Ashtown Castle And A Gaslamp

I must say I really love these old gas lamps, do they work, yes they do.
They are situated right through the main thoroughfare bisecting the park and in the main areas like the Visitor Centre and Farmleigh. To the best of my knowledge they are still running on gas but obviously they don’t need to be lit manually anymore, at some point in the past they were and I can only guess the amount of staff required to light up the park of an evenin’. I’m guessing the cast iron poles and fittings are all original, some are even dated with the year of manufacture and then others are simply dated with “Phoenix Park”. The lamps all along the main road in the park are all painted black but all the poles on the road up to the Visitor Centre are white, don’t know why they are different colours but I kinda prefer the white ones. My reason is purely selfish, they tend to photograph better with trees in the background.

This photo is also the last in my recent series of shots taken of Ashtown Castle in the Visitor Centre. Here’s an interesting fact before I head off, apparently Ashtown Castle is the oldest building in the Phoenix Park. Now, there’s a fact to store in your pub quiz trivia bank.

Some technical details about this photo.
The photograph was taken using a medium format Bronica camera loaded with Kodak Tri-x 120mm film. The 6cm x 6cm negative was then printed on Ilford Multigrade paper in the darkroom, by myself I should add. All recent photos on the blog have been made by my very own hands in a traditional old style 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 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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Door Of Ashtown Castle

I love this door. There is something magical and mystical about it, well there was until I got to see what was behind it and then it just became even more so.
As a great lover of trees I am also a huge fan of all things wooden, my poor son is probably sick of the sight of wooden toys, I’m sure he craves a bit of good old fashioned tatty plastic. As a trained cabinetmaker I have a great respect for all forms of wooden craftsmanship and nothing is better than getting up close and personal with things as beautiful as this old door. A quick rub of the hand along the grain and off I can go on my travels again, it’s just something that needs to be done anytime I pass it by. I’m sure people see me doing it and think I suffer from some kind of compulsive disorder, trust me I don’t, really I don’t.
I have no idea how old the door is, not even sure if it is the original door but it certainly looks the part and that’s really all that matters in my world anyway.
The photo is another in my series of film shots. It was taken on a beautiful old Bronica camera filled with Kodak Tri-x black and white film. The film itself was developed by my good friends in the Camera Exchange in Georges Street. I then made the print with my very own hands in the darkroom in the Gallery Of Photography, a wonderful resource for amateur [poor] photographers like me. The staff in there are amazing and the darkroom facilities are second to none. They also always have wonderful exhibitions on upstairs along with a truly superb bookshop, be careful though, you will end up buying lots of stuff if you’re addicted to photography books like I am.

(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. 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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Ashtown Castle At Last

It’s been my aim to capture this wonderful little castle for many years now but no matter how many times I try I just can’t seem to get it right.
I think I am finally close to being happy with it, all it needed was the square shape of medium format photography as I think it gives the photograph a lovely old world feel.

The purists will tell me it looks a little like the castle is falling over but you know what, the purists are not always right, in fact they are mostly wrong. I say “Pah” to converging verticals and hello to a picture that you find appealing.

The castle itself kind of reminds me of something out of a Brothers Grimm fairytale, it’s a real castle but very much in miniature. It’s also quite gothic in style [maybe all castles are] complete with tiny window openings and a giant wooden door. There is actually no glass in any of the windows, so that kind of just makes them openings rather than windows, doesn’t it.

Taken on a Bronica medium format film camera, filled with Kodak Tri-x 400 120mm film. Printed by my very own hands in a 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 11 x 11 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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Ashtown Castle In The Visitor Centre

click on the image for print and postcard options

I recently spent an entire day in the area surrounding the visitor centre in the Phoenix Park. A friend had just lent me a rather beautiful medium format camera and I thought I would test it out in one of my more familiar spots.

Today’s post has absolutely nothing to do with that day or that particular camera, it does however have plenty to do with the castle you can see in the photograph.

I happened to go back to the visitor centre about two days later with my three year old son with the intention of having a bit of skit in the little maze that almost surrounds the castle. Adventurous is not the word, it totally lashed down as soon as I opened the door of the car. How do you explain to a three year old that we have to go home when he is telling me we can just go into the museum, it took me a few minutes and then I copped on that he was talking about the actual visitor centre. So up with our hoods and off we ran [well I ran, he was on my back]. I must say I have always thought the staff in the visitor centre were so pleasant, especially when you are dealing with a screaming / running three year old boy, they never tell you to keep quiet and they really seem to understand that kids need to make a little bit of noise from time to time.

On this particular day I just happened to be browsing through some of their publications on the park and I asked one of the members of staff when would be the best time to come and do a tour of Ashtown Castle [that’s the little castle in the photo]. He informed me that it’s pretty much open all the time but only for groups of three or more, well there was really only one and a half of us so I inquired if there was any particular busy period when it would be worth dropping over. I have always wanted to see inside it and never noticed that it was actually open to the public until this particular day. He said it was pretty much a case of pot luck and before I had time to reach the door he called me back and asked me if I was interested in seeing it, I didn’t want to be smart but that was why I was asking. Next thing he picks up the biggest key I have ever seen and casually asks me if I want to nip over now and have a ramble around. I was actually just about to go home and have lunch but scrapped that plan immediately and said “Hell yes my good friend”, I didn’t actually, I just said yes thank you sir.

This story is beginning to get rather long so lets speed things up a little bit. He brought us over to the castle and we spent at least an hour walking around it as he imparted his highly detailed knowledge on to me. He also had amazing patience with my son, who obviously wasn’t getting a much of a buzz from touring a restored medieval castle as I was. So, thank you Roy, if by any mad chance you are actually reading this and thank you OPW for providing such an amazing service.

I should also apologise to the staff as well, I’ll explain. Where we were entering the castle Roy had this rather odd looking metal instrument along with the giant key, after trying the key a few times he sighed and damned those pesky kids for constantly putting pebbles into the gigantic lock. He then used this odd looking hook apparatus to pick out the small stones and proceeded to unlock the door. Little did he know only ten minutes before hand we had been trying to fit stones into the very same lock, I have no idea if we were successful but I decided not to mention that particular fact, I simply added a nod of my head and agreed that some people just had no control over their kids.

Taken on a Zenza Bronica SQ-A 120mm film camera using Kodak Tri-x 400
Printed by my very own hands in a darkroom

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

—————————

To purchase a signed 11 x 6 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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