Old Zoo Entrance

Dublin Zoo Entrance

This blog is slowly turning into a miniature history lesson, that may have something to do with my new found obsession with photographing all the lodges and dwellings within the park. It came as a great surprise to me to find there were 35 such buildings in the park, ranging from small gate lodges to the likes of Aras An Uachtarain. I have decided to try and photograph as many of them as I am allowed to basically, so sit back and relax as this blog turns away from trees and takes a long look at lodges. You will notice directly behind this truly beautiful lodge sits an equally beautiful tree, I just can’t stop myself, sorry.

This is actually the original entrance to the zoo and was built somewhere around 1833. The building has been beautifully restored to its original state and is well worth a visit if you have ten minutes to spare before or after you visit the zoo. My memory tells me I used to enter the zoo via this entrance when I was a kid in the seventies, but in reality I can’t remember most things I did last week, never mind forty years ago. It would make an amazing addition to the zoo if they were to open it up to the public again. When you are up close you will realise just how very tiny it actually is.

The photo was taken on a Bronica medium format camera using Kodak Tri-x 120mm film. The print was made by my very own hands in a traditional darkroom

(Comments and opinions are greatly appreciated, please feel free to let me know what you think)

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To purchase a signed 10 x 10 inch print of this photo, just click the button below.

You can either pay directly via paypal or with your own credit card. Don’t worry if you don’t have a Paypal account, you don’t actually need one to simply pay with your credit card.

The Prints are €25.00 each and that includes shipping to anywhere in the world. Your print will be made to order and will ship out within 48 hours.
If you would like a bigger or smaller size please don’t hesitate to email me with your requests.

Alternatively you can purchase unsigned prints or postcards of this photo from the Redbubble site from as little as €2.50 by clicking this link.

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Gates Of The Walled Garden

Farmleigh House

These are the side gates into the wonderful walled garden on the grounds of Farmleigh in the park. These gates are located to the right of the main gates to the garden, almost directly behind the boat house café. If you are familiar with Farmleigh you will most likely know exactly where these gates are, if you don’t really know Farmleigh then I recommend you rectify that matter and get yourself down there sometime. I love this place in both Summer and Winter, both seasons have their charm. The staff who look after this place have an awful lot to be very proud of, parts of it are wonderfully wild but other sections look like they have been trimmed with a pair of small scissors, such is the care that goes into it. Some day I expect to arrive and find an army of gardeners down on their knees trimming each individual blade of grass to the exact height. I have been informed by staff in the house that these mysterious gardeners only work in the dead of night though, so no chance of a photograph to prove my theory.

(Sometimes I like to bend the truth on this blog, this could be one of those moments)

The photo was taken on a Bronica medium format camera using Kodak Tri-x 120mm film.
The print was made by my very own hands in a traditional wet darkroom.

(Comments and opinions are greatly appreciated, please feel free to let me know what you think)

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To purchase a signed 10 x 10 inch print of this photo, just click the button below.

You can either pay directly via paypal or with your own credit card. Don’t worry if you don’t have a Paypal account, you don’t actually need one to simply pay with your credit card.

The Prints are €25.00 each and that includes shipping to anywhere in the world. Your print will be made to order and will ship out within 48 hours.
If you would like a bigger or smaller size please don’t hesitate to email me with your requests.

Alternatively you can purchase unsigned prints or postcards of this photo from the Redbubble site from as little as €2.50 by clicking this link.

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The Lonely Bench

The Lonely Bench

I always find something very sad and lonely about park benches during the winter months. I often wonder if these benches had feelings then how would they feel during the winter when literally nobody wants to sit and spend a bit of time with them. I started to think this myself as I sat on this exact bench only a couple of minutes before taking this shot. I had just bought a coffee in the nearby boat house restaurant and decided against sitting inside on such a beautiful winters morning. Don’t get me wrong here it was actually bloody freezing but still I always think if the sun is shining then get out and enjoy it. When you live in a county like Ireland you really do tend to appreciate these kind of sunny winters days. When I open the curtains in the morning during the winter and see just a sliver of sunshine I usually make up my mind to get out and about in it.

(Comments and opinions are greatly appreciated, please feel free to let me know what you think)

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To purchase a signed 11×10 inch print of this photo, just click the button below.

You can either pay directly via paypal or with your own credit card. The Prints are €25.00 each and that includes shipping to anywhere in the world. Your print will be made to order and will ship out within 48 hours.
If you would like a bigger or smaller size please don’t hesitate to email me with your requests.

Alternatively you can purchase unsigned prints or postcards of this photo from the Redbubble site from as little as €2.50 by clicking this link.

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Farmleigh House

It has been coming a for a long time but I think I have finally taken a picture of Farmleigh House that I actually really like. I’m not really a great photographer when it comes to buildings, I think my big problem with buildings is they tend to get in the way of trees I am trying to photograph. So to solve this little problem I have incorporated lots of trees into my shot of the house, it’s a very beautiful old building and can be quite difficult to get far enough away to capture the entire structure in just one frame. There is a stunning old arboretum to the right of the house, you can just about see it in the photograph.

The area around Farmleigh is so well looked after by all the staff working there, it really is a credit to every body involved. They used to have free concerts on the beautiful grounds at the back of the house during the summer, a perfect place to enjoy an outdoor concert, but unfortunately this country is rather broke now so the funds are no longer available for these things. I know from speaking to some of the staff from time to time that they are personally very disappointed that the funding is not there but what can they do about it.

Anyway, this is not going to be a rant about the economic situation in this country, I would need an entirely new blog to even contemplate starting on that one.

This is all about celebrating something that is very very beautiful and also still available to the general public for free. We should still be thankful for the wonderful things we still have in this city, you simply have to make your own fun and I for one think that’s perfectly fine.

(Comments and opinions are greatly appreciated, please feel free to let me know what you think)

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To purchase a signed 11 x 8 inch print of this photo, just click the button below.

You can either pay directly via paypal or with your own credit card. The Prints are €25.00 each and that includes shipping to anywhere in the world. Your print will be made to order and will ship out within 48 hours.
If you would like a bigger or smaller size please don’t hesitate to email me with your requests.

Alternatively you can purchase unsigned prints or postcards of this photo from the Redbubble site from as little as €2.50 by clicking this link.

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Where Do These Steps Go To.

The Clocktower in Farmleigh

(Click on the photo for pricing info on postcards and prints.)

I think the best thing I can do with this image is maybe not tell you where the stairs lead to, it kind of adds a bit of mystery to the photo. Most people I have shown it to have asked that exact question and the reaction is always best if I don’t tell people. Let’s just say it was taken on the grounds of Farmleigh House but that’s all the information you are getting for now. Sometimes I think images like these are best if the fine details are just left to your imagination, maybe you could leave a comment below and let me know where you think they are leading to. Suffice to say they don’t end up in heaven, I know because I’ve been to the top of them and I am still on this living world.

The photo was taken on a very old Russian made Kiev 6C medium format camera, I just love the almost antique like feel about the way it turned out. The photo was taken using Ilford Xp2 Super 120mm film and the print was made using my very own hands in a darkroom.

You can purchase prints or postcards of this photo from as little as €2.50 by clicking this link.

My First Roll Of Film In ……….Years.

Farmleigh in the Phoenix Park

This here photo that you are looking at right now is the first roll of actual photographic film that I have shot in approximately six years. I have had a real desire recently to start shooting on film again, a few people have questioned my sanity but to be honest I think it’s for my sanity that I am switching back to the old format of photography again. Let me try and explain in the shortest and simplest way possible. I was on holidays a few months ago and as per usual with my holidays I took rather a large amount of photographs. At the end of the first week I began to notice the large amount of time I was spending in front of a computer screen processing these photographs, it was something I wasn’t really enjoying any more and because of this I wasn’t really putting the right amount of work into actually working on my photographs to look the way I visualized them in the first place. I was getting bored spending so much time working out all the ins and outs of Photoshop, it just didn’t feel like photography to me anymore. I have always had a great love of printing my own photographs in a darkroom and changing over to a computer screen just didn’t suit my lack of patience in learning something new.

This is all just a personal choice, I’m not saying one form of photography is better than the other, maybe I just enjoy one more than the other.

Anyway, I have finally had a chance to get back into the darkroom again, it took me many hours to get the skills up to speed again but I think I’m getting there now. I find the whole process so therapeutic, it’s a great way to empty all the thoughts from your head and just recharge the brain while you spend eight hours counting seconds and watching images slowly emerge on a piece of paper. It’s actually quite exciting watching an image slowly appear over the course of thirty seconds as you gently ripple water over a piece of paper that turns into a photographic image as if by magic.

The photo was taken on the grounds of Farmleigh House, not too far from the Clocktower. If you walk around the side of the house near the gallery and the cowshed there is a lovely short little wooded walkway which then brings you to the Clocktower.

I hope you enjoy the photo, there’s lots more to come really soon First I have to go and figure out how to use my scanner all over again.

You can purchase prints or postcards of his photo from as little as €2.50 by clicking this link.

Misty Morning In The Phoenix Park

Phoenix Park Dublin

I can’t help thinking this poor fellow is looking off into the misty distance thinking “Where did I leave my other antler”. This has to be one of the strangest thing I have ever seen in the park, I’m sure deer manage to lose their antlers during rutting season but I have never personally seen one with only the single antler left. Obviously I will refrain from getting involved with any puns regarding stag nights etc.

This shot was taken on a rather beautiful April morning a few years ago, not quite as early as you might think from the mist in the distance, I seem to remember it being around ten o’clock or so. I love the total bleakness of this photo, there is almost an element of resignation about the deer sitting on his own. Maybe he did lose out in a battle with another stag and the damp mist in the distance is just compounding his pure misery.

The clocktower you can see in the distance is situated on the grounds of Farmleigh House, worth a visit if you have a chance, it’s been beautifully restored and is a real oasis of calm compared to the rest of Farmleigh during the summer.

I remember taking this photo, it took me ages to slowly sneak up behind the deer. I really tried not to disturb him and when he did look around I just acted all casual so he wouldn’t feel threatened. When I think back it was quite comical, I mean does a deer really care if you are looking off into the distance and whistling just so you can convince him you haven’t even noticed him sitting there in the grass. Perhaps I should have brought a newspaper and I could have pretended to read that every time he looked around. I don’t think I would make a very good private detective, I think the giant zoom lens and tripod gave me away on this occasion.. I really didn’t need to worry about anything as the deer had little or no interest in my presence, maybe he was tired after a long battle, I just don’t know.

I do have great respect for these animals, sometimes people forget they are actually wild animals and try to get too close. Most times the deer will run away but I just don’t see the point in upsetting them just for the sake of a good photograph.

The Boathouse in Farmleigh

Boathouse in Farmleigh

I took this photo about three years ago on a truly beautiful summers day in Farmleigh.

Believe it or not but a beautiful summers day is not always the best time to take photographs. Sometimes the light from the sun can be so bright and strong that it makes things very difficult to photograph. The difference between shaded areas and those in direct sunlight can be so vast that you have to decide what you want visible in the photograph. I stood in this spot for about twenty minutes slowly waiting on some clouds in the distance to arrive so I could finally get just the right light on these plants in the foreground. I tried to capture the scene on infra-red but the gentle breeze just made it impossible to keep the upright plants still enough for such a long exposure.

If you get the chance there is a really lovely walk around the lake, don’t worry it’s not too long but well worth the effort.

Farmleigh can get quite busy during the summer at weekends so if you are like me and free during the week then I recommend you take a trip with the kids or a camera.

Enjoy the photo and as always, comments are greatly appreciated.