Autumn is now in full flow and it really is my favourite time of the year for photography. The Autumn light in Ireland is beautiful. The slow change of the seasons starts to bring a warm and golden light to the country as the sun is lower and lower in the sky. Throughout the season this effect becomes more and more profound. Combined with the colours this can make for some great Photography.
I was in Galway yesterday, which was the longest day of the year, and I wanted to capture the sunset over Galway bay looking out to the Atlantic. As it was the longest day, it was kind of a special sunset, marking the end of the lengthening evenings and the start of the long march back to winter. Unfortunately it was cloudy, but there was still some nice light, and the beach at Salthill in Galway is dramatic in and of itself.
Every year, at this time, the city of Dublin get’s a little greener. I’m not talking about some environmental initiative though. It’s not a sudden growth of trees or grass either. No, instead I’m talking about the annual build up to St. Patricks Day. Where every shop, pub and restaurant does it’s patriotic duty and adorns their premises in the requisite amount of green trappings, from Shamrocks to Leprechauns. If you didn’t know what was going on you’d think there was some kind of plastic outbreak.
I recently published a new photo essay over on my Streets of Dublin website, and I thought that I would share the story behind it here, as well as some behind the scenes information. The Idea came about by accident really. I was in the area taking pictures for something else, and I realised that this amazing looking building was nearing completion, and my wife and co-editor on the Streets of Dublin thought it would make an interesting story.
I was walking through a nearby forested park the other day, and I caught an interesting sequence of images. There is a large lake in the middle of the park and there’s always lots of ducks and seagulls there. At this time of the year it’s especially beautiful, as the autumn colours on the leaves give the waters of the lake a patchwork of green and gold.
I’ve always been quite fond of textures and patterns. I find that, even in the seemingly harsh and cold medium of concrete and glass there can be beauty. I spent a few hours the other day in one of the newest parts of Dublin City, where there are lots of modern buildings as well as ongoing construction, and the light was just right to really emphasis the aesthetics of these elements.
I recently had the opportunity to borrow a friend’s Sony A7II and I was keen to try some Canon lenses on it via a Metabones adaptor. I had borrowed the camera off him before, but that was using an older firmware. Since then Sony has added the same autofocus update for adapted lenses via a firmware upgrade (v.2 I think) from the A7RII and A7SII, and I wanted to see how good it was. I had read lots of reports about the performance on the A7RII, but not many on the upgraded A7II, and I was really pleasantly surprised by the results.
Trees bathed in a patch of light as they grow on the side of the mountain. Glendalough National Park, Co. Wicklow, Ireland
One of my absolutely favourite places in Dublin City is on the banks of the Grand Canal between Portabello and Mount Street. It is a beautiful stretch of walkway, with leafy green trees and gorgeous benches. I spent a bit of time there recently in the gorgeous summer sunshine and I captured lots of photos of the place.
A summers day by the Grand Canal in Dublin City
Today is St. Patricks Day, our national holiday here in Ireland. If there’s one day that’s synonymous with Ireland around the world it’s St. Patricks Day. So in celebration of St. Patricks Day and the greens of Ireland, I’ve put together a selection of “Green” images over on my Streets ofDublin website for your enjoyment, as well as a little essay on what green means to me!
It's been a while since I've taken any night shots. It's not something I do that often, not for any particular reason (other than fear of getting mugged!) Anyway, over the weekend I had the chance to take some pictures of the Grand Canal area of Dublin City after dark. I had my Sony A6000 with me, along with a sigma 30mm and 19mm lens, and my somewhat ancient Manfrotto tripod.
There's a beautiful walled garden in the park near where I live. The park itself, Dublin's Marley Park, is a former stately home and grounds, and it's kept its walled garden which is now open to the public. As well as an array of flowers and plants, it's also home to a garden school and has lots of herbs and vegetables on show too. As with all gardens it's a constantly changing and beautiful living entity in and of itself, and I love going there to photograph.
I got up early last week and headed into the city to get some morning shots. I spent most of my time walking up along the river Liffey through the docklands. It was a beautiful morning and the sun was shining down. It was nice to get some shots of the buildings and bridges by the river, many of which have become Dublin icons.
As you walk along the quays in Dublin City, there's a haunting but strangely beautiful memorial to the Irish Famine. The set of statues which makes up the memorial represent the starving and dying people of Ireland that were forced to emigrate during the horrific famine of the 19th century. They were erected in 1997 and are sculpted by artist Rowan Gillespie. On a bright morning last week I was walking by and I noticed that someone had put flowers in the hands of the statues, which were beginning to wilt, which I thought was kind of metaphorical, so I got some shots of the scene while I was there.
To celebrate St. Patricks Day, I thought I’d share something a little different to the inevitable pictures of nothing but shamrocks and leprechauns. So, instead, here are 50 images of Dublin from my Streets of Dublin Project, all with a green theme. These have all been taken over the last few years at various times of the year, and feature the colour green as the main subject. And, yes, there are a few shamrocks and leprechauns in here too! (Well, it is St. Patricks Day)
I went for a photowalk around the docklands area of Dublin a couple of weeks ago. It was a bright, but cold winter morning and the Docklands is always full of interesting subjects. I walked around for about an hour before the cold got the better of me (it was minus 1 at the time).
It seems like it has been an exceptionally long winter this year. Even though we haven’t had any really harsh weather, the long dark evenings and pervasive damp and cold conditions have seemed to be going on for so long. There are finally signs of spring coming through though.
I've been shooting some more street photography recently, partly as part of my review of the A6000, which was a good excuse to get out there, despite the really cold weather we've been having lately. I've written my first impressions of the little Sony camera already, and I'll be doing a full, comprehensive review once I've been using it for a few weeks.
After a very mild winter so far here in Dublin, we had the first severe frost of the year yesterday. I awoke to a beautiful covering of white across the ground. The fields surrounding where I live were glistening with their white crystal coverings, and the rooftops were as white as if it had snowed. I had been planning to head out to do some photography anyway, so the winter scene was a bonus.
I just wanted to wish all my readers a very Happy Christmas from her in Dublin. (And happy holidays for those who don't celebrate Christmas). Thank you all for your support and for all the kind comments and encouragement that I've received over the past year. To keep in the festive spirit, here's a few photos of the decorations around Dublin
If you live in or work near our capital here in Ireland, you've probably seen this already, but there's a pretty great Christmas Market in Dublin City at the moment. The market runs along the north side of Stephen's Green, and, I have to say, is very impressive. The stands run practically the full length of the green and consist of everything from food, and sweets to hand made gifts and other trinkets.