Silver Tree Roots, Phoenix Park

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Am I allowed to pick my own favourite photographs on this blog or should that honour be given to others who may possibly be a little bit more objective on this matter. Well, I am going to stick my neck out on this one and tell you that this here shot is one of my favourite shots in the last few months. I think I love it so much because it was taken on my new favourite toy [that being a wonderful Bronica camera, thanks Caroline by the way, in case you are reading this] and my new favourite film [Kodak Tri-x]. I promised I would always keep the geeky photographic tech speak off this blog so I won’t get into the reasons for liking one particular film over another, I can see your eyes glaze over at the slightest mention of tonal ranges, grain size, etc, so that’s the end of that already. I will also avoid explaining the joys of the wonderfully loud clunk of the Bronica camera when you press the shutter button, I think some of the deer several miles away get a bit of a jump each time I take a photo with it.

I love this photo for many reasons but I think the first one is the over-riding silver colour in the tree bark and the roots. To be honest it is something I have noticed that seems to be lacking a wee bit with digital shots. The Canon Eos is perfect for most shots but it seems to only feature black, white and hundreds of shades of gray but for some reason there is no silver in digital images, it’s also very possible I am doing something wrong in the processing stage but that’s all behind me now.

The image was taken on the grounds of the visitor centre in the Phoenix Park, regular visitors to this blog will have noticed at this stage that I like to photograph in this area quite a lot, but if you’ve been there yourself you know I can’t be blamed for loving it.

I was actually in the park this very morning [without camera by the way] and my son and I spent about half an hour watching two young swans practising how to fly. This involved the pair of them basically running across the top of the water whilst flapping their wings frantically. It was a truly wonderful sight to see, I must admit I spent the entire time wishing they wouldn’t succeed as the noise of them running across the water was breathtaking. I’ve never seen them doing this before and I felt very lucky to have stumbled upon them, although after about five minutes my son did keep asking me what I was looking at all the time. “Look Daddy, a stick”, “Look son, a swan trying to take off”, the sticks won in the end so I duly picked myself a good stick and began beating the fallen autumn leaves until they too attempted to take to the air. I must admit I do rather enjoy a good run around in the leaves, something very invigorating about it all.

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)


Reach For The Sky In The Phoenix Park

The Phoenix Park

Another one for my “Tall trees that look like characters from Lord Of The Rings” series for you today. I find something very majestic looking about this particular cluster of trees, they seem so much more powerful than those in the background. It seems to me that some trees are perfectly happy to stretch up a certain distance and then spend the rest of their lives spreading outwards, that’s not a way of life for this particular bunch though. There seems to be some kind of fierce competition going on to find out which one can reach the highest first, I often wonder is the air more clear up there. There is a beautiful sparse look to the lower parts of the trees, barely a branch to be seen until you reach about half way up.


On a completely separate note I must say I am feeling very bad about the fact that it has been almost a month now since I have visited the park with my camera. I have been several times for family visits but as far as long strolls in the park with my trusty old Canon friend, well it’s just been too long. I should explain I was away in County Mayo for two weeks, in a most beautiful place called Carrowmore Lake. I will post some of my photos from the Mayo trip on my Flick page as soon as I get them all processed.

The Phoenix Park Whitehouse

Phoenix Park Whitehouse

This here is a shot I took of the American Ambassadors residence in the Phoenix Park a few years ago, I always have the fear when I point zoom lenses at buildings like these in the park, someday I am expecting a gentle tap on the shoulder and then none of my friends or relations will ever see me again. All they will ever find of me is an empty camera with all the images erased, hopefully they will at least get the camera back, it’s worth a lot of money [more than I am].

It’s a rather striking building, maybe slightly out of place in the park compared to some of the other architecture but in fairness it’s kept well hidden. If you don’t know how to actually find it then you probably have never actually seen beyond the big gates.

It’s fair to say the sky gave me a giant helping hand with the photo, what is it about beautiful sunny days here in Ireland, there always seems to be these massive threatening clouds just hovering in the background.