The moment was better than the photograph

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This is one of those instances when the moment of actually being there was better than I was able to represent with the camera. Sam and I had arrived at Ross Castle in Killarney with plenty of time to spare before the sun was scheduled to rise, and as we walked from the parking lot toward the castle, I couldn’t help but notice this scene.

The morning air was cool and damp, and I never get tired of that feeling of expectation and excitement you get when exploring somewhere new in the pre-dawn light. An almost eerie mist on the water off in the distance helped create a mood of tranquility and peacefulness like you wouldn’t believe, and there wasn’t a soul around as we stood on a little bridge admiring this scene and listening to the sounds of the wakening morning. The reflections on the still as glass water were remarkable, and as the sun slowly climbed in the sky, I was once again reminded of why it is important to get up at this time of day.

In the photograph below I broke out the longer lens (70-200mm f4) and  tried to bring everything good about this scene a little closer. The two-dimensional world of photography can be somewhat limiting when it comes to truly representing an experience, but at least I have these two images to serve as a reminder of a wonderful morning shared with Sam… in a place and at a time only he and I experienced… pretty neat.

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Torc Waterfall, Killarney

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I was planning to take a run down to Acadia National Park this weekend to see how spring was coming along, but the kidney stone I am dealing with kind of put the kabosh on that idea. I don’t mind admitting that this kidney stone has totally kicked my butt… I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. So… instead of Acadia in the springtime, here’s another from my Ireland trip stash.

This is the impressive and dramatic Torc Waterfall in Killarney National Park. When reviewing photographs made on the trip, I initially passed by this one. Being there in person was really cool… the water was running hard and the area was intensely lush and green, however this photograph just seems a bit too chaotic for me. I tried several compositions while there, but I just couldn’t find anything that really worked for me. Maybe I should have been a little more discerning… perhaps less would have been more in this case, and I could have focused on smaller parts of the scene rather than trying to get the whole waterfall into the frame?

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.

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!

Killarney National Park

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This was actually our first early morning photo expedition, and despite the challenge that a 5:30am wake up call posed, we forged ahead knowing full well that the plan included a return to the hotel by about 9:00am for a full Irish breakfast.

Killarney National Park is a jewel of a place, with beauty and grandeur waiting around every corner. It reminded me somewhat of our home national park of Acadia, in that there is a similar picturesque road that offers many places to stop and enjoy the wonderful scenery.

Though the weather in mid-March was unseasonably warm and pleasant, as you can see from the photographs in this post, the greens that this part of Ireland is famous for hadn’t yet come into their own. Stunning scenery all the same on our early morning jaunt…  and did I mention that full Irish breakfast?