Today’s Post marks the 1000th on my Blog so I just wanted to say a Massive THANK YOU!!! to anyone and everyone who has visited over the last few years.
Thank you for posting all your many thousands of comments and likes and for helping me to enjoy the landscape of Ireland that I love so much. Thank you also for allowing me to share my photography of so many of these much loved locations.
THANK YOU 🙂 🙂
I was looking through my posts and noted that these two images are the very first images I posted back in 2011, so I wanted to share them here again this morning.
I my slowdown posting a little over the next few weeks, I want to read more of your posts and enjoy them , it takes time creating a post and I don’t then always have time to read and look at your posts, something I love doing 🙂
The Old Lane Through The Woods –
Poem by jim hogg
There’s a track through the trees from the White to the Black
that I walked as a kid and I often went back.
Now the years slip away and the distances grow,
but if time gives us time and we get to change tack
if the notion should take you then I’d gladly go:
in wildest November before winter’s trance,
at the height of the spring when the daffodils dance.
We could stand on the bank where the Rhodies convene,
like the first of our kind who looked down on that scene,
on a loch with no name, with no castles around,
or old burial ground of the meek and the mean;
though the rich bled the poor, by the sod they’re all bound.
Or we’ll maybe just stay on the old woodland road
and head north to the Black with the odd jumping toad.
There’s a whole constellation of things we can view.
In the summer there’s herons and sometimes deer too,
and there’s dodging and weaving through armies of leaves.
Though the foxgloves are rare I’ll find one just for you,
and then swing on the Ivy through Sycamore trees.
If you ever have time we could wander off down
that old lane through the woods whether wintry or lown.
But I know all too well that this life is a crush.
There’d be too much to do if we didn’t all rush.
And I wonder sometimes how it all went so wrong;
but they’re calling it progress with hardly a blush –
in a world where rich hippies can still sing along.
There’s a place where that craziness doesn’t hold sway;
if you’re ever back home we could go there some day
Three Poems all with the title ( Window ), By : Milind Phanse , John David Morris Meriwether and Drew Renquest
By : Milind Phanse
I sit by the window looking out
And see myself reflected,
Outside the glass looking in.
Reality and illusion facing off each other,
Or is the window the only reality ?
Separated by two ghosts,
perhaps imprisoning just the singularity
By : John David Morris Meriwether
I don’t want to get up from my seat,
because every time I walk around,
and sit back down,
I’m a different person.
By : Drew Renquest
You see so much yet stand so still
To wonder what is out there while dust gathers on your sill.
Such memories that you’ve witnessed but can speak none
I can maybe only recall one.
Craving to wander
I’d gladly trade,
How I would love to sit and watch the
It hard to believe how fast a week can go – Its Friday already 🙂 🙂
The Last Friday of January 2015 and I was trying to think what Images could best show the month we have just had here in Ireland. I love black and white Images at this time of year I feel they capture the winter months very well. This month we have had many seasons all in one go, sometime warmer than expected other times we have been very cold with Snow on the hills.
Last night I selected these four images as I feel they show everything from Freezing mists in the mountains to snow on the hill tops and a cold sea mist hanging just off the county Waterford coastline.
As its Friday I will wish everyone a great weekend, I hope you manage to get out into the open air and well! just relax and have a great time ! 🙂
I have been Tagged by Sharon Walters Knight in , Macomb, Illinois on Facebook to take part in a Black and White photo challenge.
I took a good look at some some black and white Landscapes and wanted to post these two images of the Allihies copper mines on the Beara Peninsula in West Cork, Ireland.
Allihies is just about as remote a place as they come in Ireland !!
These two black and white images show just one of the pump houses, I think there are about 6 of them still standing around the small village. It was In 1812 when life in Allihies changed utterly as a rich copper deposit was discovered in the area and the biggest copper mining enterprise in Ireland was established by the Puxley family .
The steam engine and pump house took water out from the mine shafts and both lowered the miners into and out of the mines some 250 feet below the hill sides. Its hard to imagine now the life these miners had , many did not live that long doing this work.
The Landscape around the mines is just wonderful with mountains facing the coastline of west cork, again its hard to image how the noise and smell of these pump houses change this location and the site of hundreds of miners returning home after a days work must have been something to see, they shared small homes and mostly 20 of them shared the same small house.
Allihies copper mines in black and white .
The Irish Landscape offers some of the most wonderful views in this part of Europe, with rolling mountains and rocky, spectacular coastlines, there are many forests and powerful flowing rivers.
One of the area’s of photography I love the most is black and white and I feel that the Irish landscape is made for black and white images, often the days are wet and stormy and dark. I feel that shooting images in black and white captures these atmospheric days very well. On good weather days in the summer months getting out early or late to capture the sun low in the sky also works very well in a black and white photograph.
Below are some of the black and white images I am most happy with, so far during 2014.
Irish landscape photography – Black and White Gallery
Harvest Time (Bois-De-Villers)
October is the month of knots.
Loose ends find each other,
Life is defined once more.
At least, this was how I saw it,
As a visitor, an urban tourist,
There to play peasant at the
Granite knob on the green knoll,
Which was always well worked into
A sticky brown smear by the time
The first tree had blushed.
For the leathery people who lived there,
It was but another day with no name beyond
That which had been scratched
On the calendar at the beginning of the year.
A single stroke which dotted one line
And indented another in calculated haste.
Indeed, it was just something else to be done.
Just another list to be compiled
Through calluses and brown sweat.
In the fields we pulled our backs bent.
Each individual plant represented six months of sun and rain,
Weeks of drying after picking and
One hard-earned day of food more.
As we lumbered about, marveling
At our clothes covered in clay
And the soreness of our hands,
They were careful to pick up everything
Which had fallen from our floundering wheelbarrow
And studiously counted each load before
Sliding everything down the chipped hole
To the root cellar for stacking and drying.
At the day’s yawn, they scurried around us still,
Too busy warming creaking chairs,
Too tired to much care.
Cramped from thumb to elbow,
Our fingers were crinkled walnut branches,
Knotted and done like the damp bundles
We wouldn’t need to bear a thought of
For another year to come.
One of my all-time favourite photographers James Ravilious, once while being interviewed by the BBC said about the colour Green in the Landscape :
“England is a very green country, and “greenness” creates a monotonal view, and one that it’s difficult to achieve much contrast or colour gradation in. Transposing to black and white allows you a richer tone palatte, and to draw attention to the subject more subtly. Black and white contains a bright silver to deep black tone range in landscape images and thus turns a green flat image into a wonderful tonal picture”
This monochrome effect in landscape images is something that has always interested me, Landscape photographers like Ravilious used Black and white film, which when developed correctly in the dark room produces the wonderful tones he talks about.
River Torridge at Sunrise © James Ravilious
I have worked for a long time to both find landscape subjects and black and white processes that can help in getting me close to the same results.
This blog contains many of the black and white landscape images I have taken and in the Gallery below I want to use some local Landscape images to show, how landscapes taken in colour can look when processed in Black and white.
I have placed the colour images first followed by the black and white images, have a good look at them, see what you think and comment if you like.
Some photographers don’t get black and white others love it and will only produce images in monochrome.
Green or Black and white Gallery
On the top of the hill at Glencommon, county Kilkenny is the Ghostly remains of an old farm.
Last Sunday morning I took a walk up the hill in the mist with my camera and took these images, it was a very haunting experience but one I really enjoyed.
The poem below by Thomas Moore came to mind as the mist of the day seamed to recreate the past of this wonderful old place, how many memories it must hold yet all of them lost in the mists of time.
The Light of Other Days
By Thomas Moore
Often, in the stilly night,
Ere slumber’s chain has bound me,
Fond Memory brings the light
Of other days around me:
The smiles, the tears
Of boyhood’s years,
The words of love then spoken;
The eyes that shone,
Now dimm’d and gone,
The cheerful hearts now broken!
Thus, in the stilly night,
Ere slumber’s chain has bound me,
Sad Memory brings the light
Of other days around me.
When I remember all
The friends, so link’d together,
I’ve seen around me fall
Like leaves in wintry weather,
I feel like one
Who treads alone
Some banquet-hall deserted,
Whose lights are fled,
Whose garlands dead,
And all but he departed!
Thus, in the stilly night,
Ere slumber’s chain has bound me.
Sad Memory brings the light
Of other days around me.
Finding memories in the silver light , Gallery
Grand Union canal, Harefield (1988 to 2014)
Up until some 18 years ago I lived and worked in Harrow , Middlesex, North London. Working in the IT industry with long hours and shift work included. I really Valued my time off and would spend a lot of my weekends out walking in the country around North London. The Grand Union Canal was one of my most visited locations , it runs from Inner London to Birmingham in the Midlands of the UK.
Recently I took some time off to visit the Canal again after some twenty six years, It was great after all this time to get back and walk some old steps, I had no idea what could have changed. When I got back I remembered that I must have some old images taken during my original walks here.
So when I got back home to Ireland, I found some black and white images of an old canal side factory that marked the start of my walks, the images below show just how little the building has changed. It looks like it is just used for smaller office units these days but apart from this, its still very much looks like the place in my film images.
It was great to walk these old places, I have very good memories of walking and doing my best to relax after a long working week and to get a fresh image of the old canal in my mind was just great.
Film Gallery (1988), using a Nikon FM2 and Ilford XP2 Black and white film
Digital Gallery (2014), using a Fujifilm X100.
Carey’s Castle rests in a woodland setting near Clonmel in Co. Tipperary, the Glenary River running past the castle and adding to a very peaceful atmosphere here. A walk of around 500m down a wonderful woodland trail is well worth the effort when the trees part and Carey’s Castle appears before your eyes.
The Castle was built sometime during the 1800s by the Carey family who live locally, they were schoolmasters in the area. A mixture of architectural styles exist through out the grounds, including Romanesque and Gothic windows, Gothic arches, a Celtic round tower and a Norman Keep, which all adds up to make a beautiful building in a wonderful location.
The Castle and it grounds were occupied by monks at one stage and the remains of and older walled garden exist at the back of the Castle in the woods.
Carey’s Castle, Gallery
Happy Halloween! – welcome to Ninemile house grave yard, a place of rest OR is it ?
I few weeks back I visited this old Graveyard at Nine mile house, County Tipperary.
This place just has to be one of the most atmospheric Grave yards in the local area. It is full of very old graves and the remains of an old chapel who’s insides have been used as the location of some graves dating from the 1800’s.
This is a place of rest however and a very peaceful location, But on Halloween night, well I just wonder ? ?
For anyone who has been following my blog, they will know I love poetry, well last night I had a go at my own poem for Halloween!
A poem for Halloween
There is nothing in the dark…
Don’t run to the light, Run towards the night.
For ever fearing the Dark .
Don’t turn on a lights, Shining a torch into the blackness.
There is nothing in the Dark, No monsters to fear.
Nothing hiding in the blackness.
No evil demons
No open graves
No devils to consume your soul
No omen of death
Don’t look towards the stars, Fires of the heavens.
Hoping forever to be alive.
Don’t fear the blackness of the woods at night.
There is nothing in the dark,
nothing that is not just asleep in the day
and awake at night.
It is not the dark you should fear,
Fear the light.
In the dark there is rest,
A peace of your mind.
There is nothing in the dark but rest and a lack of light !
St Johns, Kilkenny is one of the counties best known churches and I have photographed weddings for a few wedding couples here since I have been working as a photographer here in Ireland.
It’s not the main church in the town but I have to say I think its the best looking of them all, the images below were taken the very first time I worked on a wedding here. I always if possible attend the church a day or two before a wedding just to do some test shots and check on my access around the church along with the lighting condition.
As you can see in these images the hight of the church and the windows creates some very dramatic lighting.
Gallery of St Johns, Kilkenny
Black and white photography remains one of by biggest photographic interests, I just love the tones that can be developed from some landscape images.
The day I took this image the weather was very mixed with showers and strong sunny intervals, this allowed for very mixed lighting on the fields below in the Nire Valley, Waterford. I processed this black and white image from the original colour photo sometime later, I just love the strong contrasts and tone produced.
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.
Two images from driftwood beach
Walking along a river bank at this time of year offers many great views but one of the most powerful for myself is the sight of a bank of tall and majestic trees in full leaf and at the hight of their summer growth.
I took these two image in black and white because I was more interested in the different tones, levels of brightness that they offered sitting in the midday sun.
I found this little camera at the kilkenny car boot sale a couple of weekends ago, it just looked up at me from one of the tables and had a price tag of €50 with the Voigtlander viewfinder.
Its the original 2009 sigma DP1 , (follow the link for details). The stall it was on was a charity stall collecting for Africa so I felt I just had to put my hand in my pockets and hand over the €50.
I had always wanted to try out one of these little cameras but when new they cost a good €800, the reviews never put it in great light but I always had a feeling that it was a little better then the reviewers reported them to be. The somewhat bad reviews have left the second hand prices low.
Last week I put the camera in my bag along with some other of my kit and on the way home stopped off at a local tourist venue. The images below are three images from about fifty I took just as a test of this little camera. I have to say just like the reviews always said its a little old fashioned to use and the poor LCD screen ( in the sun ) makes you use the external viewfinder a lot but it still felt very good to use, a little like using a good film compact camera. The focus is good and the controls and functions are simple to find and quick to change if your use to any high end compact system.
So what about the results, well the big reason I had to try this camera was for its sensor, ( A Foveon X3 sensor ) You can read all the details from the link, its the only sensor on the market that captures pure colour at each and everyone of its mega-pixels. All other sensors are monochrome only, with a filter that cuts out (Red, green and blue in turn) for each of a set of three mega-pixel locations in a row, repeated. Thus they do not record colour but only a signal that some colour has come through a filter to them.
The sigma sensor however records pure colour in full and at the intensity at which it reaches the pixel point. This system is as close to film as it comes.
The images below show the results and I have to say I am very impressed, quality wise they are sharp and the colour is wonderful but it was when I did a colour conversion to black and white my eyes were truly opened, if you have done any black and white conversion from raw digital files you will know the work you need to do to get some true film like monochrome contrast back into your images. Not here. The images even at default setting are just wonderful.
I have started each of the below image pairs with the black and white conversion from the original colour image.
The contrast is just wonderful here, yet nothing is lost between the black of the trees and the sun on the grass…
The green in the sun-lit grass, along with its detail is fully retained, yet the sky behind the trees has retained a light blue colour and not just overexposed into white.
Again just look at the contrast in this black and white image, the dynamic range is just amazing, the shadows have just the right detail for a good image, yet the bright areas are not over exposed. This was a very sunny and thus contrast filled day.
Just look how the colours really pop out of the image, this is as good as landscape slide film was without any photoshop colour post processing. All I did was set what I felt to be the correct exposure in the camera itself. Again and unlike slide film none of the image detail is lost due to the high contrast of this sunny afternoon.
Again none of the detail is lost in the above two images and a full range of tones and colours has been recorded.
Image print size
One issue is the actual image size out of the camera, this only being some 5 mega-pixels, but as with many peoples comments on mega-pixel size, more does not equal good quality big prints if the sensor is not recording enough detail, this sensors pixels are recording both sharp images (with as much details that the lens holds) and full direct colour detail. I feel very confident that these images could be printed at least A3 in size and beyond, all you need to print landscape books or books that record a holiday or family event for example.
All in all not a bad find for €50, one I don’t think I will be finding every weekend 🙂
Poem by : Susan Lower
My mother’s kitchen was worn with age.
In the old farm house,
where we lived and played.
She kept it nice and tidy.
The glasses always washed.
Not a plate out of place.
On the old red linoleum floors.
I did roller skate.
I learned to bake a cake.
Without a book, without any taste.
There I watched from the window,
my sisters kiss their dates.
My mother’s kitchen held a telephone.
Where my sisters stretched the cord,
and hid behind the next door.
Inside the wall of this place.
Comfort grew without the frills of lace.
Never were we late
when Mother called us in from the barn.
My mother’s kitchen is where I knew she’d be.
When I came racing home from school.
She always stood waiting for me.
A day with Black and white film.
Nikon FM2n, Ilford’s HP5
Some years ago myself and my brother and a friend Neil, headed to Hampton court to do some photography. It was the first time I had loaded Black and white film into my Nikon FM2 camera in a location like this so full of colour from the June flowers on display.
However Neil owned his own black and white dark room so Ilford’s HP5 it was. We spent about four hours at Hampton Court and then some hours processing the film making some prints and drinking a lot from what I can remember.
The images here are some of the results, I cannot find anything else. The prints are long gone so I have scanned any negatives I can find.
I am more than happy with these images and it’s very interesting to look back and think about what I felt made a good image way back then.
Nikon FM2n, Ilford’s HP5