It’s been something of an odd January here in Ireland. For a start, it’s been pretty bloody dark. It has’t exactly been the ideal environment to go out an take photos. Being sick didn’t help either. I had just been thinking to myself I hadn’t really shot any street photography recently, and then, as if by magic, the opportunity presented itself, so off I went.
Last year I got up early with the aim of capturing the sunrise for the first day of the year. I took some nice shots of the light before dawn but it clouded over too much before the actual sun rose. Still, I wanted to make it a tradition, and so, once again, I headed to the same spot in order to catch the first rays of the sun for 2018.
Last weekend I went to one of my favourite spots in Ireland, the Glendalough National Park, which is home to some spectacular scenery, and is a glacial valley in the wicklow mountains. Along with the spectacular scenery, there was some spectacular light too. The weather was changeable to say the least, and a continuous series of clouds and showers danced across the scenery.
I’ve said on my blog many times that Autumn is my favourite time of the year for photography. This isn’t just about the wonderful colours of the falling leaves. It’s also abut the Autumn light, and here in Ireland it’a already starting to be noticeable.
I was out in the formal gardens in the Powerscourt Estate in co. Wicklow, which is a local tourist attraction. It’s an old stately home in the countryside in the county where I grew up. It’s quite famous in the area, and has been featured in several movies over the years, most notably The Count of Monte Cristo. They have some lovely ornate gardens, and my wife and I were talking a walk through them over the weekend.
It’s been little while since I’ve posted a Street Photo Diary, and for this issue, I’m doing things a little differently. I’ve been shooting some film recently, and I also found some undeveloped film that I shot back at the start of the year, which also turned out to be some street shots.
I happened to be in the right place at the right time the other day to capture an amazing sunset. While travelling back on the ferry from Holyhead to Dublin, the sea was calm and the sky was beautiful, and as we reached the middle of the journey the sun set on the horizon, in a beautiful display of reds and golds.
I was in Galway yesterday, which was the longest day of the year, and I wanted to capture the sunset over Galway bay looking out to the Atlantic. As it was the longest day, it was kind of a special sunset, marking the end of the lengthening evenings and the start of the long march back to winter. Unfortunately it was cloudy, but there was still some nice light, and the beach at Salthill in Galway is dramatic in and of itself.
A few weeks ago, I was up and out early into the city to shoot some things for my Streets of Dublin project, and while I was there I ended up shooting a lot of street photography too. What was funny though was that, as it was early in the morning, people were heading to work and the mood was quite different from how it is later in the day. For a start everyone was walking with haste and with a real sense of purpose.
In the previous issue of my travel diary, I talked about visiting the German city of Darmstadt on a dull day. I had deliberately gone for an industrial and rigid look to the photos for that piece, to enhance the mood of the dull weather. While this certainly suited the atmosphere, it does perhaps misrepresent the town of Darmstadt. During on the rest of my time there, the sun was out and the feeling couldn’t be more different. It’s actually a lovely city, and a very green one.
During my recent stay in the German city of Darmstadt, I was scanning google maps one evening looking for places to go, when I noticed that down the road from where I was staying, there seemed to be a rather large area of forest. This was strange in and of itself, because where we were staying was in an industrial estate, with big modern buildings, but just down the road was a huge forest.
While exploring the German Town of Darmstadt, I came across an impressive sight. I was walking out through the town, when I wandered into a large open square with a very unique looking set of concrete structures and an imposing, but starkly beautiful building down the far end of it. I had read about it previously in the guide books, but it was something else to see it in person. It was like something out of a science fiction movie. It was the Darmstadt State Theatre.
As someone who worked as a designer for many years, combinations of colours have always fascinated me. I like how you can heave meaning and impart feelings, just by using certain colour combinations. When spring comes around, I love the combination of green and yellow, and nothing symbolises that more than the humble daffodil.
The other day, the temperature dropped down below zero for the first time this year. The air was cold and fresh, and you could feel the icy hands of winter on your skin. The winter sky is clear and blue, and the low sun gives the illusion of warmth, but you can almost see the invisible iciness in the air.
I was walking through a nearby forested park the other day, and I caught an interesting sequence of images. There is a large lake in the middle of the park and there’s always lots of ducks and seagulls there. At this time of the year it’s especially beautiful, as the autumn colours on the leaves give the waters of the lake a patchwork of green and gold.
I’ve always been quite fond of textures and patterns. I find that, even in the seemingly harsh and cold medium of concrete and glass there can be beauty. I spent a few hours the other day in one of the newest parts of Dublin City, where there are lots of modern buildings as well as ongoing construction, and the light was just right to really emphasis the aesthetics of these elements.
After a topsy turvy weather ride this year, we finally had a few nice and sunny days here in Dublin, and I made sure to make the best of them. I managed to spend a good bit of time out shooting some street shots and I finally feel that my mojo is starting to come back a little.