Thursday, January 31, 2008

5 Star

The past couple of weeks seem to have flashed past with hardly a spare moment. I did spend a day photographing the Leitrim Marina Hotel, which has just reopened under new management. It's in a great location on the banks of the Shannon, with its own moorings. The new owners and staff are very welcoming and professional and hopefully the hotel will prosper. It was good to hear that live music and jazz sessions will be regular events there. Here are a few pictures.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Party Pics

It was Julie's 40th birthday last weekend and we had a bit of a bash to celebrate. While it wasn't exactly a surprise party, she didn't know too many of the details beforehand. There was a great turnout of friends and family, and it was especially good to see people we hadn't caught up with for a while. With all the preparations I forgot to charge the camera battery, so here are just a few from the night. Thanks to all in Brunos, John & Chris in Henrys and Joey and John in the Leitrim Marina Hotel for looking after everyone and helping to make it a great night.

James Wycombe put together a fine bunch of musicians to get the feet tapping.

On their showing on Saturday, these two should be in the Riverdance troupe -

It was the first night my Da has been out for a few months, but it'll be hard to keep him in now after his triumphant return.

Have you seen this man? Reward offered.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Empty Rooms

One of the things that struck me when we moved back to this part of Ireland was that despite being in the middle of a property boom, there are lots of empty derelict houses scattered around the countryside. Most of them were well-built, in their own ground, but are left to go to rack and ruin. Meanwhile, legoland housing estates are being thrown up on the edges of our towns and villages, in some cases completely altering their characters. In many cases I guess, the key was turned in the door for the last time back in the 1950s or 60s as people left for New York, Boston or Sydney, never to return. Here are a few, all from within a few miles radius of where we live.
Now that the property market has seized up, it might time to photograph some of the vacant suburbs that have sprung up in the last few years.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Ice T

The recent cold snap has meant that roads have been dangerous and icy for the past couple of days, as the driver of this mushroom lorry discovered in Battlebridge today. He said it started to slide on the bridge and though he managed to keep it on the road, when he got to the t-junction 150 yards further on he just couldn't make the turn. Luckily, nobody was hurt and no serious damage done.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Misty Morning, Carrick Bridge

Just before popping in for a coffee in the Landmark Hotel, I had to take a couple of shots of the beautiful morning down by the jetty.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A River Runs Through It

Was out on a commercial job this morning; unfortunately I can't post any images from the shoot here, but it was a waterways promotion. I took a couple of minutes in Jamestown on the way back to have a look at the river - water levels were very high and the weir gates were fully closed - not surprising after all the rain and snow we've had here lately. I took a few shots but there wasn't much happening; the trees were bare, there was no great flow of water. So here's one I prepared earlier, from last summer - it's edited with a darkening/blurring action for a bit of a gothic feel. These romantic swans are from today though.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Clifden Clichés

We spent a few great days over the New Year at the Abbeyglen Castle Hotel where the welcome from Brian and his staff is always wonderful.

Three shots - the first two from the viewing area up on Sky Road. They're both a bit John Hinde, and the scene is worthy of much more. I ran a Velvia Action on the 2nd. I do quite like the third, the twin spires mimicking one of the cloud-wrapped Twelve Ben mountains beyond the town. Taken at 200mm to compress the perspective.

So one New Year's resolution is to return to Connemara later in 2008 to do better. Tomorrow it's back to real work, with Christmas weddings to edit.

We don't see much snow here, but had a nice fall of it tonight. The flurry blew a visitor onto the patio at the back of the house - a jack snipe who sat in the snow for half an hour before taking his leave. They're winter visitors to Ireland, spending most of the year in Scandinavia and Russia.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

2007 Favourites - People & Creatures

Just back from a few days in the wonderful Abbeyglen Castle Hotel for New Year. Thanks to the excellent company and fine hospitality of Brian Hughes and all his staff we spent our time partying and I had no time to think about pictures. Will have a look and see if there's anything worth sharing when I've recovered. In the meantime, here are a final few from last year.
Two young subjects in Killaraght -

This shot was taken in near total darkness at Lough Gara in August - handheld for a 30 second exposure using off-camera flash to freeze movement - I like the unorthodox look of it.

Despite Ireland's terrible performance in the Rugby World Cup, our weekend in Paris for the Argentina game was a highlight of 2007. Here are a couple of snaps of our group. The best picture of the year came from this trip -I'll post and discuss it separately soon.