magic

Hawthorn Fairy

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After writing about the Fairy doors and Fairy Raths, it is the time to speak about the Fairies themselves. In Ireland, fairies are associated with Hawthorn trees, especially the solitary ones or those growing together with the oaks and aspens. In May and early June all the countryside is swathed¬†in the white garlands of blooming hawthorn: fairy season comes to Ireland. The Fairy tree holds strong magic forming a portal to the fairy realms in the Otherworld, and there is nothing I love as much as a good old portal ūüôā

Hawthorn tree is respected, and has always been sacred to mankind. Farmers work around them, and no one in their right mind would fell a lonely hawthorn tree or anyhow damage faerie property. In the 1990-s, the upgrading of the National Route from Limerick to Galway was delayed for a nearly ten years, and the Ennis bypass was eventually rerouted to accommodate a lonely hawthorn tree and avoid disturbing the little folk. Fairies can be vindictive. You wouldn’t like a bad luck accompany you for the rest of your life, would you.¬†They say that even in the 1950, rural people would shout warnings before throwing water out the door lest a fairy should be passing.

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If you have the Hawthorn in your hedge, you can use the flowers to make a good tea (mix them with some other herbs because of their strong effect), the leaves to add to your salad, and the berries (haws) to make jelly or jam. That would help you reduce your blood pressure, stimulate your heart and act as a mild sedative.

There are some pictures I took of a Hawthorn fairy to illustrate this blog post.

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I saw the fairy at the shore of Ballyscanlon lake, Co Waterford.

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It is a beautiful lake with clear water an peaceful surroundings.

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The Hawthorn tree in question grows very close to the lake. Fairies wouldn’t like to cross a stream, but there are many fairies that live near the water.

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If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you will see a flock of tiny mosquitoes sitting on the rock near the flower.

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Fairies know everything that is happening in their realms. Nothing goes unnoticed.

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This little Robin knows her well:¬†fairies use birds to fly from place to place ūüôā

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The Sun goes up, and it is the time for the Fairy to use her magic and return to her Otherworld realm.

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Hope to see you again some day.

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Gateway to the Otherworld opens, and in a blink of an eye the fairy is gone.

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Thank you for visiting Ballyscanlon lake with me today. May the fairies bring you all the best luck you need!

inese_mj_photographyHave a fantastic weekend!

The Land of Magic

Workshop

This time I will share some of my pictures that I have taken during ¬†Elena Shumilova’s workshop and edited for this¬†blog. To those who haven’t read my previous posts about the workshop, there are two links: ¬†https://inesemjphotography.com/2015/10/23/back-to-the-north-inishowen/ and ¬†https://inesemjphotography.com/2015/10/30/elena-shumilovas-dream/

To start with, I want to make it clear that I have never had any intention to copy Elena’s¬†style, but I did wonder how she makes all her images to look so warm and alive, and how she¬†brings every single detail of her composition to perfection. ¬†I wanted my photographs¬†to be perfect too :). I did learn some of Elena’s techniques, I came home enriched and joyous, ¬†but I know that it is just a beginning of a magic journey, where hard work and inspiration walk side by side.

Elena’s workshop encouraged me¬†to use my painting skills in my photography – something that I do very seldom, and only when it is absolutely necessary. ¬†Elena says that to know is not enough. It will take time and experience to learn what opacity and¬†brush size to choose, and where to put a stroke.

I was playing with Photoshop, and want to share the pictures I have edited straight after the workshop. Some are heavily painted, some just retouched. There are no added textures or presets – I have only used Photoshop brushes and painted manually. If you don’t mind, could you please tell which of the¬†images¬†you like¬†better.

This is Sean. I know, I know, it is impossible to take a bad picture with Sean as a model. I am so grateful that he agreed to model for us, and sure he deserves a better portrait than this one I took on the run. Sean is a musician, a local Father Christmas, and one of the nicest men I ever met, with a personality larger than life.

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I have always had a love for¬†backlit scenes. Unfortunately we got that thick cloud sitting on the horizon – ¬†there goes the golden and dreamy light… This one got a little¬†bit of light though.

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In this image, I painted the background more deliberately, making it look like watercolor.

Workshop

In the opening image, I painted it a night. This is the real scene, with just a basic editing.

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In the end of the day we are all exhausted. Tried my best to squeeze a smile.

Sean Derry

Some more photographs to acknowledge our beautiful models.

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moonlight

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That’s it from the workshop. In my next¬†blog I will share some pictures of¬†Inishowen – ¬†the land of magic and¬†beautiful people.

I had¬†been on the road many hours, and did a lot of thinking ( it is probably why I had missed my turn and got lost somewhere between¬†County Cavan and Monaghan)…

As we are living our life, unpleasant things happen. We may meet some people or groups of people who act unethically and mean; who destroy others with lies and themselves with envy. We can get hurt. We can be targets or collateral damage victims. There is some ugliness always lurking in the shadows, but you know what? The rest of the life is magic! Most of our life is magic. I would be a fool if I let this perfect life to be overshadowed with bitterness and negativity. This precious, exciting, glorious life! Sadness, and even frustration takes over at times, but the magic has never failed me Рafter every unpleasant experience something wonderful happens.

I would love to share another few links as a Thank you to all of those who made that weekend unforgettable.

Strand Hotel, Ballyliffin Рhighly recommended!  http://www.ballyliffinstrandhotel.com/

Famine Village  Рphoto shoot location  http://www.doaghfaminevillage.com/

Malin Stables    https://www.facebook.com/malin.stables

Transportation   http://www.ghostsnake.com/bradleys/index.htm

Clothes    https://www.facebook.com/Mc-Os-Vintage-284538278256601/?fref=ts&__mref=message

Irish TV  http://www.irishtv.ie/

And again, thank you Elena Shumilova and Brendan Diver, and all our beautiful models! More workshops scheduled for 2016, including two in the USA ( Long Island and Orange County).

More to follow…

IneseMjPhotographyHave a wonderful weekend!