Month: October 2014

Cork City Gaol: inside prison walls


I had many plans for the Halloween blog edition, but none of them worked out because of the rainy weather.  So I figured that it would be  better if I moved under a roof  for my photo shoots,  and a prison roof would do just fine.


Cork City Gaol housed prisoners for almost a century and was closed in 1924. This is an image of a cell. Like to try? You may get inside and close the door to experience what life might have been like for a prisoner in the Gaol. An Irish writer Frank O’Connor was one of those who served time in the Gaol for their part in the Irish Civil War, and he later wrote that the cots and blankets were crawling with lice.


There is a cell with some original graffiti left by  prisoners who served time here in the 1920’s.  I took a picture of that wall and when I came home and started processing it, something extraordinary happened: the ghosts of the prisoners and staff revealed themselves in my images…


This is Mary Sullivan. She looks like a bloodthirsty murderer, but in fact she is a seamstress and in 1865 she received a seven year sentence following her eighth conviction for the theft of cloth.  She is just after being deloused according to prison regulations, and ready to see the Governor John Barry Murphy.


This is Thomas Raile. He was convicted of stealing some books. Serving his time in a solitary confinement, he got an opportunity to contemplate his wrongdoings and has turned to religion for guidance. Rev. Nelligan is counselling him, but it won’t help much: on release from prison Thomas won’t be able to get good references and his life will speedily go down the drain.


This young woman is Mary Ann Twohig, a 16 year old mother. She was heavily pregnant when she stole a cloth cap and some kitchen utensils with an intention to pawn them and get some money. Due to the pregnancy she was sentenced to only two months, without hard labor.


This is Dr. Beamish.  A warder is walking him to the cell where he is going to attend a sick prisoner. Overworked and underpaid, Dr. Beamish  has spent many years carrying his medical bag from cell to cell and fighting all sorts of infections and injuries.


Two off-duty warders are playing cards. In this room lives a warder and his whole family.


This is a model of the Gaol. The wings are currently in derelict condition and closed to public. You might be interested to know what is that small building at the back. Well, there were always prisoners and prisoners. The small building is the Debtor’s Gaol. Some well off people fail to pay their debts and are sent to prison, but not to the main Gaol. They settle with their own furniture and clothes in the Debtor’s Gaol, and even have their food delivered to them.

There is a lot more to see, but to be honest, the wax  figures give me the creeps…  And it doesn’t matter either they are of the prisoners of the Gaol, or any other person…



And here is an appropriate piece of music – Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues!

Happy  Halloween to all!

Cork City Gaol.

Photography tip of the day: Do a research before you buy a camera or any photography equipment, including the batteries you are going to use for your Speedlite. Everything.

inese_mj_photographyHave a great Halloween weekend!



The Half Eaten Mind and his human Vijay invited me to participate in the Workspace Blog Hop. It means, I have to reveal something about myself and  the place I am blogging from. Thank you, Vijay!

I moved to Waterford city just a month ago, so my working space has not yet achieved a stable and respectable look. My books are still packed, and some of my stuff is sitting in my friends’ garage.  I haven’ t yet decided either I stay here another couple of years, or keep moving.

I have a one-bedroom apartment and work in the living room. This is the table I work at: I prefer my working place being ergonomic rather than comfy. Two windows – on my left and on my right- provide enough light during the day.


A HP laptop, two external hard drives and a handful of USB memory cards  – it is all I use for writing, editing, storing and carrying around my files. Plus a printer and a scanner.


This is a fragment of a surface, random. All the surfaces in this room look similar 🙂 Except my table. The table is bare: I have pushed things off the table with my elbows enough to learn the lesson.

So, this is pretty much everything about my working space.

I don’t have any pets – it is enough to ask my friends to take care of my cacti plants when I am away. I have 17 cacti plants.


I would love to have a pet though. Any critter.


My new contract forbids me to keep “any living creature” in this apartment. Yes, it is a quote.

I live in the medieval center of  Waterford city, next to the oldest buildings. One day I will make a separate blog about Waterford, but for now I just want to report that it was a great sunny morning here, and I walked through the city center for my “cardio with a camera” and took this picture.


And this one too: it is a shop across from where I live, and it is reflection of my car in the window.


Sure I am moving around for my photography rather than stay at home.  Sometimes  I am lucky enough to get an assistant for the test-shoots.


Now you have an idea about my blogging  space and the world around it. I might also add  that this is mostly a pedestrian zone, clean and quiet. Most of the noise is coming from the Cathedral when they are ringing their bell:)

I have to pick up some of you to join the Workspace Blog Hop. It is not as you are forced to write all these things about yourself, but I give you this opportunity 🙂  Indah  Kellyann   Christy  Amalia  Linda Sue Tony Single


A wonderful blogger The Crafty Lady in the Combat boots  nominated me for a One Lovely Blog Award.  I am always humbled to receive awards from people who are so good at what they are doing. Thank you so much, for your kindness!

There is about the nomination:

The One Lovely Blog Award nominations are chosen by fellow bloggers for those newer and up-and-coming bloggers. The goal is to help give recognition and also to help the new blogger to reach more viewers. It also recognizes blogs that are considered to be “lovely” by the fellow blogger who choose them. This award recognizes bloggers who share their story or thoughts in a beautiful manner to connect with their viewers and followers. In order to “accept” the award
  • Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
  • Add the One Lovely Blog logo to your post.
  • Share 7 facts/or things about yourself.
  • Nominate 7 bloggers you admire and inform nominees by commenting on their blog.


Here are seven facts about me – they are truly the facts 🙂

1. My favorite people are my daughter and two grand daughters and my son in law;  2. I love many other people; 3. I read every night even if it is one page; 3. I love music and play the piano when I have a chance; 4.  I love my Micra; 5. I  love earthly colors; 6. I  love nature and creatures; 7. I despise fake individuals and stay away from them.

Now the nominations:) Thank you for your wonderful blogs!






Photography tip of the day:  When you store your files the names of your folders matter a lot. Start with a year followed by a month; then write a key word/words so that you know what is there in that particular folder. Don’t make huge folders;  divide them in parts:  2014-05-30 Moab – Devils Garden-Part I

inese_mj_photographyHave a great weekend!

Our times of triumph


When I was very young, I used to read a lot. Some episodes impressed me so much that I replayed them in a real life. As we all know, life and fiction are not the same, so I used to get in trouble on many occasions.

In that particular book, two teenagers, a boy and a girl, had climbed onto the roof, and lying on their back, watching the passing clouds dreamed about the future. The scene looked so appealing that I immediately jumped to action.

Next to my Grandma’s cowshed there was a small annex used for storing a week supply of hay bales; adjacent to it, under the same roof was a chicken coop. My plan was to climb a stonewall, then get up on the annex roof and from there climb on the cowshed roof, high enough to set up the scene as desired.

And I got there, laid out a blanket I brought with me, and sat staring into the sky. My future did not send me any hints. The roof was hard and rough, but I lied down hoping it might help, as per book. Still, my mind was blank. The clouds just passed by, I had spotted a few animal-like shapes, but it was clear that there was no excitement in it, my back hurt and I was getting bored and annoyed. I think it was the day when I learned something about a good literature and a fake literature. On my way down, the roof caved in and I fell in the hay – lucky me. My Grandma was so happy that I didn’t kill myself that she baked a plate of biscuits for me, and we decided to keep the story in secret, for our mutual good.

Later, in my bed, I was dreaming about the future. In my dreams I was a famous artist, and all the children books were illustrated by me. One scene followed another, all in beautiful, rich colors; people and animals did look like people and animals; there were sun spells, fresh breeze, pouring rain and flowing water, and it was all real. I made it live; I was that magician.

Very often we learn the life’s lessons in a hard way. Very often we get slapped in the face, and our efforts don’t impress anybody. But there are the times when we feel like all the spotlights are turned on us, and all the praises and admiration in the world are expressed for us, and these are our moments of triumph even if no one else knows that.



Pictures of my Grandparents and me. In the last image (1914) my Grandma is the one who is standing.  The baby is my Great Granddad’s daughter from his second marriage. I named my daughter after her.




Photography tip of the day: For Nikon users starting out 🙂

www.inesemjphotographyHave a  great day!


I left my heart in Barcelona


A painter in this photograph is Pablo Picasso.  During his Blue period he divided his time between Paris and Barcelona. Picasso museum Museu Picasso in Barcelona is a must-see:  there is no other place with such a vast collection of his art, especially his early works.

Picasso didn’t like Gaudí. Strange, because his art was definitely influenced by Gaudí‘s organic geometry. I think that he was just jealous.

Almost everything in Barcelona is “Gaudí“, anyway.

gaudiCan you imagine any other place where an architect like Gaudí would get a job in the end of the 19th century? It is why I love Barcelona, for that spirit!

I visited  Barcelona shortly before The Prisoner of Heaven English  edition was published in 2012 –  a book  by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, another of my favorite Barcelonians. His books are magic and intelligent, and they are about Barcelona, of course :). If you somehow missed them, The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series will win your heart (The Angel’s Game, The Shadow of the Wind, The Prisoner of Heaven).

Speaking of magic. The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc was constructed in 1929. The light and music performances take place on Fridays and Saturdays every half an hour between 7:00 and 8:30pm ( October to April), and Thursday through Sunday every half an hour between 9:00 and 11:00pm (May to September).



Here is a video from YouTube for you to enjoy 🙂 Watch to the end – it is getting more and more dramatic . 🙂

Some images from Gothic Quarter.






I walked this street to get to the Park Güell.



Plaça de Catalunya.





Don’t know what that means – either good or bad 🙂


Street performers across from Hard Rock Cafe.


Last, but not the least, Palau de la Musica Catalana. No photography permitted inside.


Hope you plan a visit to Barcelona. 🙂  Thank you for your comments on my previous post!

Photography tip of the day:  Keep your equipment clean. Here is an advice how to clean your camera sensor. If you are afraid of doing it yourself, ask in the shop and they will know. Sensor and lenses have to be cleaned regularly.

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a great weekend!