Month: April 2014

Grand Canyon holidays

Three things just happened. First, the weather. After a beautiful day yesterday that i didn’t have a chance to enjoy, this morning greeted me with chilly drizzle.

Second, the article I read another day. The National Park Service designated the site of a 1956 two plane collision over  Grand Canyon, Arizona, a National Historic Landmark.

Third, my upcoming holidays. When I plan to go on holidays, I get obsessive about plane crashes and weather…

All that made me think it would  be a good idea to look through my old Grand Canyon photographs. I bet nothing have changed there, so I still can share them. They are taken with a three-megapixel camera though. That has been a while…

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

Grand_Canyon

Grand_Canyon

Grand Canyon

Grand_Canyon_Sunset

Grand_Canyon_Sunset

Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja) is a beauty of the Nature! It’s flowers are also edible and have a medical use.

Indian paint brush

Eighty-nine mammal species inhabit Grand Canyon area, as well as 355 species of birds, 56 species of reptiles and 17 species of fish. I have some more photographs of the reptiles, but this one is the most impressive.

lizard

The deer and jack-rabbits are not shy and let me come really close.

Deer jack Rabbit

Jack Rabbit

While I was writing and posting, the weather here changed twice…

Photography tip of the day: taking photographs of landscapes focus on a point that is  approximately 34 feet ( 10-11 meters) from the camera’s sensor. Lock the focus, make your composition, and depress the shutter to the end. Everything in your picture will be sharp starting from 17 feet ( 5 meters) through infinity.

inesemj_photographyHave a great day!

Way of living

A few days ago I went to the Kilsheelan woods to check out the bluebells. Reckon I have to wait another week or two… Nevertheless, I had a pleasant photo shoot and lots of reflecting that wasn’t too pleasant though.

I took this photograph because the old tree root looks like a threshold: one step over it and you are in the magic world. I was ready for the magic:).

treshold_to_magic_world

winding_road

I made a stop to take a picture of the winding road. The air was full of the bird songs and gurgling of a stream below the road – all the sounds of Nature that invite tranquillity and purify the mind. I walked towards the stream and started to set up my tripod. At first I couldn’t believe my eyes and just stood there, staring. Right in the middle of the beautiful stream there was an old sofa rotting away, covered with algae and dirt. I didn’t take a picture of it because the sight of this sofa was too insulting… Why people tend to litter water???

I have met many people who changed their ways of life to become a happier person. People give up smoking and overcome drug and alcohol bondage; they stop eating junk food and pick up a hobby; they go back to education, reconcile with their family and kids, book a skydive, do some voluntary work – everything! But I have never met someone who said : I have littered the Earth, I have dumped my crap in the clear water, I didn’t bother to recycle, I had been a pig, but I want to be a happy man from now, so I will litter no more!

I took another picture of the stream next to the Woods gate. I wonder if people who dumped those tires read the information on the stand before they did it? Just out of curiosity, to educate themselves? tires_in_stream

Gle_patrick_bridge_loop

the_wood

the woods

stream

the_woods

the_woods

stream

Is the civilization evil or it is only some individuals finding delight in their dark side? I don’t know…

Anyway, there are a few photographs to enjoy. I didn’t go to the woods, will wait for the bluebells to come up.

I wonder, does the Nature still wants more humans?

Photography tip of the day: If you are taking pictures of your children running, ask them to run toward you. The pictures will come out clearer.

inesemj_photographyHave a great day!

Gentle teachings

Taking advantage of the unusually sunny weather I got up early Monday morning and went to the river to catch some beautiful fog. A pair of swans floated by as i walked towards the river bend to get a nicer view.

I set up a composition, ready to press the shutter button. I completely forgot about the swans, but suddenly they just floated into my frame! Making it through the fog they looked so mysterious, almost ghostly. I got a few shots of them, and when they were gone I just knew it was the time to go back home because I wouldn’t get anything better today. swans_in_the_haze swans_in_the_haze1 swans_in_the_haze2

I was thinking about the days when I was very young. My Dad and I would go to the woods, and he would show and explain me everything he knew about the wild life and survival. And he knew a lot. My Dad spent  many weeks hiding in the woods and running for his life during the World War II. I remember mushroom and berry picking with him. Being very young I didn’t understand the limits of things, and I wanted more and more of those mushrooms because it was fun to find them. My Dad taught me to never be greedy. He taught me to know where to stop. If I need many, fair enough, but I have to decide how many, exactly, and stop when I am done. And this applies to everything. I cannot tell that I have been following his teachings all my life; definitely not. But still, it is nice to know that your Dad was right, and that he, actually, did exactly what he taught.

Photography tip of the day: Ask yourself these questions: What is my subject? How can I give emphasis to my subject? How can I simplify my photograph?

inesemj_photographyHave a great day!

When you travel Ireland, visit Freshford

This Good Friday i want to tell you about my favorite church. If you are traveling through or near Freshford, Co Kilkenny, stop for a minute to visit this ancient building.  The Saint Lachtain’s Church of Freshford is a place of worship for at least 14 centuries.

church_uilding_freshford

Very little is known about Saint Lachtain, the founder and first abbot of the monastery in Freshford who died on March 19, 622. This verse says a lot about him though:

Lachtain, the champion, loved
Humility, perfect and pure.
He stands, throughout all time.
In defense of the men of Munster.

He died on 19 March 622

In 836, the Vikings robbed the monastery, and burned everything, including the books. Yet there is a record that a church was built on the site in 909.

The monastery prospered. In early 12th century a beautiful porch was added to the existing church building. This porch is still there even that very weathered, especially it’s outer parts.

porch_church_freshford

The porch is made of yellow-white sandstone. It is the only Romanesque monument with a complete inscription well preserved. However, the craftsman and patron named in the inscription have not been identified.

inscription

The porch has four arches and two double capitals, all richly ornamented with beautiful carvings, human heads, animal bodies, lion masks etc, all very much worn but recognizable.

In the next image you can see a horse and a rider on the left panel, and figures of men wearing robes on the right panel. Specialist say that these ornaments, as well as some others, do not appear to be in their original locations. (Click to enlarge)

porch_church_freshford

There is a 1622 record about the church being in ruins, but by 1732 the roof was changed and since then the church seems to be looked after.

These windows show us the history of church building as it got expanded during the centuries.

windows_church_freshford

Further alterations were carried out in 19-20th century. Electric lighting was installed in 1929.

church_freshford_

The furnishing of the church was carried out mostly in 19the century

organ_church_freshford

These doors look very old.

doors_church_freshford

Something about the windows pictured below. (click to enlarge)

stained_glass_freshford_church

Two lancet windows depict Angels with Scrolls (1858)

The next windows depict the Transfiguration on the left and the Ascension on the right (1864)

Two lancet windows depict two shepherds. (after1876)

Outside the church there is the graveyard and a Garden of Remembrance. On the picture below you can see an image of a lamb from an old tombstone, which represents The Lamb of God. On the other tombstone there is a readable inscription In Exelsis Deo. Some tombstones have the inscriptions made on a cement layer instead of carving in the stone. Those are almost gone as you can see in the picture.

graveyard

A few words about the Colclough family who are taking care of the church building for years. On the picture below you see Robert Colclough standing next to his ancestral tombstones dated from the 17th century.

Colclough_freshford

Robert’s beloved wife Ruby and his parents are buried in the Garden of Remembrance.

freshford

Robert and his son Trevor are looking after the church building and make sure everything is ready for the Sunday worship meetings. Two beautiful vases with the inscriptions are donated to the Church in memory of Ruby Colclough, who was my dear friend.

church_freshford

Just a few more words. Easter is the Christian holiday celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. “He is not here: he is risen.” [See Matthew 28:6.] Because our Redeemer lives so shall we.

Genealogy tip of the day: Don’t use any cream, chalk, graphite, dirt, flour or other substances to read worn inscriptions. Instead shine light across the face of the stone; the inscription will just stand out. Use a mirror to reflect the light, or take a photo and then play around with the image using the editing software to make the inscriptions readable.

inesemj_photographyHave a wonderful Easter!

Rapeseed field pictures

Yellow rapeseed flower field always attracts photographers. This one was a real magnet. With Slievenamon mountain in background and the birch tree alley framing it was a huge treat… locked behind a high gate… no way to get closer.

This evening on my way home I thought I might just stop and peek over the wall. What a beautiful view! A farmer truck turned to the gate right behind me and the driver rolled down the window. It was his farm, and his field, and he said i could go and take as many pictures as i wish! Happy day, lucky me! I didn’t want to take an advantage, so i just made a few shots, and left beeping the car horn with gratitude. Did he realize that he made my day?

lanfdscape_rapeflovers

landscape_rapeflovers

landscape_rapeflowers

rapeseed_field_picture

Photography tip of the day: To reduce camera motion inhale deeply, then exhale and hold your breath while pressing the shutter release button.

inesemj_photographyHave a great day!