Month: January 2016

Brooklyn – Enniscorthy


January 14  2016, a glorious day for Irish Cinematography –  Lenny Abrahamson’s Room and John Crowley’s Brooklyn have been nominated for Best Picture at next month’s Academy Awards.

Our beautiful Saoirse Ronan is nominated for Best Actress for her starring role of Eilis Lacey, while Brooklyn is also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. This is Saoirse’s second Oscar nomination. She was previously nominated for the Best Supporting Actress in  Atonement in 2007. Way to go, girl!

Brooklyn is facing competition from The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Room and Spotlight.

I won’t write any review here, it is not my forte. I advise you to see the film regardless of your age or gender. I enjoyed every bit of it.  A very good quality film, a simple story – but are not the simple stories the most moving and true?

You can watch the trailer here:

As I said, I haven’t intended to write a review. I will speak about the time when the film had not existed yet. Well, except for in John Crowley’s head.

Brooklyn is based on a novel by Colm Tóibín, and you can read this very interesting interview he gave to The GuardianThe story begins in a small Irish town of Enniscorthy.

In the end of March 2014 I met an old acquaintance, and he proudly told me that he had been recruited for Brooklyn as they were looking for hundreds of extras. We agreed that I would come over and take some pictures of him. It was arranged for Friday, but on Thursday, I woke up before the sunrise with a strong feeling that if I want to see Saoirse Ronan, I have to go now. So I did, and I was right, because she left for the US the following morning.

I didn’t know the town well, and I had no idea where exactly the filming would take place that day. After struggling through the narrow one-way streets I finally found a big parking lot. ( Advice: when you park in an unfamiliar place, take pictures to show the locals if you happen to get lost).

I walked around the town and spotted some activity in the Court Street. So that was the place!


I took some photos of preparations. The street got  new ( vintage) looks: houses were repainted, windows replaced.



The markings on the asphalt were carefully covered. ‘One worker two supervisors’.  😉


More camouflage.


Court Street has never seen so many vintage cars.





I was getting comfortable, but then security guys came over and asked everybody to leave the set. After another half an hour there was a taxi  – Saoirse Ronan arrived!



All these pictures are taken from a distance, and their quality is poor, but I was very happy to get a glimpse of our local favorite actress.

Hair stylist is adding the last touch to her perfect hair.


Most of the filming took place inside the house. This is all I have got.

2014 brookly240res

A few seconds of acting.

2014 brooklres253

The man with the props cart was really annoying – he was in front of everything! 🙂 In this photograph you can also see Jim (Domhnall Gleeson), one of the main male characters. As you see, there is no chemistry between Eilis and Jim on the set – no wonder it didn’t work out for them in the movie 😉

2014 brookly121res

Another surprise – Canadian actress Emily Bett Rickards, Felicity from the Arrow, was on the set! Props cart in front of my camera, of course!


Waiting was long, filming lasted about half an hour ( mostly inside the building). Actors left,  barriers were removed and I walked through the movie set. Local extras remained standing in their positions, unwilling to return back to reality.




I suddenly realized that I had no clue where  my car was.

After a long search and five minutes of embarrassment asking a local by-passer where he thought my car could be, I finally left the town.

I am really glad they have made a good movie.


Marje from KYROSMAGICA nominated me for a Girl Love Blog Challenge. Thank you Marje! We girls have to stick together and support each other!  Marje is working on her YA fantasy book, and her blog is a fun and magic place 🙂 Please visit and follow!

Here’s what you do for the #GirlLove Challenge:

  1. Tell your followers who inspires you, a famous woman who may be dealing with negativity on a daily basis. 
  2. Tell your followers who inspires you in real life, a woman you always interact with.
  3. Tag five women bloggers who you love. Compliment them and tell them why you love them, and comment under their latest post with the link to your #GirlLove post!

Add the tag ‘Girl Love’ to your post, so we can see them all! Let’s start 2016 with LOVE for each other!

My answers:

  1. Audrey Hepburn is undoubtedly an inspiration, but there is a less known woman, a blogger Stephanie Nielson, a mother injured and disfigured after a plane crash when she was only 27. Here is her blog.
  2.  In my real life, there are many women who inspire me. Some of them are young, some not really. They are mothers and grandmothers who are living their day-to-day lives not knowing that they are special.
  3.  There are five ladies bloggers I nominate for this challenge. (No obligations – I only want to share your blogs with others )

Poet and author Ellie 

Artist Mihaela 

Author Teagan

Holistic wayfarer Diana

Author Shehanne

I love what you do!

Have a great week ahead!

A few more words on political correctness

In the darkness, place a studio light behind your model. You will get a silhouette like this one. Fill it up with whatever you like.

spirit of rocks

You can try different ideas, tell a different story.

spirit of dusk

I have a light personality, it is why I am not interested in doing dark, creepy photography even though it is more popular, marketable and straightforward. Even in the darkness there is light if you choose the light.

cave spirit

In my previous blog post on this topic, there is a portrait of a young girl.  It is an old portrait – now the girl is happily married, with a family.  At that time, at the age of fifteen, she had already lost her mother, and had been through trials that would have broken many grown up people. I call her ‘survivor’. She is beautiful inside and out, sweet soul, but she is also as tough as a rock. Life has tossed some opportunities her way, and she never missed one. Smart, hard working, young woman of integrity, she has built her life only relying on her own decisions. A very young mother, she has a child with disability.  Life isn’t getting any easier, but it is a busy and happy life anyway. We can decide how to feel about our life.

I know that not everyone can be as strong as this young woman, but many people just have to be strong. Last night I met an acquaintance, a former refugee from Syria, now an Irish citizen, a respectable family man and community member, fully assimilated into society. Life isn’t easy, but he is getting there, with a smile and good cheer. He would wave away any ‘political correctness’ like an annoying fly.

These two people who had a bad start in life used all the help they could get and built their new life from scratch. They never demanded a special treatment.

The government institutions can help you with material things. Your moral value is your own.  Compassion, tact, care, gratitude cannot be enforced.

Political correctness hurts both the sender and the receiver. It is a distrust, a doubt, a fear that keeps us from doing our best when we communicate with others. It is a myth of a Total truth that makes people reluctant to speak the Necessary Truth! Instead of reaching to each other, people avoid each other.

Now tell me – are these normal human relationships?

Political correctness is invented to hide the lack of moral value. Don’t take that bait, don’t swallow that poison. You have been manipulated, and your CHOICE of being a better person is stolen. I would say, this is a glimpse of the Zombie Apocalypse – people stripped of their identity and free will.

Growing up in the Eastern Block, I remember the term “political correctness” too well, and I know where it is leading.

Here are some unsolicited advice – partly photography-related 🙂

  1. Don’t stay in the darkness if you don’t want someone else to sneak into your head and stuff it up with labels, slogans and ready-made recipes. Don’t be a silly puppet.
  2. Live today. Learn from the past but don’t go back there. If the only light you have got is coming from behind, read #1.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Let me decide for myself

Very often I have  to decide what image is the one I want to keep.  I don’t need two or three, which would make the things much easier. Only one. “He who has a choice, has a torment”.

It helps when I know exactly what the image will be used for.  Below, there are two photographs of the same swan – the cropped one is a header image. That is easy.



Sometimes I have two things that I have to choose between, and neither of them is good. It is like you have to choose what house you have to move in, and these are your only options:



Choosing between two imperfect things is a difficult choice most of voters have to deal with…

In modern society, The Media tells people how to live and what to think. Many of those who imagine themselves free, independent and having their own opinion, are in fact tied up with the choices someone else has made for them. If it is not enough, they are also helpfully provided with the motivations for these choices. You just have no choice but accept ‘your’ choice, so to speak, remaining disillusioned and unaware. It is not the way choice operates. At the very least, people have to use their own knowledge, experience and intuition, and exercise judging, selecting and rejecting before they call the choice ‘theirs’. No cheating.

Recently I came across a quote. American comedian Sandra Bernhard said the following: ‘I am very much a humanist. I am very much pro-choice. I am very much politically correct”.

I hope she was joking.

Power of choice is one of the most important principles in our life. Freedom of choice is one of the most important values in society. Pro-choice (the same as pro-life, if you wondered) labels are just what they are – the labels, and one of their purposes is to divide society. Why would you want anything that divides your nation?

I am not finished with Sandra Bernhard yet.

I beg you to never be ‘politically correct’! Please, if you are not naturally kind, caring, cultured; if you are tactless, if you often have a cause to regret your words and justify yourself – don’t be discouraged, and don’t replace all of this with the ‘politically-correct’ label on your sleeve. Make your own choice to become a genuinely better person, not a properly labeled hypocrite.

And again, if you wondered, I am too far from being that ideal person, but I rather die trying to become one, than humiliate another fellow human by being ‘politically correct’ towards him or her.

“Truth without love is brutality, and love without truth is hypocrisy.” 
Warren W Wiersbe

Please, don’t demand ‘political correctness’. You are manipulated without knowing that. Stick to the good people, earn respect, have your goals to focus on. People might try to offend you now and then, but that happens with all of us, no exceptions, because it is what some people choose to do.

Here is a quote to those who are difficult to deal with.

“He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool.”
Brigham Young

Each of us has been that fool at least once 😉

And the third quote is

“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.”
Marcus Aurelius

These three quotes mean that my blogging friend Sarah at  Sarah Potter Writes has nominated me for 3 Days 3 Quotes Challenge 🙂 Thank you so much, Sarah! Hope you don’t mind that I wrote only one blog post instead of three.

The rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post one fresh quotation on three consecutive days.
  3. On each of the three days, nominate three folk who have not yet taken part to continue the challenge.

Sarah Potter is a fantasy and science fiction author – and much much more. Please, visit and follow Sarah’s blog.

There are my nominees. Don’t feel obliged 🙂

Hope you greet these bloggers like the pirates from De Stormvogels, Holland, greeted me 🙂

de stormvogels

Have a wonderful weekend!

Take it seriously

joy res

I walked through the Viking Triangle in Waterford City on the New Year’s morning  and came across a Christmas Tree graveyard where I took this photograph. Some thirty decorated Christmas trees were dumped there like no longer worshiped idols. The Holidays are over.

Holiday season in Ireland was darkened  by severe and extensive floods that hit the country in the end of December- beginning of January. Property and farmlands are damaged, people are devastated after losing their possessions and security of their homes.

I haven’t been to the flooded areas this year, but I have some pictures taken during the flood in 2009 and 2013.

At this stage, River Suir looks fierce and beautiful – Clonmel 2013.


Carrick on Suir in February, at high tide the same year.


This flood is already getting out of hand…



In summertime,  River Suir can be so shallow that in some places a heron can cross it without getting his bottom wet.  Now the river looks like a lake – you can watch  Cyril Helnwein‘s video and take a 6 km kayaking trip from Clonmel to Kilsheelan – not only down the river…

Unfortunately, there is no fun at all in getting flooded.

For many flood victims, this is not the first time they have been flooded in recent years and they face the current crisis without insurance coverage. Murky brown floodwater, sometimes more than a meter deep, causes permanent damage to almost everything.

Some  farmers have to evacuate their cattle to the neighboring farms. Feed and pastures are destroyed, and it will take months the land to drain and recover its capacity to grow crops. People blame the EU Conservation Program.

Floods have always been around, they are natural. Much of the flooding is  caused by bad planning, allowing  roads and houses to be built on natural flood plains. It seems that unpopular decisions are required, like relocation of  businesses  and people.

Now that the worst seems to be over, it is time to start thinking about the next flood, and take it seriously.

On a lighter note – we can also dream 🙂 This  sweet girl lives in the place where it is snowing in winter. What is she dreaming of?


This lovely girl lives in Ireland. May be she is dreaming of a dry, white winter?


Have a wonderful weekend!