Phoenix Park Competition 2013

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Four of my photographs have been selected for this years annual Phoenix Park photographic exhibition.
The exhibition features 100 photographs of the park taken by various amateur photographers around Ireland. It’s an open competition so I am absolutely chuffed to see four of mine getting the nod from the judges.
The entire exhibition is absolutely stunning so if you get a chance then please do drop into the Visitor Centre in the Phoenix Park. You can find directions to the Visitor Centre by clicking this link.

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Exhibition Update

Hi Folks.

Here’s a little slideshow of my exhibition in the Phoenix Park so far. These shots were all taken after two long days of hanging and constant moving around of photos.

I hope you enjoy it and thank you all for your continuing support.

Dave

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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

Cold Coffee And No Sunshine

Phoenix Park Visitor Centre

This shot was taken at the very back of the visitor centre, I know I go there a lot these days but I will explain all of that in a minute. I am on a mission at the moment to try and stay away from photographing trees and I have a lovely new project on the way to share with you.

So, I’m in the park on a very lovely cold but sunny winter’s morning, one of the rare occasions when I also have the car in tow. With that luxury I can also bring both film and digital cameras with me. It’s such a beautiful morning that I decide to head to the coffee shop in the visitor centre to grab a takeaway coffee and then head about my business. By the time I have gone in to the coffee shop and waited literally two minutes for my coffee the sun has disappeared and its just started to rain. It’s not real rain, as we like to say in Ireland, it’s just kind of blowing around. It’s not really a wet kind of rain, just more of an annoyance if that makes sense. Still, it is raining so no chance of taking either camera out of the bag. I decide to give up on the thoughts of wasting lots of film on a day like today so I throw the digital yoke on my back, put up my hood and head out the back gates of the visitor centre. As soon as I walk out this scene grabs my attention and I start thinking about coming back some day when the weather is better to get a shot of these trees. As I stand and stare down the line of trees, I like to stand and stare, it’s much easier than walking all the time, the sun slowly starts to peak out from between the clouds. By the time I set up the camera and take the shot the sun disappears again, not to be seen for the rest of the day.

They do a nice coffee in the visitor centre by the way, just as well, I had to buy another one as the first one had gone cold by the time I took the photo. Really pleasant staff and they do great food at lunchtime.

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

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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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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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More Visitor Centre Beauty

Another shot for you today from the general region around the Visitor Centre.
I truly love these grounds, some of you have probably guessed that already but just in case you are new to this blog, may I mention that I love the grounds around the Visitor Centre.
The area features a collection of some of the finest trees that you will find anywhere in the Phoenix Park and as you probably know, trees are my kind of thing.
I particularly love this beast of a tree, if you approach it from a certain angle it almost looks like some great big monster has taken a chunk out of it. I have tried really hard to capture what I mean in this particular shot. If you look to the right hand side of the tree it looks considerably less populated than the left hand side. I’m beginning to think that whatever took away that side of the tree simply used the bench for extra elevation. Perhaps there is some kind of massive tree trimming instrument and the park warden got a little bit waylaid during a haircut.
The photograph was taken on a particularly sunny October morning with lots of low winter sunshine and a cloudless sky.

Thanks for dropping by.

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 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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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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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)

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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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