From the homeland…

Standard

4-15-14Dunmore Head

Niamh and Dan are another of my two angels. Both have been an incredible resource to Lori and I as we navigate our somewhat choppy current waters. Hailing directly from back home in Ireland, their accents haven’t waned one bit, and it does my heart good to hear them speak in their classic soft-singing Irish tone. Both doctors in the local community, they’ve shared compassion (and expertise) with our family, though as you might expect in a situation like this, that extra level of knowledge Lori and I have been able to attain has felt especially valuable.

Niamh and Dan have been there for us – in what felt like a life-saving operation, right before I had a PET Scan done it was Dan who somewhat spontaneously and thankfully drained a ton of excess fluid from my lung when I had pneumonia – and as is the case these days, we have a hard time truly expressing our thanks for their support. They’ve been there for us anytime and at all times, frequently asking how they can help, and also providing relevant insights and experience about the entire process/situation – much of which we’re just learning to gather for ourselves.

4-16-14 obrien

We wanted to give Niamh and Dan something of ours… that might mean something to them too… so we had a print of this scene from Dunmore Head on the Ring of Kerry printed biggish at 20×30 right onto metal. From Dunmore Head near Coumeenoole, you can see Great Blasket Island straightaway, Inishnabro and Inishvickillane to the left, and to the right is Beiginis and then Inishtooskert – just off the Dingle peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland. There’s an almost 3-D look to the metal printing, and the scene literally pops right off the surface. Turns out Dan has actually spent time sailing in and around these very islands! To my angels from Ireland, Niamh and Dan – here’s a little glimpse from home – thank you.

Spending a little time…

Standard

4-10-14 websitecover Lately I’ve been spending some time exploring my portfolio of landscape photographs. Though feeling physically and mentally much better between rounds of Chemo, I still haven’t quite mustered up the energy to spend much time outside, never mind having the oomph to be out early or late capturing any new good light on the landscape with the camera. That leaves me fondly reminiscing about some of the work I’ve already done, and as I do so, I get to spend a little time perusing my web site – and you know what that means… yes, tweaking.

As you can see from the screenshot above – http://www.acadiaandbeyond.com – I’ve abandoned (for now) my attachment to a single strong black and white coastal image in favor of a more eclectic, colorful, and assorted view of what is distinctly Acadia National Park – after all, there is so much to see in Acadia, why not show her off in all her glory?

We’ve had a lot of incredibly generous local support in response to our little medical emergency, and as a way to say thank you, Lori and I have been selecting prints that we think people might appreciate, and we’ve been ordering and delivering them as thank you gifts.

I’ve learned that it’s one thing to conceptualize, experience, and actually create any one of my photographs, but I have to admit, following the process through to where it physically gets printed and held in hand – whether it is printed on canvas, paper, or better yet, on metal – it is quite exhilarating to hold a piece, especially since many of these pieces to date have merely been images on the screen.

I’ve a couple of big pieces being printed on metal on the way as “thank you’s” to our friends, and I’ll be sure to grab a pic of what they look like “in-person” as it were when they arrive. In the meantime, if anyone is interested in purchasing from what I believe is a new and improved web site, please use the discount code “chemo” when in the shopping cart area – despite it’s not-so-nice meaning, it will get you 25% off any purchase 😉

A Window to the World

Standard

12-8-13 Acadia11 BW(720px)

I’m celebrating the fact that I actually got off my you-know-what and made a new landscape photograph – one that I’m actually prepared to share! I hadn’t visited Acadia in several months, but all that changed this past weekend when local photographer Chad Tracy and I cruised down to MDI for a quick photo expedition. Despite the below freezing temperatures and the biting wind, standing on the rocky shoreline of my favorite national park never felt so good!

I’ll share a few more photographs from what was a beautiful sunrise over the next few days, so stay tuned. After exploring a part of the granite “ledges” along the Loop Road near Thunder Hole, our original plan was to meander back toward Sand Beach to maybe do some long exposures with the surf. We got sidetracked though when I realized how close we were to this unique location, and since the sun was already up, I was excited to visit at a time when I wouldn’t get the willies from it being too dark.

The ecosystem within this sea cave is extraordinarily delicate, so Chad and I were extremely cautious about making sure to walk only on the solid rock. Although not a huge secret, and relatively easy to find, to further protect this little gem I made Chad swear not to divulge the location to anyone else. The approach to the cave – and the floor inside – was quite slippery and tricky to navigate, and to add to the mystique, this location is only accessible at low tide. It was quite an experience to spend some time in here, and as we looked through the window out onto Frenchman Bay, we appreciated the shelter from the chilly winter air. I like this photograph, and I’m going to add it to my portfolio.

If you haven’t seen my full portfolio yet – if interested – you can click on over and check out a selection of my favorite images on Acadia and Beyond (in addition to Acadia, I’ve shared images of Maine, Ireland, Death Valley, Yosemite). If you do visit the site, drop me a line… I’d love to hear your thoughts. If interested in purchasing from the site between now and the New Year, to save some cash be sure to type in the discount code “Acadia” when checking out. A bargain… Happy holidays!

And yes… I’m trying out a new blog theme. Feedback appreciated on that too 🙂

A change of pace…

Standard

dunmore head re-do

I had been searching for the original RAW file of this scene for a while. This is a blend of two exposures… one for the land in the foreground, and one for the much brighter and sun-reflected light on the ocean. I wasn’t thrilled with my first go at blending the two exposures, but for the life of me I couldn’t seem to find the original files to give it another try… until recently. Maybe this is one that would look good printed on metal?

This is from the last trip I made home to Ireland (with Sam), and shows The Great Blasket Islands from Dunmore Head in County Kerry. Here’s the original post… taking the Slea Head Road west out of Dingle, we spotted a little harbor tucked into the rocks with a pretty beach. From a distance it was beautiful, and up close… even nicer. Looking over our shoulder though, we saw what looked like a path winding its way up the hillside toward the ocean. Eager for an adventure and the possibility of a nice view, we started hiking.

I thought I was going to have a heart attack… too many Irish breakfasts and too much Guinness lately had me struggling to keep up with Sam. When I finally did get to a flat spot, I dropped my backpack and told him to go on ahead… I needed a rest.

So… in the photograph above you can enjoy the view I had from the spot I decided to rest. The headland we were on was called Dunmore Head, and you can see Great Blasket Island straightaway, Inishnabro and Inishvickillane off to the left, and to the right is Beiginis and then Inishtooskert. This was classic windblown and rugged Irish coastline, and as has been the case most everywhere we went on that trip… it was totally deserted and ours alone.

Here are a couple more photographs to help give a sense of where we were. The first shows our first look at the scene (the arrow shows where we were when I made the photograph at the top of this post), the second is a more intimate view of the harbor and beach, and the third is the view from the other side of the headland in the late afternoon sun. After out hike we headed back into the town of Dingle for dinner, and you can just imagine how good Guinness Stew for Sam and Shepherd’s Pie for me tasted in a local pub… all washed down with a nice pint of course. Beautiful.

On Location: Game of Thrones

Standard

5-20-13 got darkhedges

Unless you’ve been living under a rock – or you don’t subscribe to HBO – then you will be well aware of the epic “Game of Thrones” TV drama series. The show is an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R. R. Martin, and “Game of Thrones” is the first book in the fantasy series. Not for the faint of heart, the show combines the drama of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the debauchery of The Tudors, with blood and guts, sex and betrayal, crime and punishment all front and center. Anyhoo… the visually impressive series is filmed in all sorts of exotic locations including Malta, Croatia, Iceland, Morocco, and… my home country of Northern Ireland.

5-20-13 got darkhedges2

I believe it was at the end of the second series that the scene above was introduced as the “Road to Harrenhal”. Locals in Northern Ireland know this special place as “The Dark Hedges”, a unique stretch of the Bregagh Road near Armoy, County Antrim. I was fortunate to be able to photograph this intriguing place on a recent visit home, though I believe that a new shiny green fence has been installed along the roadside since I was last there, somewhat negatively impacting the aesthetics. It is a moody place nonetheless, one that is rumored to be haunted by the Grey Lady, a ghostly figure who walks the lane beneath the beech trees.

5-20-13 got ballintoy

Many other scenes from Game of Thrones have been filmed in my home country. The picturesque location above might be recognizable as part of the Iron Islands, but I know it better as the working harbor of Ballintoy. I’ve always known that Northern Ireland was filled with some of the most stunning landscapes imaginable, and it comes as no surprise that the visionaries who brought this series to life chose to film there. The Glens of Antrim, the Mourne Mountains, the Antrim Coast, and Ballintoy Harbor… these are just some of the locations that have been highlighted as the stunning backdrop to what is one of my all-time favorite shows.

5-20-13 got murloughbay

5-20-13 got mournemts2

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Standard

dark_hedges(l)

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…

guinness

ireland_gapofdunloe_road

ireland_torr_head_area

devenish3

devenish10

poulnabrone_dolmen2

lough leane boat

Coumeenoole1

BWDunmore Head

lisleibane4

monea_castle2

beaghmorecircles1

gap of dunloe4

Kinbane Castle

See more of my Ireland photographs…

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

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

On display…

Standard

I have been looking for a way to display/house my photographs for a while now, and although I like the ability to create a WordPress gallery right here on the blog, it wasn’t quite fitting my needs. So… I decided to create another web site to display my photographs. Choosing a domain name, organizing content, and choosing which photographs to include… I quickly learned that there’s lots to think about within this process.

I’ve always made photographs for my own pleasure, though I really do get a kick out of sharing them online with others. I enjoy the comments and conversation they generate, and just lately I’ve begun to have prints made. There’s something special about having an actual print in your hands… sort of like that tangible feeling you get when thumbing through a tattered old paperback versus reading digital text on an e-reader. I wanted to be able to have prints made right from within the web site interface, and I also wanted to be able to make them available for purchase. Would anyone even want to buy prints of my photographs? Who knows? This is a question I have wrestled with enormously, but after much angst and self-doubt, I finally decided to dip my toes in the water.

I love to spend time and photograph the landscape of Acadia, but I have also had the good fortune to travel a little bit and create some great memories from places beyond my favorite national park. I thought about including my own name in the domain… davidpattersonphotos or something like that, but I just didn’t like the sound of it. Anyhoo, I settled on http://www.acadiaandbeyond.com – I feel like it kinda captures where I’m at with my photography.

So… Acadia and Beyond it is… some of my favorite photographs. I’d love to know what you think about the design, organization of content, and choice of photographs on display… thanks.