landscape

A little bit of melancholy

Once in a while there are these days when you feel like the last leaf on the tree…. and the wind is shaking you around… and then you just stop fighting and let the wind blow you away… and you just land wherever it puts you…

autumn

This image was taken in Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris. There are many good sad songs reflecting my present mood, and most  of them are French.

“Autumn Leaves” is a popular song that was originally written by Joseph Kosma and Jacques Prevert. It has been performed in countless arrangements, but Yves Montand was the one who introduced the song in 1946 in the French film Gates Of The Night.

I am sad for no particular reason,  but if there is anybody who feels lonely, you can listen this song with me.

These images were taken in Hyde Park, London.

autumn

autumn

In the light of the recent events I want to share a sad song by a Scottish alternative rock band Del Amitri, in which the notorious British weather is mentioned…  😉  All of those who are sad because no one loves you, welcome to listen this song 🙂

I think it is all  because of the Summer slipping away.  The songbirds  fly South…  Even this crow didn’t want to stay with me…

autumn

…and took off leaving his shadow.

autumn

Another sad song from a rock band Counting Crows.

Soon, so very soon  all the creatures will hide…

autumn

… and even the spiders will freeze to death…

autumn

Ah, enough of that sad mood! Stop it:)

autumn

Tomorrow will be another day, I will do something useful and cross out another item in my long-as-a-life to-do list. To cheer myself up I will listen to the Gypsi Swing band from Waterford, and share their music with you all.

Photography tip of the day: Autumn is the time of clouds. If you are shooting black&white, use orange filter. Your sky will stand out.

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a great weekend!

September 2004-2014

foliage

A Calendar of Sonnets: September

By Helen Hunt Jackson

The golden-rod is yellow; 
The corn is turning brown; 
The trees in apple orchards 
With fruit are bending down. 
The gentian’s bluest fringes 
Are curling in the sun; 
In dusty pods the milkweed 
Its hidden silk has spun. 
The sedges flaunt their harvest, 
In every meadow nook; 
And asters by the brook-side 
Make asters in the brook. 
From dewy lanes at morning 
the grapes’ sweet odors rise; 
At noon the roads all flutter 
With yellow butterflies. 
By all these lovely tokens 
September days are here, 
With summer’s best of weather, 
And autumn’s best of cheer. 
But none of all this beauty 
Which floods the earth and air 
Is unto me the secret 
Which makes September fair. 
‘T is a thing which I remember; 
To name it thrills me yet: 
One day of one September 
I never can forget.

I think that this colourful poem and my picture go together quite nicely.

In May I posted a Photography: May 2003-2014 set of images. I am doing it again,  “one day of one September”. Isn’t photography all about memories? 🙂

2004

september2004

This is the house I grew up in. It is the back yard, these windows face the lake; the front yard used to merge with a large ancient forest.  The building is about 200 years old.  In 2004 we traveled around visiting all the places that are dear to us, and I took this photograph. In 2010 the new owner cut the forest down.

2005

september2005

I love trees. This Monkey Puzzle ( Araucaria) alley is almost gone due to the old age.  Last year I visited the place again, and it doesn’t look like in this picture anymore.

2006

september2006

St Canice’s Cathedral grounds, Kilkenny.  I call this image Dwellings: Past, Present, Future.

2007

september2007

Galtee Mountains.  That green patch down there is a forest. We are half way to a beautiful mountain lake, icy cold and transparent like a crystal. I came there again two years ago, solo. Walked through the forest, took some pictures. I didn’t plan to walk to the lake, of course, but it was nice to know that it is there, just a couple of hours away.

2008

september2008

This picture was taken in the park in Limerick.  I think it was my most uneventful, and overall miserable trip ever.  Never been to Limerick again.

2009

september2009

There is a tiny road in Clonmel going up the mountain. People walk or drive it to climb to the Holy Cross and get a bird’s eye view. This old man is walking down  that road with his cows. He and his brother live ( lived?) right around the corner, so his flock doesn’t interrupt traffic too much. I stood in the street watching them and tears came up to my eyes. God bless old people.

2010 

september2010

This isn’t a result of photo editing: all the colors are natural.  Antelope Island State Park, Great Salt Lake. Abundant wildlife, beautiful scenery, solitude and tranquillity.

2011

september2011

A friend invited me to take a trip to Connemara. We had two fun days in spite of the weather.

2012

september2012

These clouds are something to remember.

2013

september2013

A big sister.

2014

september2014

This picture is here because I am  saying good bye to the river.

Thank you for reading about my Septembers.  What about yours?  I would love to hear 🙂

Photography tip of the day: More DIY  🙂 Take pictures through plastic bag, stained glass, plastic bottles, magnifying glass,  etc. Cover your “filters” with colored vaseline.  You will get interesting effects depending on your lenses.

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a great week!

Good old-fashioned sunset

“Nobody of any real culture, for instance, ever talks nowadays about the beauty of sunset. Sunsets are quite old fashioned. To admire them is a distinct sign of provincialism of temperament. Upon the other hand they go on.”

Oscar Wilde

sunset

I am a fan of Oscar Wilde since age of 12, so I cannot tell for sure is it his hidden influence or my personal whim that I  have never had a picture of a classic sunset on my wall.  Nevertheless, the images I am going to share today prove that nothing human is alien to me, which is another quote 🙂 . Sunsets and quotes, hope you enjoy them.

“When the sun sets, who doth not look for night?”
Shakespeare

sunset

“Clouds come floating into my life no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
Robindranath Tagore

sunset

“Every sunset brings the promise of a new dawn.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

sunset

“To leave out beautiful sunsets is the secret of good taste.”  🙂
Dejan Stojanovic 

sunset

“What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.”
 Chief Crowfoot

sunset

“When I admire the wonder of a sunset, or a  beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the Creator. “
Mahatma Gandhi

sunset

“You know – one loves the sunset when one is very very sad…”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince
sunset
 “If your eyes are blinded with your worries, you cannot see the beauty of the sunset.”
 Jiddu Krishnamurti 

sunset

“Don ‘t forget : beautiful sunsets need cloudy skies.”
Paulo Coelho

sunset

All the photographs are taken in different countries over the years.

Tip of the day:  Just sit still and watch. You will know when to take out your camera.

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a good week!

 

Irish summer

A newcomer to Ireland arrives on a rainy day. He gets up the next day and it is raining. It also rains the day after that, and the day after that.

He goes out to lunch and sees a young kid and asks out of despair, “Hey kid, does it ever stop raining around here?”
The kid says: How do I know? I’m only six!

This year we have got a proper summer, no jokes! 🙂 County Tipperary has been bathing in sun since June.

Irish summer

It was one of the hottest days when I went to Kilsheelan,  and I thought I would walk a little bit by the river.  The cows on the opposite bank enjoyed the shade of a giant Oak tree and drank from the river till they were full.

Irish summer

Then they laid down for a nap, black islands in the sea of grass.

Irish summer

What a pleasure to walk along a path lined with lush grasses and delicate wild flowers. My summer favorite is poppy flower.

Irish summer

Irish summer

Irish summer

Another favorite is crop field. I love to take pictures of them in any weather, morning or night, and at any stage of their growth and harvest.  What a fascinating sight they make, waving in the wind!

Irish summer

Abundance of sunlight this summer makes the greenery richer and  foliage ticker.

Irish summer

Sometimes it is nice to hide from the burning sun in the woods…

Irish summer

…or under the thick canopy of linden trees in the churchyard.

clonmel_marlfield_church

What the summer looks like where you live?

Photography tip of the day: When the sun is high  shoot your portraits in the open shade.

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a great weekend!

A trip up North : Dark Hedges

I guess that the Giant’s Causeway will always be there even if the wind and water change the surface of the rocks in the next million years. The rope bridge is also unlikely to disappear. But there is a place that won’t last long, and it fills my heart with sadness… The Dark Hedges, one of the most photographed locations in Northern Ireland.

dark hedges

Both beautiful and somewhat eerie stretch of the road was known only to the locals until the 1990s! The ancient Beech trees were planted by Stuart family in 1750. Since that time they reached up and across to each other and their entwined branches created a natural arched tunnel. There are about 150 trees left. The people who planted the trees never got to see them in their glory: Beech trees reach maturity at 150 to 200 years. The beautiful Dark Hedges  trees are past maturity. They are dying.

Unfortunately I haven’t got to see all the lane, only its southern part. Even if I come another time, the place won’t be the same. There are some diseased trees that have to be felled, and also some dead branches have to be cut off for safety reasons.

dark hedges

There is a qualified tree surgeon appointed to preserve the archway and to meet the safety requirements, and the maintenance works will start in early September. The Bregagh road, home to the famous trees, will be closed for ten days, or for how long it takes. Also brown tourist signs are to be erected which is a great thing because at the moment there are no signs at all.

Their  branches are entwined, their roots are entangled. They cannot be separated. It is one body, and if one tree dies, or it is cut down, the others will know.

dark hedges

dark hedges

dark hedges

The Dark Hedges came under threat a few years ago when Roads Service proposed to fell many of the trees for safety reasons. The avenue was taken over by the Dark Hedges Preservation Trust and they are probably doing a good job since the trees are still standing, but that infamous green fence they put up in 2011 has raised many critics. There are hundreds of critical comments and articles about the fence all  over the internet, and the words “monstrosity” and “nuts” tell you lots about the Trust and their creation.

I have read these comments, but when I walked the road no ugly fences existed for me, only the serene beauty and the timeless magic of the place, and muted sounds and colors.

dark hedges

It was one hour before the sunset, my favorite time,  and all the photographers were getting ready. Look at them in the picture below: they will be busy removing me from their pictures in Photoshop 🙂

dark hedges

Looking through Google images of Dark Hedges I noticed that it is in fashion to take a picture of one’s car or bike with the Dark Hedges in background, and we too witnessed such a photo session. It is all right, but something else really annoyed me. We took the trouble to park in the parking lot and walk down the lane with our gear and the baby. The other visitors parked right in the middle, in the most picturesque place. There was even a van!

Nevertheless  I got some beautiful evening light and took pictures I am happy with. The only thing I did in Photoshop was removing cars and excess of joggers 🙂

dark hedges

dark hedges

We had  been there about 40 minutes, and you can see the change in the light.

dark hedges

The iconic trees have been featured in a popular HBO’s Game Of Thrones series, Season 2, Episode 1, representing the King’s Road.

game of thrones

I so hope that new saplings will be planted and Dark Hedges will live. Otherwise where would the ghost of the Grey Lady go? I didn’t see the ghost. Too many photographers are hanging around at the dusk and dawn. It could be that the Grey Lady rescheduled her appearances to the worst time for photography – the midday.

This was the first picture I took when I turned around the bend…

dark hedges

…and these were taken when we were leaving.

dark hedges

dark hedges

To get to the Dark Hedges: From Belfast take the M2 north, toward the town of Antrim. Driving around Antrim, take A26 toward Ballymena. About 7 miles past Ballymena look for the A44 toward The Drones/ Armoy/ Ballycastle. After about another 7 miles you pass The Drones village  ( just a couple of miles before Armoy) and turn left onto the Bregagh Road. Keep going until you see a lay-by parking lot where you can park. Walk around the bend and there it is! 🙂

Hope you enjoyed this virtual trip to Northern Ireland with me: crossed the bridge, climbed the basalt rocks and walked the avenue of beautiful ancient trees. Thank you for your company! 🙂

Click on the images to enlarge them : it will take a second, they are all resized.

yglenariff 31

Photography tip of the day: Manual settings for beginners  – something to start with.

Aperture: Midday, sun – f16; Any other time, sun – f11; Overcast -f8;  Shade – 5.6; Dark shade – 4.5;

The lowest ISO for your camera;

Shutter speed: set it 125 and then regulate up or down.

Move on with your settings after you are comfortable with this simple advice.

inese_mj_photographyHave a great day!