street photography

This blog is two years old

In February 2014, I installed WordPress offline using Wamp server, and started this blog. Only a couple of my first posts survived until this day. My initial idea was to create a portfolio-type blog, and I wrote ten posts and stuffed them with children pictures. When I went online on St Patrick’s Day, I got a few ‘likes’ and was very pleased that someone took interest in my creation.  My very first followers were https://lisalabelleblog.wordpress.com/https://poemsandpeople.wordpress.com/ and http://www.tonyeveling.com/blog/. They are not blogging anymore, I am afraid.

Then came a nightmare. Certain webpages linked to my posts tagged ‘children photography’, and certain sort of spam flooded my Spam folder. Akismet catches spam, but doesn’t protect from those who deliver it. I deleted my posts. Only after a year I dared to use this tag again. Nothing happened so far, but the same spammers linked to one of my Saltee Island posts, and I was getting hundreds of spam comments daily until I closed the comments altogether. WordPress  is not all white and fluffy.

These ten bloggers are among my first followers, still active and sparkling with talent. They have been my friends and supporters since early spring 2014.

Sheri de Grom,  Marcus Dilano Photography,  MoodphotoJasonFrancisCharlyMihranLeyla Harrie Nijland, Jet Eliot

There are more than a hundred bloggers in my community since 2014 – great friends and brilliant writers and photographers. I cannot name all of you here, but you know who you are. Thank you for blogging and reading my blog! Way to go to us all!

There is a potpourri of photographs from some of my older blog posts. They are not linked to the post or larger versions. Please scroll down – I hope you remember some of them. Thank you so much for your visits over these two years!

Green St Patrick’s Day illumination in Carrick on Suir, 2014

patrick_day

Spring in Ireland.

ireland_daffodils1

swans_in_the_haze2

winding_road

bluebells_jenkinstown

Clancy Brothers festival

clancy festival

257clan

Edinburgh

edinburgh

Knockmealdown Mountains, Co Tipperary

the vee

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

Saltee Islands

Saltees

Saltees

gannet

gannet

Street photography

pose

sell

pride 2013

pride 2013

Birds of River Suir

stonechat

heron

Herbs

suir

suir

oregano

linden

Scarecrow Festival in Co Laois

scarecrow festival

scarecrow festival

Patsy Gibbons and his foxes

Pat Gibbons foxes

Pat Gibbons foxes

Carrick O Rede Rope Bridge

rope bridge

Giants Causeway

giant's causeway

Dark Hedges

dark hedges

dark hedges

dark hedges

Irish summer

Irish summer

Irish summer sunset

Sunsets

sunset

sunset

Water

reflections

Johnstown castle

Barcelona

fountain

gaudi

Barcelona

Faceless

faceless      faceless   faceless

Trees

book cover

sand tree

sand tree

Fairy tale

20

Another spring

Ireland

ireland

ireland

Ancient

dolmen

Mystery

creepy tree

Children

child

child

child

Foxes

fox1 291gauss

pat_gibbons

Hoodoos

 

Bryce Canyon Bryce Canyon

More birds

Bryce Canyon

cian_finn

Streets

dublin

dublin

spraoi

beggar

Thank you again!

inesemjphotography Have a wonderful weekend!

SPRAOI – thirteen years in the streets!

spraoi 2015

Thirteen years!  Well, not every day, but once a year, in August. In this blog I will cover just 1/100 of all the theatrical and musical events, just a small fragment of the festive fun so that you plan your next visit to Waterford on August Bank holiday weekend.

Spraoi [spree] is a Festival of international street Theater and Music which takes place  in the city of Waterford, Ireland, since 1992.  Spraoi means play in Gaelic.

In the opening image you see an evil monster hold a human. It happened on the last night of Spraoi this summer, but the beginning of the festival was quite innocent. Sort of.

nun ruth

This is Musical Nun Ruth, a no-nunsense Sister, and a favorite of all, children and grownups.  I followed her for an hour and took many photographs.

nun ruth

Sister Ruth wins hearts with her hilarious antics and charming personality.

nun ruth

nun ruth

nun ruth

These three ladies are not impressed..

spraoi

… but young children are excited  – she is very different from the nuns they know.

nun ruth

Tenth Avenue Band was another favorite.  They performed at Spraoi a couple of years ago, and it was delightful to see them again.

tenthavenue

I cannot tell you how I love the band!

tenth avenue

Open air tango with Tango Waterford… Another fascinating experience, tales of passion, jealousy and envy! Watching the spectators was fun.  They pretended that they didn’t really care, but the said envy was written all over their face.  I should have enrolled for a class ten years ago myself, when it wasn’t too late…

spraoi

Watching is not always fun. Look at these children waiting in the queue. The longest three minutes in their lives.

spraoi

Grandma and her Grandson, the owners of identical, gorgeous hair, also waiting for somebody. A brass band is playing on their right, but they look in different direction.

waterford

A man is reading old ads displayed in the butcher’s window while waiting for his wife.

waterfod

Unknown individual is reading today’s paper, waiting to clock out and go home, finally.

waterford

A dog is also waiting when it is time to go home. He has no idea that his owners are watching clowns. Or may be he knows?

dog

Young gypsy girl from  Romania, with a scarred face and tired eyes, wants to go home too, but her parents wouldn’t be happy if she left. It is a festival time after all.

beggar

I have many photographs from Spraoi Parade taken over the years, but this year it was my first parade when I took only three pictures. One of them you have already seen – A monster and a human. Theme for this year was Evolution, and the monster was supposed to be a product of evolution or something like that.  Two photographs below were taken before the parade turned to The Quay. Raining or not, the street was packed.

spraoi

spraoi

I hope you read the link about the history of Spraoi. It will help you to understand why all these people were standing in the heavy rain, and why the others, in amazing costumes that took a year to make were walking through the city center, some of them with very little clothes.  It is just love.

Thank you for catching a glimpse of Spraoi with me.  Tomorrow early in the morning I am off for a few days, and this trip will hopefully feed my blog until Christmas 🙂 I am not sure about the internet connection, and apologize if I won’t be able to return your visits to my blog. I promise to catch up when I am back with something interesting to share.

IneseMjPhotographyHave a wonderful weekend!

Waterford Walls

murals 199res

Waterford Walls is a visual Street Art project in Waterford City, Ireland. Irish and International street artists and talented school students transformed old spaces into extended art gallery. The first image is the work of Joe Caslin, a street artist and art teacher from Roscommon who is known for his project “Our Nation’s Sons” – large scale portraits of young men from disadvantaged social backgrounds.

In the image below, a man stopped to touch the surface of the portrait. I will tell you why.  Joe Caslin paintings are done on biodegradable paper,  and will come down within a few weeks.  We are lucky with the weather, and I hope the paintings will last another month.

murals

Another work of the same artist in Olaf Street. It is sad they won’t stay here too long.

murals

murals

I went around the city center to look for the other murals. First of all, I visited one of my favorite places in O’Connell Street and was pleased to find an interesting work.

murals

murals

After that I walked to Stephen Street. This is unused De La Salle Hall built in 1915. I love the new look of it’s facade. As it often happens in life, the facade is the only attractive part…

murals

murals

More murals in Stephen Street.

murals

murals

murals

murals

I like this mural  because the girl is holding a camera in her hands.

murals

It is where the rain started, and I rushed under the roof of a garage. From there I took a picture of a mural and a family with the matching umbrella.

murals

The rain didn’t last long and I walked to New Street to see the gardens and more murals.

murals

It was my last destination. There are about twenty murals, very colorful.

murals

This one is dedicated to Waterford Hospice.

murals

I stood there waiting for someone to come over and do something amazing, or at least something worth a picture, but there was no one in the gardens, so I just took a snap of the girl and her bees.

murals

Thank you for walking the streets with me. I know, it is not a once-in-a-lifetime trip, but think about the murals that won’t last longer that a couple of weeks. You have seen them!

This is sort of a similar exposition in 2008.

IneseMjPhotographyHave a wonderful weekend!

Clockwork toys

clockwork

Happy New Year, everyone! (And I do hope it is happy, or, at least, reasonably happy, which is my personal goal for 2015).

Most of us know how important it is to work, to exercise, to drink water, to read, to thank, to radiate good vibes etc, etc. Every important thing adds to our overall well-being,  and it is good that there are quite a few of them. If, being an imperfect human, I fail in choosing the most important, the right, and the best today, I still can pick up something from the list of important things and do it before I go to bed. No one is a failure. No one is neither programmed to fail, nor to win. We will start it again tomorrow and try to do better next time.

It is so good to be alive and every day have a different tomorrow to look forward to.

I saw this guy in the street shortly before I left for the airport. Unfortunately I had no time to ask his name, and where he came from. He had a companion, a very plain looking young lady, which made me think about them as a couple of exotic birds – a colorful male and a modest female bird. I dropped a few coins in their collection box and took these pictures.

res morozov and misc 086

I was thinking about this couple all my way to the airport. I was trying to google them, but with no success. They will stay a mystery until next winter when I hope to meet them again.

Their clockwork band filled the street with some Irish music. The dolls didn’t look uniform and evenly worn, and I guessed that they didn’t perform all together on a regular basis – only on some special occasions. They were turning around, banging into each other and turning back again. When a crowd gathered to gaze at the unusual performers, the man picked up a fiddle and started to play along. I was sorry that I had to leave.

I don’t know if their intention was to cheer up the crowd. I personally felt a sad kind of fascination watching the clockwork dolls live their mechanical lives. Is there anything more helpless in the toy world than a mechanical doll?

People can end up living mechanical lives too.  Lives without remorse and joy, without compassion and prayer for help, without fight and success. Lives without a different tomorrow.

Year 2014 was supposed to be very dangerous because of the technical and electronic  failures and related accidents, which unfortunately came out to be true… Hope that 2015 gives as a break so that we can focus on our personal lists of important things to work on. This video is for you to put a big smile on your face 🙂

Happy New 2015!

Photography tip of the day: When you take pictures of your little ones and share them on social media sites, consider the content of the photograph.

inesemjphotographyHave a wonderful week!

I left my heart in Barcelona

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).

fountain

fountain

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.

Barcelona

Barcelona

Barcelona

Barcelona

Barcelona

I walked this street to get to the Park Güell.

Barcelona

Barcelona

Plaça de Catalunya.

Barcelona

Barcelona

Vallcarca.

Barcelona

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

Barcelona

Street performers across from Hard Rock Cafe.

Barcelona

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

Barcelona

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.

http://youtu.be/pesZUj78S6s

www.inesemjphotography.comHave a great weekend!

 

Durrow Scarecrow Festival: part I

scarecrow festival

Beautiful village of Durrow, Co Laois are hosting their annual Scarecrow Festival this week. It officially opened last Sunday afternoon, but a fantastic job of preparation and scarecrow making started long before the day. Colorful and happy looking scarecrows sitting on the perches, trees or simply on the ground follow you on your way through the village and promise a good time and lots of fun.

scarecrow festival

Oh, even the President and the First Lady are… wait… never mind…

The Scarecrow glorified by L. Frank Baum is one of the most loved characters in children’s literature. He is gentle and kind, honest and wise. Seeking to get a set of brains he still appreciates the straw he is stuffed with, and his logic is unbeatable:

Scarecrow: I haven’t got a brain… only straw. 
Dorothy: How can you talk if you haven’t got a brain? 
Scarecrow: I don’t know… But some people without brains do an awful lot of talking… don’t they? 
Dorothy: Yes, I guess you’re right.

I will try to not do an awful lot of talking. The pictures will talk by themselves.

scarecrow festival

scarecrow festival

scarecrow festival

Scarecrow: Witch? Hmph, I’m not afraid of a witch. I’m not afraid of anything – except a lighted match.
Dorothy: I don’t blame you for that.

scarecrow festival

scarecrow festival

scarecrow festival

Who is the famous Scarecrow’s of Oz predecessor? It must be a Feathertop, the main character of the short story of the same name by Nathaniel Hawthorne,  first published in 1852. It is an almost Kafka-esque, thought-provoking story.

“Poor Feathertop,” Mother Rigby said, looking at the heap on the floor. “He was too good to be a scarecrow. And he was too good to be a man. But he will be happier, standing near the corn all summer and protecting it from the birds. So I will make him a scarecrow again.”

scarecrow festival

There is a long forgotten, but nevertheless brilliant movie Scarecrow (1983) directed by Jerry Schatzberg. It is a drama starring Gene Hackman and Al Pacino.  I was sure there is a comedy related to scarecrows, and  I did find a 1920 short comedy The Scarecrow. You can watch it here on Youtube it is just a few minutes of laugh 🙂

When did scarecrows become the horror icons? Some say that it all started with the 1981 horror mystery thriller Dark Night of the Scarecrow, directed by Frank De Felitta. I haven’t seen the movie, and to be honest, I haven’t seen ANY scarecrow horror movie. I would be terrified, I hate creepy things like murderous clowns and scarecrows. I’d better stay with this cute Snow White 🙂

scarecrow festival

There is so much to see in Durrow this week. Humans are watching the scarecrows ( you never know…) and…

scarecrow festival

..Scarecrows are watching humans…

scarecrow festival

There is even a local war going on!

Cowardly Lion: Come on, get up and fight, ya shivering junkyard! Put your hands up, ya lopsided bag o’ hay!
Scarecrow: Now that’s getting personal, Lion!

scarecrow festival

Children are actually very quiet here. I cannot blame them: the real and the surreal are tangled and unclear 🙂

scarecrow festival

Watching the performance I thought  I would take a picture of these fire red hair owners.

scarecrow festival

Suddenly all three of them turned back 🙂

scarecrow festival

That’s all for today. More pictures coming Friday.

I want to share a short fun video courtesy of Hattie Wilcox (the video is on this page of her website). It is filmed in Ireland, it is about the scarecrows, so it is quite relevant.

Hattie Wilcox is a terrifically talented composer, singer, poet, songwriter, photographer, and most humble and hard working  person. Please check out her website and blog.

Photography tip of the day: Use the White balance feature of your camera. Take pictures with different settings and chose the result you are happy with.

inese_mj_photographyHave a great week!

Clancy Brothers music festival in Carrick on Suir

clancy festival

What a great time to visit Ireland! This weekend Carrick on Suir, Tipperary, hosts the 7th annual Clancy Brothers Music and Arts Festival! The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem were an influential Irish folk group in the 60s; they are loved and honored in their hometown and recognized by folk song lovers throughout the world. There are a few pictures of the shop windows decorated for the occasion. clancy festival

clancy festival

clancy festival

clancy festival

A harvest time for street photography, but for me as a jet lag casualty it is impossible to see everything.  I just walked Main Street to listen to the street performing, or busking, competitions, and went to the Ormond castle for a Family Day fun. I find it very fascinating to watch the street performers. Closeness to the art happening in front of your eyes gives you a false feeling of belonging, but when you look in their inspired face you realise how far away they are now, unreachable, deep in their work, focused and beautiful.

257clan

clancy festival

clancy festival

clancy festival

clancy festival

clancy festival

clancy festival

clancy festival

clancy festival

Ormond Castle welcomes families to enjoy the medieval experience.

clancy festival

clancy festival

clancy festival

clancy festival

clancy festival

clancy festival

Some people enjoy it even more than the others:)

clancy festival

The Falconry exhibition was grand  but this 7-weeks old  baby owl girl stole the show.  It is exactly what we call a cuteness overflow. I wish you could hear the gentle sounds she made and see her cuddling in my lap.

clancy festival

clancy festival

clancy festival

There are so much more music and creative arts events, I wish I could be everywhere… Song writing workshop and competition, concerts of local and visiting performers and choirs, pub live music sessions all over the town, a river walk, children drama workshop and theatrical performances, visual art exhibitions…

clancy festival

clancy festival

clancy festival

Now you can go to the first picture and tell me what is your idea about the Guinness pints on the table. As you see some of them are full, some not:)

I didn’t make it to the River festival, so I just share with you my favorite song.

Photography tip of the day: Natural light is versatile and pure. You can bounce it from a Styrofoam board or white T-shirt, if necessary.

inesemj_photographyHave a great day!

St Patrick’s Day Parade, Carrick on Suir 2014

I want to share a few photos taken during the St Patrick’s Day Parade in Carrick on Suir. I absolutely love street photography!

Happy St Patrick’s Day to all!

patrick_day

patrick-day1

patrick day2

Tip of the day: Use your widest lens for the street photography.  To take these photos i used shutter speed about 1/800-1/1200 for the moving people, and 1/125 for standing. Remember to ask permission if you want to take close up pictures of children.

inesemj_photographyHave a great day!