Happy St. Patrick’s Day

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Just a short post this morning with a couple of pix to celebrate what was always a fun day growing up in Ireland. St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday back home, and although it hasn’t quite reached those heights here in the US, there are enough ex-pats to make sure that it gets plenty of attention. Anyhoo… here’s a sampling of photographs from my home country, leading off with The Dark Hedges, and followed by a few other famous and not so famous sights…

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lough leane boat

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BWDunmore Head

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monea_castle2

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Kinbane Castle

See more of my Ireland photographs…

here: http://www.acadiaandbeyond.com/p641596536

and here: http://www.acadiaandbeyond.com/p830260940

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Lough Brin, Killarney National Park

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We have been home from Ireland for about three weeks now, and I am finally getting a chance to go through the photographs I made while there. When on the road traveling it is easy to skim over and ignore what might actually be decent photographs, so now that I have the time to take a serious look, I will probably be sharing some more of them here.

The photograph above was from the day Sam and I did a little exploring as we searched for the Gap of Dunloe in Killarney National Park. We traveled along a road that wasn’t even wide enough for one car, all the while keeping our fingers crossed that we wouldn’t meet anyone coming the other way. When I look at a map to see where our adventure actually took us, I notice that once off the “main” road we visited places like North Geara, Derrylicka, Cooracoosane, Inchinglanna, Bealdarrig, and Graignagreana… all great names with VERY few people around!

In this view of Lough Brin in the distance and Knocklomena to the left, the clouds were moving fast and I was drawn not only to the magnificent landscape, but also to the dappled light that was intermittently bathing the scene. To be honest, this was the Ireland that I had hoped to see on our trip, so the unscheduled detour and time spent exploring ended up being very worthwhile indeed.

The Gap of Dunloe

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Not really meant for driving a car on, the road to the Gap of Dunloe was a lot of fun to explore. The last post with Sam’s pics shows how remote and desolate the drive to this location was (at least using the route we followed), and hopefully these show how stunning the vista was. The weather was again magnificent, and I can’t think of a better place to eat a sandwich lunch and enjoy the view.

The Gap of Dunloe (from Irish: Dún Lóich, meaning “Lóich’s stronghold”, otherwise known asBearna an Choimín meaning “gap of the common-land“) is a narrow mountain pass betweenMacgillycuddy’s Reeks (west) and Purple Mountain (east) in County KerryIreland. It is about 11 km (7 miles) from north to south. Within it are five lakes: Coosaun Lough, Black Lake, Cushnavally Lake, Auger Lake, and Black Lough (north to south). These lakes are connected by the River Loe. (Wikipedia)

I can remember visiting the Gap of Dunloe some 20+ years ago with Lori and some friends, and on that occasion we traveled in style with Dolly… the farting horse. Locals provide horse-drawn traps for the ride up to the gap, and the day we went we had a wet and windy journey up the hill, pulled by our horse who tooted all the way.

My son the photographer!

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Sam goes about his business with the camera pretty quietly. When I ask if he got anything he liked, he always shrugs his shoulders and tells me maybe. I warned him that I would want to see some of what he had done, so when asked to hand over the goods, this was the first photograph he shared with me. He had already made the choice to convert it to black and white, and to be honest when I first saw it on his computer, my jaw literally dropped!

Since I recently upgraded my camera, I was able to let Sam have my old 20D for this trip. I borrowed a 28-135mm lens from a friend so that he could at least get sort of wide, and away he went. Getting the hang of the technical side of photography can be challenging, but as you can see, Sam already has a pretty good grasp of what to include (and exclude) within the frame. In many cases he and I wander off to do our own thing when in a particular place, and since he sees things differently from me, I am always eager to catch up and see the results of his time spent using the camera.

Here are a couple more of Sam’s photographs from the trek we made along what were narrow, narrow roads going up toward the Gap of Dunloe in County Kerry. I wouldn’t say that we got lost on our way there, but I would go so far as to describe our journey through this valley as an exploration in search of a destination. The scenery was spectacular, and methinks my son – the photographer – more than did it justice!