The Dog Pond in The Phoenix Park

Phoenix Park - Dog Pond

Ok, todays post is my first attempt in ages to replicate the fine art form that is medium format photography. I have always loved the perfectly square shape of medium format, sometimes though it just doesn’t suit landscape photography. Having said that, it does lend itself to photographing tall trees, if you get the right ones then there is nothing more pleasing than a good square photograph.

The two trees on the left of the photo look like they are leaning over but in fact they are just blowing slightly in the wind, it was taken on a particularly blustery day in April [yes this is Ireland, we get blustery days in April].

The trees actually form a natural surround for a small pond that is known locally as The Dog Pond, still wonder why, is it owned by a pack of wild gangster dogs. You can almost imagine them going out at night to do battle with all the wild deer. Somebody could make a great film out of this, imagine a Warriors style film where the dogs have to make their way home through the park without getting attacked by the other wild creatures. I would love to see the battle between the dogs and those extremely cheeky squirrels, you might think the dogs would have to win because they are bigger but think again. The squirrels could take to the trees and bombast the dogs with all manner of flying objects, you see, it wouldn’t be that easy for the dogs now. What if the squirrels got all the local birds on board too, those poor dogs wouldn’t stand a chance.

Where am I going with this…………………… I don’t actually know.

Goodbye and have a good weekend !

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


Phoenix Park Does Exotic

Phoenix Park in Infra-Red

Another recent photograph for you today.

This was taken on May 2nd, just a week ago to be exact on a truly beautiful day here in Dublin. The sunshine was truly amazing, strong but still slightly hazy, great for detailed close up shots but really bad for those wide angle landscapes. Whatever way the light was catching these trees just drew me towards them no matter how hard I tried to avoid it. I have taken pictures of this bunch of trees on several occasions from many different angles so I really tried to move on and see what else I could find. Every time I looked over my shoulder the light just got better and better, so you can guess the rest. Well I suppose I don’t have to finish telling you, otherwise how could I have taken the photo.

By the time I succumbed to the trees in question it was almost midday and the light appeared to be slowly overhead and was actually not quite so dramatic as before. I was almost disappointed until I walked all the way around and discovered that the trees almost seemed to be in totally darkness as there was no more sunlight able to reach down through the foliage. I love the darkness in the tree trunks, if you look further passed them its pretty obvious how sunny the day was from the brightness of the smaller trees in the distance.

There is something very exotic about the trees themselves, they seem to be from a distant land and not something we would be used to seeing in Ireland. I love the way we always use the word exotic for objects that we wouldn’t normally see here in Ireland, I wonder what word people from so-called exotic countries would use instead of exotic to describe something that is maybe a little bit out of the ordinary.

Anyway, you know exactly what I mean when I use the word exotic.

It’s almost hard to believe that this scene came from the likes of the Phoenix Park, I have to keep reminding myself that I am pretty much in the middle of a city centre, not quite in the heart of it but a good swing of a golf club would send a ball into the River Liffey.

Enjoy the photo.

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

An Explosion Of Trees.

Another blast from the past for you today.

This shot was taken in May 2008, again using my brand new toy, a Hoya infra-red filter.

I think this one works particularly well due to the one lonely white tree right in the centre of the shot. To be honest it didn’t look that much different to the rest of the trees with the naked eye but the infra-red filter really brought out the contrast between the two different type of trees.

The trees actually look like they are blowing in the wind, they all look like they are leaning from left to right but to be truthful it was a beautifully calm summers day and there wasn’t a breeze to be found.

I love the way the trees seem to be all clustered together, safety in numbers maybe.

There is a lovely soft almost cloud like feeling about the photograph.

After showing this photograph to a friend of mine recently they have commented that it almost looks like some kind of strange explosion of trees coming out of the ground. I never really noticed that before but if you step back a bit it does look like they are exploding out of the ground, like some kind of nuclear mushroom, except they are made from trees and thankfully completely harmless.

The Wellington Monument Plays Hide And Seek

Phoenix Park, Wellington Monument

I’ve been trying to get a decent photo of the Wellington Monument in the park for quite some time now, I tend to give up for months and then head back down and start off all over again. I have never been a great lover of photographing such huge upright monuments [or buildings for that matter], there just tends to be so many problems with trying to achieve decent results. I tend to give in and head off to meet some familiar trees instead.

Speaking of familiar trees, I am truly gutted to discover that I missed an exhibition by Thomas Pakenham in The Molesworth Gallery, in whose wisdom was it to have such an amazing collection on for only two measly weeks. If you are not familiar with this man then I suggest you run out and get yourself a hold of a book called “Meetings With Remarkable Trees”, and that’s just for starters. I guarantee you that you will end up buying all of his photographic books, especially if you are tree fanatic like me.

Anyway, back to my main subject here today.

I was going through some old infra-red photos from about three years ago and found this here little beauty, obviously that’s my personal opinion, you can be the real judge of that. The photo doesn’t feature the entire monument but I really like the fact that it appears to be attempting to hide behind the trees, I wonder is it aware that we can all see it. Not the greatest game of hide and seek I have ever witnessed. I also get the impression that the trees on the left of the picture seem to be looking towards the monument with a “We can see you, stupid” look on their faces.

Ok, so the trees don’t have faces and the monument can’t actually play hide and seek, they do when you have the imagination of a two year old running around the house.

This one’s for wee Paddy who has opened up my imagination all over again.

Infra-red Airplane Smoke

I think this particular tree has appeared already on this blog at one point but never mind, as I always say, every time I come back to the same spot I see something completely different. Some days the light is just so different that things look totally new to me.

I was really lucky on this day, just as I was walking back to the car after a fairly unsuccessful afternoon with the camera a plane noisily shoots over my head and leaves this wonderful trail in the sky. I rapidly tried to set up my tripod and get everything in place to capture what was going on above my head. I love the fact the literally five minutes either side of this plane flying over, the moment would have passed.

Whilst processing this photo I also noticed an interesting detail in the trunk of the tree. If you look really closely it almost looks like two people embracing each other, actually the first thing I thought of was those wonderful Ents from the Lord Of The Rings. If you get a chance, enlarge the image on your screen and focus on the trunk of the tree, it looks like a pair of arms are coming from the left hand side.

This was taken at the car park opposite the walkway down to the Furry Glen in March 2011.

You can now purchase this print by clicking here