Photos of the Day: Timoleague Abbey

I am still looking back over photos I took 2 years ago, I have thousands to go until I am up to date! These ones are from our tour of the the west coast of Ireland (Counties Cork and Kerry) in September / October 2018.

Timoleague Abbey was one of the first abbeys we visited in Ireland, it was where we first discovered their practice of using ruined abbeys (both inside and out) as burial grounds even into the modern day.

Photo of the day: Can you handle it?

Why yes I can. I can (and will photograph it too!

This handle was on the entrance to the lighthouse on Valencia Island on the west coast of Ireland. I can’t resist a good handle!

Throwback to Ireland 2018

In this time of weirdness and lack of travel, I have taken the opportunity to start going through my photos from previous years. You know the ones that get taken then sidelined when real life gets in the way for a while… we all have them!

I had to start somewhere, so I started in 2018. The first batch I went through were the ones from my day trip to Bristol, I have already told you about those

Now I have started on the ones I took while I was out in our little red camper van in Ireland on the first leg of the Wild Atlantic Way. I did attempt some landscapes while I was there, the scenery was so spectacular I had to… but as we know they are not my strongest suit so there are a fair few alternative photos mixed in.

The ones I am going to show you here are from the first few days of the trip. There will, undoubtedly, be more to come.

These were all taken with my Nikon D90.

Lensballs, and beach huts and sunsets oh my…

Despite the ever variable British autumn weather, I have been continuing my investigation of the beach huts of the south coast. After all there is no point in waiting for ideal conditions in the UK, who knows when they will be…

My first stop this weekend was Shoreham. Somewhere I had been earlier in the summer with my Polaroid and iPhone but I wanted to see if I could get some better shots and give my lensball a trip out. TO be completely honest, I would have had better light if I had made the trip earlier in the day, however not to be deterred, I gave it a go and managed to get one or two interesting shots. Including one lensball shot I am particularly pleased with.

This one I love, I am so pleased with how it came out.

The Shoreham trip was a little late in the day, badly lit and rainy, but it was absolutely worth it for that one reflection shot!

The second expedition of the weekend was a trip to Rustington. It was another late evening trip, but this one involved a pretty spectacular sunset, and Rustington has an extremely colourful and extensive range of beach huts. Absolutely worth a trip!

All of the beach huts in all of the colours!!

And that was before I had got the lensball out…

All in all I am pretty pleased with these shots. I absolutely want to try some more lansball plus reflection shots. This is beginning to get interesting!

A day trip to Bristol

Way back in 2018, there was a photography exhibition in Bristol that I really wanted to see. It was an exhibition at the Martin Parr foundation of some of the Magnum Swaps photos by David Hurn. David Hurn is a British photographer born in Wales and who became an member of Magnum in the 1960s and is considered one of the UK’s most influential reportage photographers. Over his career as a photographer he set up a unique arrangement where he swaps one of his favorite prints with that of another photographer. It started as a cheeky request as a young photographer and has grown into an extensive collection of extremely interesting photos from some of the worlds best photographers. If you want to know more there is a brilliant article here: Magnum Swaps

It is one of those things that you just have to go to see. Even if you have to drive 4 hours each way in a day. The opportunity to see these photos and hear they story behind the swap is not going to coma along that often, and 4 hours driving is not *that* much…

So up I got and off I went, finding my way across the country to the Paintworks area of Bristol where the Martin Parr Foundation gallery is situated. The gallery is a little off the beaten track, well, it appeared to be from a non-locals perspective, but once I found it, the exhibition was well worth it! The photos were (as expected) extremely interesting and varied, and (unexpectedly) there was a copy of one of the most influential photos from when I was growing up.

That photo taken in Tienanmen square. The one entitled Tank Man. That on its own was worth the journey. I didn’t take very many pictures in the gallery its self, it is not really on taking detailed photographs of other people’s work, just one or two from a distance, to remind me I was there 🙂

I did, of course take my camera with me that day, and the area around the gallery provided me with a couple of interesting shots…

Sunsets and shelters

This past summer has been a strange one! The countrywide lockdown and continuing global pandemic, has meant that straying too far from home has been at best frowned upon and at worst, illegal.

The advantage to this is that I have taken the opportunity to photograph some places that are less than 1hr from home. You have seen some of the results of this already in my lensball efforts and my obsessive photographing of beach huts, but believe it or not, there is more on the south coast than beach huts…

For example, there is a fair bit of sea, and these amazing shelters and some fairly spectacular sunsets!

I love the art deco style of these! There are others which are more ornate, but these are by far my favourite!

Lastly, along with beach huts and shelters, the south coast this past year has been host to some fairly impressive sunsets, which may or may not feature beach huts…

The beauty of beach huts

Living, as I do, a stones throw away from the south coast (well, it would have to be a pretty spectacular throw, but still…) I am pretty well placed to investigate the quintessential British tradition that is the beach hut.

You have seen this one before…

Those ones up there are in Littlehampton, West Sussex, they are the beach huts I have photographed most, I keep going back, and I keep finding new ways to photograph them:

Those ones were taken on a dull rainy day, with my iPhone, but even in terrible conditions there is still something about them that makes me want to photograph them. I did, at least try to take one or two different looking photos…

It has to be said, however, that there are more beach huts on the south coast than these. There are hundreds (possibly thousands) of them scattered around in clumps (well, lines) all along the southern edge of the country. During the parts of this summer that we have been allowed out, I have made it my mission to visit them, and photograph them.

I know I am not the only person who does this. But I have fallen in love with these funny little huts and the vast variation that can be found in them. Not only that, they have a lot of pretty compelling details and repeating patterns, two things I am not really able to resist!

I have been out there with both my Nikon D7500 and my polaroid 600, which is almost but not quite from one extreme to another. I took my phone along too…of course 🙂

Needless to say, those photos up there have been taken with my polaroid 🙂

These slightly more modern looking beach huts were found on Worthing sea front. I love them, they are so geometric and interesting. I have tried to photograph them on more than one occasion, this time, I finally got a few photos I am happy with. (taken with my Nikon)

These slightly more traditional and less uniform beach huts are just along from Worthing in Goring, they presented me with some absolutely brilliant rusty details and in one case, a boat… (taken with my Nikon)

This project is likely to go on for a little while, I might give it a proper name and do something interesting with the photos in due course, but for now I am going to just carry on photographing what catches my eye. Then, quite probably going back and photographing it again with a different camera…

Lensball antics…

Many moons ago, at christmas I was given a Lensball. For the uninitiated, this is the description of a lensball, taken from their website:

A lensball is a hardened, ultra clear polished K9 crystal ball which acts like a wide angle lens giving you a 180 degree view and creates a refraction effect, whereby the image in the ball is flipped over – in the right setting it creates some stunning visuals.

https://lensball.co.uk/pages/faqs
lensball…

For one reason or another (lockdown…) I didn’t get a chance to take this new toy out to play until August.

I have to say I am loving it. It is fun and you can get some interesting effects… I am really only just getting the hang of using it, but I can see the possibilities for some interesting shots.

These are the first shots I ever took with it, using my Nikon D7500. I took a couple with my phone, but the quality with the Nikon is so much better that I am sticking to that!

I have read multiple reviews of lensballs, mainly when I was searching around for ideas, and there are definitely mixed feelings out there about the validity of it as a photography tool. There are people who think it is a gimmick, there are people who think that it is not worth their time because everyone is doing it, there are people who think it is not for serious photographers…

I have decided I don’t care what those people think, there is absolutely room for some lensball photos in my photographic shenanigans! Just because lots of people are doing it doesn’t make it a bad thing. Everyone looks at things differently, even through a lensball! And as for those who think it has no place in serious photography, who wants to be serious all of the time! There is a lot to be said for having fun, and you might just end up producing some pictures that people like to look at. Which is the point after all…

These pictures come from the only three times I have taken the ball out for a play. I have already learned a lot about using it and am looking forward to trying even more new things!