The Old Man

Tree near the Visitor Centre

At this stage you are probably well aware of my minor obsession with trees and their many different shapes and personalities. To those people out there who think I may be a wee bit mad to think trees have personalities then have a look at this old guy and try tell me he isn’t riddled with all sorts of character. Believe it or not I only discovered this particular old creature a few months ago and then we spent a wonderful afternoon together. When I find a tree as beautiful and full of character as this one I tend to just sit down for a while in various spots away from the tree and slowly make my mind up about how I am going to try and capture it on film. If you just rush straight in with the camera you may not give yourself the time necessary to get acquainted with the trees surroundings and they can be just as important as the tree itself. This old guy seemed to be totally at one with the long grass, wild nettles and in particular the ivy that at first seems to be trying to take over the tree. After a while I began to realise that the tree and the ivy were pretty much living as one, each one needing the other to survive. Ok, so the ivy genuinely does need to the tree to survive but the tree may not necessarily need the ivy but if you look at the branch growing up from the left of the photograph the ivy growing at the top of it actually looks like some kind of winter warming hat sitting on top of the branch. You may need to view the photograph slightly larger to see exactly what I mean but if you do so briefly and come back to me then you may see the slightly badly knit hat sitting on the top of the branch, it’s a bit ragged looking but seems to be doing the trick nonetheless.
I’m not going to tell you where the tree is though, that’s my little secret.

The photograph was taken using a 120mm Bronica film camera loaded with Kodak tri-x 400 black and white film.
The actual print was made using my very own hands in a traditional wet darkroom.
Enjoy

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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.

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Bessborough Lodge

Ashtown Gate Lodge [police station]

This very beautiful stone building at Ashtown Gates is known as Bessborough Lodge. It is joined to another gate lodge which you can just about see at the right hand edge of the photograph. There are two lodges at the Ashtown Gates, very beautiful matching brown lodges facing each other at the exit from the park. This particular building was designed by Decimus Burton and was completed way back in 1848. The house was originally built as a police barracks and was used to house policemen serving in the park and also had room to accommodate prisoners. It was obviously a fully serving police station when it was originally built but now it accommodates staff serving in the park.
I actually ended up chatting to some people coming out of one of the lodges after taking this photograph and they reliably informed me that the police barracks had several drunk tanks in it. Anybody caught wandering around the park under the influence of alcohol would be swiftly taken away and thrown in the cell for the night to sleep it off. Obviously drunkenness in the park was frowned upon back then, as I suppose it is nowadays too in fairness. Can only imagine how busy they would have been after the Swedish House Mafia concert there last year.

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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.

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Hibernian Cottage

Hibernian Cottage

Ok, so this is a recent film shot of a rather beautiful lodge in the park called Hibernian Cottage. The house is situated just at the entrance gates to St. Mary’s Hospital which was originally the Hibernian Asylum or the Royal Hibernian Military School as it was later renamed. The Hibernian Asylum was original built to help orphaned children of soldiers who had fallen during the war and was then extended to cover the needs of destitute families of soldiers leaving Ireland for services overseas.
This lodge has for many years given me so much trouble to photograph that any sane person would have given up at this stage. The big problem with trying to get a really good photograph of this lodge would be the fact that you can’t really see that much of it from across the road. Normally I would just get a little closer but that is not really a solution in this scenario. My only other option was to cut down all the hedges at the dead of night and hope that nobody caught me, but cutting down trees as you may well know is not really my style now is it. So I would try going back at different times of the day and even different times of the year to see what I could do to capture this really beautiful lodge on film.
Right, so there I am with some really lovely long shadows beginning to appear on an early summers morning, the branches above me making that lovely x like shape on the grass in the foreground. I must admit at this stage I was really beginning to feel good about this one. I spent a while walking around from side to side to just get the best angle of the lodge and the shadows. Once I had decided on an angle that I was happy with I got the camera all set up and made all my little adjustments. By the time I was all ready to go when this delivery van arrives and proceeds to stop right in the centre of my shot, to be honest I think the driver was on his phone but he sat there in my photograph for at least ten minutes. By the time he decided to move on and go on his way this scene you see in the photograph had pretty much miraculously appeared. The ladies in their wheelchairs and their carers had stopped off at the gates of the lodge to pick some flowers from around the gateway. I rattled off as many shots as the camera could handle before they all walked away and everything was back to normal. This was my favourite of them all. I really like the sense of movement that the girl in the middle conveys. I must admit that something as simple as the shadows on the wall really make me love this photo above the rest in the series.

The photograph was taken on a Bronica medium format film camera using Kodak Tri-x 400 speed film.

The print was made using my very own bare hands in a traditional darkroom.

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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.

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Exhibition Opening Photographs

Here’s a nice little slideshow of photos from the opening of my exhibition in the Phoenix Park Visitors Centre on the 13th of January.

Big thanks to James for all the hard work.

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Phoenix Park Visitor Centre Exhibition

I am thrilled to announce the details of my upcoming photographic exhibition in the Visitors Centre in the Phoenix Park.

The show will officially open on Sunday 13th of January 2013 at 3pm with a short talk by myself and a very special guest talk from the former park superintendent John McCullen. John is also the author of “An Illustrated History Of The Phoenix Park” which has pretty much become my bible over the last few years. You are all very welcome to come and join me.

The show will run until the end of January and its totally free to visit.

There will be over 40 large format framed prints in the show and copies of each photograph will also be available to purchase. I will have signed and hand numbered framed prints available to sell at the show throughout the month.

The Visitor Centre is situated about halfway up the main road [Chesterfield Avenue]. If go as far as the big roundabout with the large phoenix monument on it then look out for the signpost to the Visitor Centre just before the turn for Aras and Uachtarain. There is lots of parking in there and a playground for the kids if you are planning on bringing the wee ones.

Full details in the image below.

Phoenix Park Exhibition Invite

Cricket In The Park

Cricket In The Phoenix Park

Ok, so they play cricket in the Phoenix Park and I know absolutely nothing about cricket. They use a bat and a ball, both are included in this photograph. There is a man who hits the ball called the batsman, also included in this shot and finally a guy who throws the ball called the bowler, he is not in the photograph. That’s pretty much my knowledge of cricket and it’s participants [most of which was gleaned from the internet]. I must say though, in it’s defence, cricket is a splendidly good way to spend a summer’s afternoon regardless of my lack of understanding. My spectator sport of choice would be Gaelic football but there is no chance of being able to lie back in the grass and a get a shot like this at Croke Park. Firstly I would most likely be removed by the stewards and secondly I would be trampled by blood thirsty GAA men in search of a football that one of them may or may not have in his possession. If you attend modern GAA matches you will know what I mean by that.

Anyway, cricket makes for good photographs so therefore I now like cricket.

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To purchase a signed 12 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. 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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Tree Lined Chesterfield Avenue

Chesterfield Avenue
There is just something about a tree lined avenue that I simply cannot walk past without plonking my camera down on a tripod and letting the shutter go click.

I was actually out for a stroll a few weeks back on a very determined mission to try and continue my quest to photograph the lodges of the Phoenix Park. I had taken my bicycle with me to the park for a change, if you saw the size of my Bronica camera and tripod you wouldn’t really wonder why I drive all the time. I had this very precarious set-up which involved some old fashioned sturdy elastic straps to keep the tripod attached to the crossbar of the bike. A disaster waiting to happen really. Thankfully, said disaster happened whilst I was cycling in soft [and quite long] grass. Basically the elastic made a sound like “Boing”, the tripod fell to the ground and I had to make a very rapid stop, before I lost my tripod. I was pretty lucky the strap didn’t catch one of my legs [or something further up] as these things are like some old torture aid.

Anyway, I saw this scene and I started photographing.

The lodges can wait, they ain’t going anywhere in the near future.

This 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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Phoenix Park Exhibition

I am so delighted to say that two of my photographs have been selected in the “Phoenix Park Photographic Exhibition”. The competition was open to any amateur photographer so to say that I am over the moon is an understatement. The Exhibition runs from 8th of August to the 31st of August. All the winning photos are now part of a truly wonderful exhibition in the gallery at the Visitor Centre. There are about 40 different photos covering all genres of photography. It really is well worth a visit.

Here’s one of the photos that features in the exhibition.

Directions and opening times can be found by clicking this link

The Tree Went Boom

Peoples Flower Garden
There is something about this tree that always reminds me of the mushroom cloud following an atomic explosion. Don’t get me wrong here, I don’t actually have any first hand experience of atomic explosions and I don’t think there has ever been one in the Phoenix Park, but maybe this tree has seen some video footage of one such explosion and has since decided to grow up exactly like one. These are the present dangers of allowing trees to look over your shoulder as you wander around the park with your smartphone watching youtube. Next we are going to find trees taking on ridiculous Jackass like comedy stunts. Just make sure you watch yourself next time you go to the park, you may end up having elastic bands catapulted at your head, or the back of your legs if you’re really unlucky.

This shot was taken in the stunning surrounds of the Peoples Flower Garden, you can find them just on the right hand side as you come in the main gates of the park.

The photographic print was made in the old fashioned way by my very own hands in a darkroom. The picture was taken using a Bronica medium format camera on Kodak Tri-x film, possibly my all time favourite film at this stage.

(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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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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