Co. Limerick’s Don Mescall is synonymous with acoustic music of the highest order and deepest emotional depths, playing sell out shows to audiences who know what they’re letting themselves in for and keep coming back for more. His singles, “Trouble Is” and “Left in L.A.”, from debut album “Innocent Run”, are A-list favourites on Irish radio stations, and as a regular on The Late Late Show, Pat Kenny’s radio show and Ireland AM-TV shows, Don continues to play live throughout Ireland and the UK.

In describing Mescall’s music, the press typically makes reference to the styles of classic artists such as Paul Simon, Jackson Browne or a laid-back Springsteen, whilst the fresher-faced draw somewhat clichéd parallels to hugely successful contemporary singer/songwriters, the likes of David Gray and fellow Irishman, Damien Rice.

Since releasing his debut album “Innocent Run” in 2006, Don’s reputation as a songwriter has sky-rocketed with his songs being snapped up by a diverse range of top pop, country, folk and even classical artists and reaching the top of the charts on international shores.

Just a few of the stars who have enjoyed hits with Mescall’s songs are Rascal Flatts (a band described as “bigger than U2 in America”), Boyzone, The Backstreet Boys, Canadian Idol winner Theo Thams, Canada’s No 1 male artist Garou, the hugely successful American Idol contestant, Clay Aiken, Woodstock’s legendary Richie Havens, multi platinum artist Ronan Keating, new Irish stars The High Kings, the new Celtic Woman star Lynn Hilary, US country star Neal McCoy and Irish artist Frances Black, to name just a few.

Don Mescall

Don also has some new songs and videos I will post a link once they are fully released.

I will also post more about this shoot soon.

Nigel