Fallen Tree Near The Dog Pond

This is one of those occasions when I stood for a while pondering whether to take this photograph and decided it was worth it. I liked the scene but I just wasn’t sure if the tree would come out properly against the……….well let’s face tree lined background. I just wasn’t sure if a tree against a tree background would come out that well. This is one of the very few disadvantages of black and white photography, sometimes you get a scene with varying shades of green but obviously you can’t seen green in black and white. The problem then arises as to whether the entire shot will just blur into one big blob of the same colour. Thankfully the fallen tree in the foreground was almost completely without foliage and it’s almost brown like branches gave me just enough contrast in colour to the rather fluffy evergreens in the background.

I am so glad I took the time out to take this photo, I actually only took it two weeks ago but I went back there yesterday to show my three year old son and he was looking at me with a rather quizzical look on his face. Why?, well, it’s gone actually. I have no idea how long it had been there but lo and behold it’s all gone, not even an aul stump remains.

The tree was situated just at the back of the cricket pavilion and I have noticed a huge pile of earth and rubble in the car pack at the rear of the pavilion, if you don’t know where that is and you have ever been to the zoo then chances are you have parked there on many an occasion. Sometimes I write or tell people about places in the park that I just assume everybody knows about but alas many of you don’t. If you ever feel the need to explore the cricket pitches [yes there are two] then let me direct you there. When you enter the park through the main gates just keep going straight through the first roundabout. After that you need to look over to your left, don’t try this whilst driving though, you can drive up a little bit and you will see two very small little roads one after the other. Take either of these roads or even park on the main road and walk over. Once you have stopped you really can’t miss the cricket fields. You might also like a little trip into the beautifully secluded pond, for some reason named “The Dog Pond”. This is a great place to just sit for a while and basically think about a huge bunch of nothing.

Now, that’s the end of Dave’s mini tour of the cricket pitches and their environs.

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

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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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Bank Of Trees, Visitor Centre.

As you may have guessed from the last few posts I have spent a couple of days with a brand new camera in and around the region of the visitor centre in the Phoenix Park.
These shots were all taken about 6 weeks ago but they take a little bit longer to get up on the blog as they are all now printed by myself in the darkroom. I normally get one day a week to spend in the darkroom but if the weather permits then I have to abandon that plan and get my arse over to the park again instead. If you live in Ireland you will be more than familiar with our discordant weather patterns, if you don’t live here then take it from me, when you see sunshine during the winter you get out and enjoy it as much as possible. As a photographer I suppose it’s a good time to head in doors and do some studio work, but regular readers of this blog will well know that I am not an indoor studio kind of photographer. Apart from bonsai trees there is pretty much nothing indoors for me to photograph, that’s just the way I am. Trust me, you really don’t want to see hundreds of photographs of my three year old son, and even if you do, you’re still not going to [He’s all mine and I’m not sharing him].

In the time it has taken me to compile this post I had to take a break to spend the afternoon putting up all our Christmas decorations and guess what ?, we now have a Christmas tree in the house. Oh yes, a tree inside the house. Get ready for lots of arty black and white shots of a Christmas tree folks.

Taken on a Zenza Bronica SQ-A 120mm film camera using Ilford Xp2 Super
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 10 x 9 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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A Tree Of Many Trunks

Something very spooky and slightly haunting about this here shot I think.

I just love the freeform almost mangled shape of the tree in the foreground, most trees seem to specialise in growing upwards but this one just decided to break all the rules. I simply love the fact that instead of the bog standard rule of just one single tree trunk that most trees seem to adhere to, this particular lad decided “No, I not conforming to all your rules”. I have absolutely no idea what type of tree this actually is. I say that with great embarrassment as I trained as a cabinetmaker / furniture maker many years ago and as part of my training in college I would have had to cover tree types and the likes. Having said that I don’t think we would have covered this type of tree, can’t imagine the wood being of much use for anything other than a dolls house and furniture maybe, the trunk wouldn’t provide anything of much thickness. Maybe somebody out there will come along and tell me its some really rare ancient type of oak tree used specially for making fine delicate [and expensive] oak chairs.

If you are interested in going to visit this tree then I will let you in on a little secret. Go to the visitor centre in the Phoenix Park and then head to the small renovated castle [Ashtown Castle]. There is a big open area in front of the castle and if you look way over to your left [with the castle behind you] then you will see a lovely walkway around the perimeter of the visitor centre. This fella is over in the far corner. If you have your kids with you, then take my advice, simply sit down on the bench for a couple of minutes and hey presto you will be surrounded by squirrels, it’s great fun and they are very cheeky.

Taken on a Zenza Bronica SQ-A 120mm film camera using Ilford Xp2 Super
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 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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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.

Two Deer Recovering.

Deer in the Phoenix Park

This is a shot from a misty winters morning excursion to the Phoenix Park.
I am not sure whether these lads were just resting in the morning sunshine or if they are indeed trying to recover from a heavy night on the booze. I often wonder if all the animals get together in the late hours in the park, when all has gone quiet and dark. I can imagine the scene with the squirrels arriving weighed down with nuts, the ducks with lots of stale bread, wild dogs with biscuit treats and the deer being the main offenders with a selection of home brews. The deer spend the entire winter using all manner of windfall from the trees to brew up some brain melting concoction that nobody even likes, but hey, when you’re stuck in a park all night you gotta take something to keep you warm. I would say it all starts very formal and slowly degrades into one great big shouty singalong. My guess is the squirrels are the biggest messers, they can travel great distances and also tend to get closer to humans so they can gather all the best [and latest] jokes that are going around. You think they are scavenging for food when they hang around your lovely picnic table, but no, they are actually listening in to everything you say and saving all the funny moments for later. I have often tried to photograph squirrels in the park and for years assumed those cute little hands were delicately trying to prise open nut shells, think again, they are in fact scribbling down humorous happenings in tiny miniature notebooks.

This is not something I have made up myself for the purpose of this blog, I know this all to be fact but my sources have asked to be anonymous.

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

It’s Back To Nature Time Today.

Squirrel in the Phoenix Park

 

Ok, so I’m not really one for taking shots of things that move, that would include all kinds of animals and especially human beings. I like to spend a bit of time composing a photograph and if I were to include animals [apart from Sloths obviously] I would end up with just a blank space where they once featured. There is the odd day when I am sitting so still trying to get everything sorted for a shot of some thorny old tree that something or other will come into my line of vision.

This particular day I was lying on the ground at the back of the visitor centre carefully composing a shot of some rather lovely looking tree roots when I noticed something moving in the shot. This cheeky little fella was paying no attention to my presence on his patch, it was almost like he just couldn’t care less about me. I even had time to change the lenses on my camera, put on a super big zoom and he was still there happily eating whatever it is that he found. I would say I was literally only ten feet away from him and once he realised I meant him no harm he pretty much just went on about his business, I suppose some of the squirrels are probably quite used to human beings and are now quite trusting of them.

At a guess I would say I rattled off about twenty shots of this little messer and pretty much all of them were the same. My normal experience of fast moving animals tells me to just keep pressing the shutter because they will run as soon as they hear the shutter click the first time. This fella though was perfectly happy as long as I kept my distance.

You can now purchase prints or postcards of my photos by clicking this link.