The Dog Pond in The Phoenix Park

Phoenix Park - Dog Pond

Ok, todays post is my first attempt in ages to replicate the fine art form that is medium format photography. I have always loved the perfectly square shape of medium format, sometimes though it just doesn’t suit landscape photography. Having said that, it does lend itself to photographing tall trees, if you get the right ones then there is nothing more pleasing than a good square photograph.

The two trees on the left of the photo look like they are leaning over but in fact they are just blowing slightly in the wind, it was taken on a particularly blustery day in April [yes this is Ireland, we get blustery days in April].

The trees actually form a natural surround for a small pond that is known locally as The Dog Pond, still wonder why, is it owned by a pack of wild gangster dogs. You can almost imagine them going out at night to do battle with all the wild deer. Somebody could make a great film out of this, imagine a Warriors style film where the dogs have to make their way home through the park without getting attacked by the other wild creatures. I would love to see the battle between the dogs and those extremely cheeky squirrels, you might think the dogs would have to win because they are bigger but think again. The squirrels could take to the trees and bombast the dogs with all manner of flying objects, you see, it wouldn’t be that easy for the dogs now. What if the squirrels got all the local birds on board too, those poor dogs wouldn’t stand a chance.

Where am I going with this…………………… I don’t actually know.

Goodbye and have a good weekend !

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

It’s Cold

Sunrise at the Phoenix Park

There is something very cold and sparse looking about this photograph, to my eyes anyway.

To be honest the photo was taken quite early on a spring morning, the grass was crunchy underfoot from a light frost and the sun was only beginning to show its face. I think this added to the lovely white effect in the grass you can see in the foreground. There was just the slightest hint of frost on the grass and the sun was catching it perfectly whilst not being strong enough to catch the tree properly.

To my eyes the tree looked like it was actually leaning back and stretching in preparation of the day to come. It looks like it is extending every branch in one of those early morning stretches that we humans love so much. I kept thinking if I went a little closer I could probably hear the tree giving out a good hearty early morning groan.

The grass looks like it hasn’t quite made its mind up about whether to wake up or maybe have another couple of minutes before deciding to stand upright and face the day. There is a lovely languid kind of feel about the grass itself, it seems almost weighted down by the frost. Who would have thought that something as simple and natural as frost could have such an effect on our landscape.

This is one of those photos that you will either love or think “It’s just a tree and some grass”, I’m ok with that but personally I love the minimalism of the shot, especially the pure white sky in the background.

Hope I haven’t made you feel cold with this one.

You can now purchase prints or postcards of this photo here

The Crocodile Tree

Furry Glen, Phoenix ParkI have to admit I spent ages trying to get the right photo of this here tree.

I have visited it on several occassions over the years and finally I got what I wanted.

You see, what I always wanted to capture on film was the likeness to a snarly old crocodile leaping out of the marshland.

I think I have finally managed to satisfy my desire.

I have always looked at this tree and for some reason it reminds me of the jaws of some crazed prehistoric animal, I’ve never been able to get the right angle on the camera compared to what the naked eye can see. I finally gave in and spent ages setting up the tripod on a small hill opposite, it was a rather precarious situation featuring lots of heavy bricks and painful body positions. The torture people go to for their art, eh !

To me, the tree looks like it is actually rising up from the ground, almost like a scene from some old cult horror movie, you know the scenario – “They thought the tree was dead but it rose up from the ground and devoured unsuspecting people in the park”. It also looks like the tree trunk has physically eaten away most of the metal fence surrounding it in a real show of defiance.

I always fear the day that I go back to this part of the Furry Glen and finally discover that the park rangers have remembered to take the trunk away, it’s been there in this exact spot for many years now and it’s pretty obvious it didn’t just fall down on its own. I wonder did somebody place it there specifically for nerdy photographers like me to spot and think they have stumbled upon something totally unique. There are probably a gang of mischievous park rangers hidden from view watching this spot all day just waiting to have a laugh at my expense. Well lads, if you’re reading this you can take it away now, I don’t want anybody else coming along and copying my antics.

Tall Trees In The Furry Glen

Furry Glen

Another photo taken in the rather picturesque area known as the Furry Glen.

This was taken just at the main wooden steps on the way down into the Glen itself.

I found this pair of trees and they kind of reminded me of a pair of cacti, maybe they have some grand aspirations to slowly morph into another type of plant or maybe I am witnessing the dawning of a new subspecies of tree.

The pathway between the trees leads down to a small lake which is over to the right of the picture, I will hopefully get some good photos of the lake very soon.

Down In The Furry Glen

Furry Glen in Phoenix Park

This was taken only yesterday in an area of the park known as The Furry Glen. It’s a beautifully quite part of the park set in a hollow and surrounded by some awesome tall trees.

Down in the hollow sits a calming area of water, too small to be a lake and not quite small enough to be just a pond, if you try to amalgamate the words you end up with either a “land” or a “poke”, you can choose which one suits best.

It’s a real suntrap down here, even on a cold winters day you can barely ever feel even the slightest breeze.

It’s funny but every time I visit this area I always meet some highly knowledgeable local with plenty of interesting tales about this part of the park, rumour has it that there are lots of magical happenings going on down here. Just yesterday I met one man who informed me of the rather rare phenomena of seeing water travel up a hill. Apparently every time it rains there is a certain stretch of path upon which rainwater travels uphill to a shore. I also met another lad who guaranteed me that if I photographed a certain cluster of trees that the resulting photo would reveal three faces in the photo, not visible with the naked eye. I should have been immediately sceptical but I tried and tried with no success, he then told me the light wasn’t quite right for them to appear, I wonder who the gullible one is in this scenario.
There are some lovely rustic wooden steps in and out of the glen and obviously with such a love of trees I just couldn’t resist spending a bit of time trying to capture them.

Taken on a beautiful March afternoon with some lovely golden spring sunshine.