Knocksink Woods in Enniskerry

Knocksink Wooks Enniskery

I took this photo during a recent trip to Knocksink Woods near Enniskerry, County Wicklow. I used to visit this place a lot when I was a little kid growing up in Dundrum. We used to hop on the bus to Enniskerry and take the short walk back to Knocksink where you could literally go wild for a few hours with a gang of your friends, there were no rules up here and we would spend hours sliding down the steep hills until there was no arse left in our jeans. Great memories and I still love the place. Great to still see kids sliding down the slopes on their bums too.

 

Taken on a Canon Eos 20D with a 18-55mm lens.

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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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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Thank You

Phoenix Park School

 

Thank You

I just want to say a really big thank you to everybody who came to my exhibition launch last night in the Workmans Club. I had a great night and I hope you all enjoyed it too. It was my first opportunity to display any of my pictures in public and I have to admit I got a real blast out of hearing peoples reactions to the photos and finding out all your favourites. To say I am happy is a huge understatement.

Here’s a photo of the Phoenix Park just to celebrate.

And for anybody who couldn’t make it last night, I know it’s hard getting out on a Tuesday night, the show will continue until the end of April. You can go and view the photos anytime until then. The bar itself opens every day from 5pm, so feel free to pop in and grab a quick pint, cocktail or just a coffee.

For anybody interested in buying one of the framed prints just email me at the address on the contact me page

Thanks again, and thank so much for all your kind words.

Dave

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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. 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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One Of My Trees Is Missing

You know you visit certain parts of the Phoenix Park too often when you pass by in a car and notice a tree is missing amongst a cluster of several hundred.

I was passing by this spot a couple of weeks ago and noticed one of the larger trees was no longer there, I didn’t have my camera with me that particular day so I promised I would go back as soon as possible. With my new found love of film photography I have started to revisit lots of familiar spots to try and capture them all over again, this time on 120mm film instead of using my digital camera. I have a digital shot of this exact spot from several years ago but its fun to go back to the same places with a different camera, I suppose by doing this I will never be finished with my Phoenix Park project. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.

I love the texture of the tree bark, it’s something I think film captures really really well. I also find my eye constantly getting drawn to the crazy mass of trees way in the background of the photo, it’s like one of those 3d effect posters that you stare at for ages before a hidden image appears. Trust me though, there is nothing hidden in the trees.

This photo was taken on an old Russian made Kiev 6C medium format camera using Ilford Hp5 120mm film. The print was made by my very own hands in a darkroom and then scanned into a computer thing.

(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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Never Load Film The Wrong Way !

Click on the photo to purchase prints or postcards

This shot comes from my most recent trip to the Phoenix Park, a day that began quite early on a very beautiful winters morning with some perfect low lying winter sunshine. I set out with a very definite plan in my head, something that I very rarely do and something that I don’t think I will ever do again. I normally just head to the park and start shooting whatever catches my attention. On this particular morning I was determined to finally capture the Wellington Monument on film, I have tried on many occasions but have never really been happy with the results. The lighting was perfect and it was far too early in the day for the usual collection of cider drinking men to find their favourite spot on the massive plinth of the structure. So I had this gigantic monument all to myself. Two hours later I sat down at the very picturesque Tea Rooms for a spot of lunch, a very satisfied individual I should add, and proceeded to empty my camera of a superbly exposed roll of film. My lunch was ordered and I decided to sit outside in the freezing cold but at least the sun was still beaming down on me. As I waited I decided to empty the camera and reload it with a fresh roll of film just so I would be all ready for round two in the afternoon.

At this point I should apologise to the two ladies sitting at the next bench with their two young children for the burst of expletives that came rushing out of my mouth when I noticed what I had actually done with the camera. As soon as I opened the back of the camera I noticed the film looked a little bit different to what I normally expect to see. It took a few seconds to figure out why it looked black on the outside instead of the usual orange I am used to. I had actually managed to load the film into the camera the wrong way around and so had spent the entire morning shooting on the protective backing paper that comes supplied with 120mm film. In short, there wasn’t a single photograph on the roll of film and to add insult to injury the entire roll of film was now completely destroyed. The last time I felt this kind of sick feeling in the pit of my stomach was the night before I was start my leaving cert exams in school, when it finally dawned on me that I really should have studied a little bit more [or even a little bit].

The only solution was to load the camera again, making sure to do it the right way this time and retrace all my steps from the previous few hours. As soon as I finished my lunch I went back to every single location but at this stage the beautiful low lying winter sun had risen in the sky and made shooting the monument virtually impossible. I feel I am destined never to get a good shot of this imposing structure but hopefully I will pluck up the courage to go back and have another go. It’s almost like a personal duel between the two of us now and I think there is only ever going to be one winner, so if you are reading this Mr Wellington Monument, I will be back to get you sometime in the future.

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 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.

Some Of My Favourite Trees

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Lets get a few facts out of the way before I go any further, I don’t own the Phoenix Park and I am not the only person who uses it………but, you knew there was a but coming didn’t you, I don’t like when things change in the park and cars are allowed to travel down paths that were once strictly only for walkers and bikes.

Ok, so they are doing work on the main road through the park so they had to make some concessions to traffic that needs to use the park but really, did you have to open up one of my favourite walks through the park. I went to take photos of this area near the papal cross with my lovely new medium format film camera and to my horror discovered cars travelling at speed in my direction as I was about to set up a tripod in the middle of the quiet roadway. To be honest when the first car came along and sounded his horn I was about to throw him a couple of my favourite words that I’m no longer allowed to use in front of my three year old son, but then I noticed that there were more behind him and one thing that was lacking from the scene was the lovely white metal barriers at the top of the road. Bleedin vandals, I first thought, can they not leave anything alone. What use could they possibly have for three small metal poles, maybe they planned on using them at the entrance to the driveway on their house to stop people stealing their car.

I make it sound like this scene went on for ages but to be completely honest it lasted no more than about twenty seconds before I made a run for it. I wasn’t going to risk getting my [borrowed] camera damaged and this guy didn’t look like he was genuinely planning on stopping completely.

I like to think I was a gentleman about this incident, but really I’m just a coward with a skinhead.

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

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