Between the day job keeping me busy and finding it hard to decide what to photograph recently I decided to return to where I had restarted my photography in 2010.
Glendalough is one of my favourite places in Ireland with happy memories from my childhood and then with my own family. It is a really popular spot with tourists and during the holiday season it can get extremely busy.
I went across last Monday morning as it was a bank holiday here in Ireland. It is such a peaceful spot early in the morning and I felt myself completely relax as I took in the whole scene. With the sky so cloudy I did work on taking the shot as a potential black and white shot. Would really like to hear what you think of it. I dont know how the branch got there but I think it really makes the scene.
While I am a Carlow man I have always felt very lucky to be living in Naas. Between the lakes and the canal we have very easy access to enjoy the best nature has to offer.
My laptop is running out of space so I have spent the evening moving last years photographs to a backup drive when I came across this shot. It is from May of last year and I am sure it was taken down at the lake beside the hospital. It is always fascinating to see how the Cygnets manage to make their way onto their parents back.
The weekend before last the Naas Photography Group decided to go up to the Phoenix Park in Dublin to photograph the deer. It was the end of the rutting season and it was fascinating to watch the male deer challenge each other.
The Phoenix Park is just on the edge of Dublin and at 1,750 acres it is one the largest walled parks in Europe. The fallow deer have been in the park since the 17th century.
We had a good time photographing the deer although it was hard to get good shots of them challenging each other.
I cant believe it has been so long since I added a blog.
A combination of getting reminded of quick time goes and having to pay the annual fees for hosting has galvanised me into action again.
Last Sunday was the first time in a few weeks I got to get out with the camera. We have bird feeders in the front garden and I love watching the birds come and go. They have got used to us walking to and from the house so I am able to get relatively close them. It is fascinating to watch them competing for the food and chase each other way. They are House Sparrows and very common in Ireland.
It is good to be busy and thankfully some of that busy has been with taking photographs. Getting back to the blog once again!
Most of my photography since Christmas has been around Naas. Recently it was our daughters mid term break from school so I took the same week off from the day job. A few mornings I got up early to see what wildlife I could come across.
I spent a few weeks photographing the swans taking off and landing on the lakes up at Lakelands in Naas. I was experimenting with settings to get the motion frozen and the picture sharp. Up to this shot I would have been reluctant to raise the ISO very high. Having looked at other wildlife shots I think with good light having a high ISO does not mean you will get a lot of grain in the shot. The high ISO for this shot meant I could have a high shutter speed and an fstop that meant what is in focus is sharp.
Settings: ISO 1000, f6.3, 313mm, 1/1250sec.
Along the canal near Tandy’s bridge there is a wildlife sanctuary just over the wall along the canal. It is not unusual to see a squirrel now and again. These two young squirrels were further down the canal running through the hedge. Again I had the ISO high to allow for a high shutter speed.
Just before the end of 2013 we went to Dublin Zoo with my brothers and their families. The Zoo is favourite spot of ours and all the children love it. As well as the Zoo animals if you keep your eyes open you can see a lot of other animals as well.
As always please feel free to comment, ask questions, share.
The Grey Heron
There are a lot of wild Grey Herons around the zoo. They have worked out between the seal lion/penguin feeding and the outdoor tables at the restaurants there is a lot of free food around. This guy was very calm and allowed people get very close. I got as close as I could to ensure the background would be blurry to make the Heron stand out more.
We visit the zoo regularly and most times we see Squirrels running around but I never get a clear photograph of them. The joke in the family is to shout Squirrel everytime we see one or miss one 🙂 Dont know if it was the cold weather or if this guy was hungry but I got two photographs of this guy. As far as I know this is the grey squirrel.
Californian Sea Lions
I know the blog is about other animals than the zoo animals but I always love spending time watching the Seal Lions. They are so graceful in the water.
These are very common in Ireland, most gardens would have one or two. This guy kept following us for at least 3-4 minutes. Not sure if he wanted his picture taken or was looking for food…
I did not plan on taking a break from the camera over Christmas but it worked out that way! Each year I think the lights and shop windows in Naas always look well for Christmas. This weekend I got out to take some photographs of the town. Here is a small sample of some these from this year. Please feel free to comment or ask questions. Hope 2014 is good for everyone.
Naas Presbyterian Church
While the idea is simple this is always my personal favourite each year. It can be seen from the top of town and I think it is a great reminder of what Christmas is about.
Naas Town Hall
The Town Hall has looked very well at different times this year. I think it looked really well with the Christmas tree this year. Interesting point there is normally two Christmas trees at the Town Hall and this year at the start there were two trees. I am guessing our recent storms were responsible for one tree disappearing..
Shop Front Window
There are a lot of lovely windows in Christmas this year. This is just one of the windows.
This decoration has been used for several years and I like it. One year it was actually hung upside down.
The weather this year has been incredible. We have had vibrant autumn colours right through to early December. I have mentioned before I really like this time of year for photography but this year has really been spectacular. The colours were so good at some stages I did not know what to photograph next!
This is a bench on Mill Lane which is on the outskirts of Naas. When walking by it was the colours of the leaves that caught my eye at the start but when I lined up the shot the light reflecting off the bench I thought was nice as well. I used one of my favourite lens the ‘nifty fifty’ (Canon 50 1.8).
Settings : ISO 200, 50mm, f1.8, 1/50sec
Sometimes you are so focused on one shot you nearly miss another one. I was walking back to the car when the shadows from the leaves on the ground looked interesting. I had to change the lens to get the shot and when I turned around this spectacular scene appeared.
Settings : ISO 100, 18mm, f8.0, 1/250sec.
Nearly An Autumn Walk
Everything in this photograph looks like it belongs to October but it was taken on the 17th November. This is Mill Lane which is on the outskirts of Naas. I have photographs of the same lane from early in the year when it was covered in snow. I think the trees make it a great photographic study at any time of the year. I used the tripod which allowed for the slower shutter speed. Oh this is one of my own favourites from 2013.
One of my favourite times of year for photography is Autumn. I actually got back into photography in October 3 years ago. The colours, mist, leaves, trees….there is so much choice. These pictures are from the start of the season and I can’t wait to get more.
About 20 minutes from where I live is Donadea National Forest Park. It is a lovely amenity and we go there regularly as a family for picnics, walks and just chill out time. We have even been known to bring our pet rabbit on a few occasions. This shot is actually my first attempt at a HDR shot. It is not three separate shots but one shot that I adjust to three different exposures in lightroom and then combined them for a first attempt at a HDR shot.
Going to work during the week and the mist around the Naas was absolutely beautiful. I could not pass it by so had to stop. Thankfully most days I have the camera with me so managed to get some photographs before the sun burnt the mist off. This was less than two kilometers from the edge of Naas town and less than 200 meters from the main road.
Autumn Evening. This was taken the same day as the previous photograph and I think demonstrates the range of colours that autumn brings. This was the sky over Naas as seen from the canal that runs along the back of Naas.