Wild West

A few weeks ago, I joined a group of photographers on a trip to Clare Island (for thos of you who don’t know where that is, I included a map below).

Clare Island

Clare Island

The place is a mixture of wild and civilised: very few people live there, and all basic human necessities can be satisfied (by that, I mean there is a pub on the island).

The trip was supposed to be mostly for landscape photography and to capture the essence of the island, and the island did deliver 🙂

It was nice to see how all the Italians in the groups simply had to take the most difficult path and climb the hill on the island: “It’s there: we have to!”… Crazy people… 8)

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In the bog

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In the bog 2

We were even blessed with clear skies and a beautiful sunrise on the beach:

The island is wonderful, everyone should at least visit it for a day. It can be a very zen-like experience:

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Homeless demonstration

The housing crisis in Dublin is getting worse and worse… It even managed to unite a good chunk of the population, which rallied to protest against the insane situation that we’re living.

Th enumber of homeless people in the city is reaching astonishing levels…

Let’s pray the government finds a solution soon. For all people in the country…

Bray air display 2017

Mad day!

DART on the brink of collapse, thousands and thousands of people and air acrobatics! Last Sunday, Bray  was this and much more…

And not only the skies were interesting: th epeople there were an interesting subject too 🙂

It was a pity we missed the start, but getting there had not been easy…

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Give me something to remember

Saltee islands pt. II

Saltee islands again, after last year (see here).

And again, we were lucky with the weather: after a gloomy morning  we had a good day for picture taking.

Wind and water

Wind and water (from the cabin 🙂 )

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The landing

We were blessed with a sunny(ish) day, so we managed to dry up quiclky after the boat ride. I was a bit windy and I ended up soaked. At least for the first 10 minutes 🙂 .

After that we moved to the the first nesting placve we were going to visit:

Unfortunately we didn’t see as many puffins as last year 😦

After some time in the howling wind we moved to the gannets’ nesting place.

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The easy path to the nests

After the last rocky bit (which was a bit of a challenge for somebody) we got the the nests. You can smell it long before you see it…

And that was it for the day: unfortunately we couldn’t stay for very long and soon had to go back to the boats (which turned out to be an adventure itself).

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Time to leave

We’ll be back next year 🙂 !!

Due west

You know that feeling when you set on a trip with no particular expectations? Sure, you know you’ll have a great time, but you don’t know why or what is awaiting you…

I’ve just come back from a quick trip to the west of the country, sure that I’d find myself in heavy rain most of the time, that I’d be freezing in ice-cold wind every day, but that I’d eventually be very satisfied with the places I’d visit. I was somewhat disappointed when the weather turned for the better and we even had a few sunny days (NOT true, I was not disappointed at all 🙂 ).

We began with Connemara…

 Followed by a trip little ways up north, through Westport and all the way to Achill Island…

Beautiful places (and scary roads, especially the one leading to Keem Bay D: ).

But then it was time to head back down south, to visit the Cliffs of Moher and Aran Islands (well, one of them).

A brief stop in Galway to get soaked in rain and see a few oldie cars.

And five days had already gone by: already time to go back home. On the way we got to meet some fairies though…

St. Patrick’s day in Dublin

What happens when you mix Dublin, St. Patrick’s day and a bunch of people from all over the world? That’s right: an Multicultural Consortium of Drinkers (MCD©).

It was also the first time I left my film cameras at home since last year 🙂

And, as usual, we missed the parade because we were late… We only managed to get a glimpse of it on TV 😦 … in a pub 🙂 …

And for yet another year, there were no casualties in our MCD… 😀

Women’s march and US embassy

A couple of interesting events took place over the last few weeks: the Women’s march in Dublin – coinciding with similar marches all over the globe – and a evening protest outside the US embassy against the so called “Muslim Ban”.

Apparently some of the latest choices in American policy are not well regarded in Ireland…

Women’s march

 

US embassy

I shot a few rolls at both events, but a couple of pictures really struck me when I saw them:

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I’m with her

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Peace, love and solidarity

 

Back to film

Sometimes it’s good to go back. Let go of all the modern technology and return to the basics. I started shooting pictures using film (well, it was 1995…) and I have kept using film well into the first decade of 2000. I only switched to digital 7-8 years ago, but every now and then I like to back to film. That’s what I have mostrly been doing for the past few weeks and I forgot how fun it can be 🙂

Slowing down, thinking more about the composition, metering to get a good exposure, waiting for the right moment and *click*.

No spray and pray, no do-overs… Ok, some film can be quite forgiving, but you can’t get it too far off the target or you lose everything.

I have also got my hands on an old MF Zenza Bronica and I really like shooting with it 🙂

Besides, I love the square format 😀

 

Oh boy… Do I miss the mountains

I’m back!! BACK!! After a whole year, I’m finally back on a mountain!

Yeah, I know there are “mountains” in Ireland, but it’s definitely not the same. I mean, today I managed to hike to the Pratignano lake (Lago di Pratignano) in the province of Modena. It’s at 1,307m above sea level: not particularly high up… But it’s still more than 200m higher than Ireland’s highest mountain!!

And the weather… well, it’s absolutely impossible to compare  🙂

It didn’t feel like December at all!

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On the ridge

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Along the lake

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Blue and ice

Great day and hike. Tip of the hat to our wonderful guides!

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Monte Cimone (Mount Cimone, 2165m)

Oh, and a very happy new year 🙂

A sleepless night

What can you do when you wake up at 3 am and you’re hopelessly wide awake?

Realizing that getting any sleep was hopeless, I headed out into the night to get some night pics of Dublin. It was, obviously, raining :/

All in all, I can think of worse ways of starting a day. I got to the office at 6.30, but at least I got this:

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Love Dublin