The Winding Path To The Sea

The Winding Path

The steep, winding path of the Blasket Island Ferry at Dunquin, Ireland

As we drove the route around the Dingle Peninsula we often found ourselves abandoning a former plan in order to pursue some other beautiful sight. Sometimes the views we were chasing were based on what we saw ourselves and at other times we were going on information gathered from a new-found friend. This shot, though, was inspired by a postcard of all things. Although I prefer to find my own compositions I often spend a few minutes in a local drugstore or gift shop perusing the postcards from that area. Sometimes the images on the postcards are stock and not even from the region. But, oftentimes the images are from great local scenes both well-known and obscure.

In this case, I saw an absolutely wonderful image of sheep walking up a steep, winding path with the sea and coastal islands in the background. The image was simply too intriguing to not discover more about it. After doing a bit of research I found that the shot was taken at the Blasket Island Ferry terminal in Dunquin, or An Daingean as it is known locally. I won’t even attempt to show how the location is spelled in the native Irish Gaelic!

After driving around a bit and making a few wrong turns, we finally found the ferry. But, the shot from the “terminal” (a very simple six by six hut with a stove and sliding window) was not what I was looking for. So, I set off on foot toward the water hoping the shot would materialize. I quickly found my location and was amazed by what I saw. The ferry-boat docks in a somewhat sheltered cove about a hundred feet below the top of the cliff. Passengers – and sheep, too, apparently – disembark onto a small platform and wind their way up a narrow path toward the headland where I was standing. Even then, the wind was howling. I simply can’t imagine making that transition on a raw winter day with rain and sleet pelting down in frigid temperatures.

For this shot, I found a perch on the grassy knoll you see in the foreground of this shot. I broke out my 14-24 2.8 lens in order to take in as much of the landscape as possible. By balancing in a fairly precarious position I was able to keep my tripod stable and shoot off a series of frames. The biggest enemy this day was the wind. At times it blew so hard that I thought my whole rig would topple to the ground. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. Unfortunately, the ferry was not running this day so no unloading of sheep would be occurring. I look forward to visiting Ireland again in order to possibly see that sight and to visit the Blasket Islands.

The Dingle Peninsula is a magical place. Hopefully, this series of images conveys some sense of the beauty of this special place. Enjoy.

Dingle Door

Dingle Door

A wonderful painted door in the quaint little town of Dingle

I love shooting architecture. I suppose it’s the symmetry that draws my eye to it. And when you add a pop of color, I’m *really* drawn to architecture. Such is the case with this door that we found in the town of Dingle. It’s a small town but crammed full of pubs, shops, and houses close by each other. Although there are plenty of pretty sights, this door popped out because of its paint scheme. Enjoy!

Dingle Harbor

Dingle Harbor

The rising moon and clouds lit by the setting sun hang over beautiful Dingle harbor

My favorite part of our trip to Ireland was our time on the Dingle Peninsula. It was everything that I hoped Ireland would be and more. The scenery was beautiful, the music was enchanting, the people were friendly, and the food was plentiful and tasty. I can’t imagine having a better time. I only wish that we could have stayed there for a week or more.

Our stay was made even more perfect by the hotel we stayed in. The Castlewood House is one of the best hotels I’ve ever stayed in. It’s either a large B&B or a small hotel. In either case it’s a perfect place to stay. The owners were helpful without being overly inquisitive. The breakfasts that we had there were some of the best I’ve had in my life. The rooms were modern and yet filled with antiques. All that and the walk to “downtown” Dingle was maybe five minutes. I can’t recommend Castlewood House highly enough.

This image was made just after dinner and just before the live music began in the pub we were in that evening. I kept looking up from our table to see how the light was looking. My long-suffering wife shooed me out of the restaurant knowing that I wouldn’t enjoy the music if I had missed the sunset. I spent twenty or thirty minutes taking in the show as the clouds turned cotton candy pink above Dingle Harbor. This image is a bit soft but it gives a glimpse of the pretty little town and harbor of Dingle. Enjoy!

Sunset Light on Provins, France

Sunset Light on Provins, France

A view of medieval Provins, France as sunset light casts a beautiful glow on the town

Because Provins was so small I could walk from one end of the town to the other in about ten minutes. That made it incredibly easy to scramble up to the top of the walls at the west end of town in order to gain a better vantage point. On the last night in Provins, I had hoped for a beautiful cloud filled sky. What I got was almost as good for the shot that I ended up taking.

Our first five days in France were for the most part blue sky days. There may have been a few clouds that passed by, but for the most part, the sky was clear and the winds were calm. Normally those aren’t the best conditions for photography. But, for this shot, I wanted to get the warm rays of a setting sun casting a warm glow on the beautiful, medieval town of Provins where we were staying.

I got my wish and managed to find a spot that also displayed the half-timbered buildings of the town as a foreground to the Catholic church and Roman fort in the distance. It was a fun way to spend an hour or so waiting for the sun to set. I hope you enjoy the image as much as I enjoyed capturing it.

Peacham, Vermont

Peacham, Vermont

A classic Vermont pastoral scene of Peacham, Vermont surrounded by fall color

I love to create new, fresh images. But, I must admit, I also am attracted to classic locations that have been captured hundreds and thousands of times. Today’s image is in the latter category.

I didn’t just stumble onto this scene. In fact, if you search for Peacham and Photograph on the internet, you can find dozens of shots very similar to this one. I’ve even shot it before on at least two different occasions. But, that doesn’t diminish the fact that this is a classic New England scenic that captures a once typical quaint New England town.

The image contains all the elements of a classic New England village. White steepled church? Check. Red barn? Check? Fall foliage surrounding village? Check. Rolling rugged hills? Check? If you look closely, you can see that there are also a few cars parked at the church. That’s not classic New England village. Unfortunately, on the day I was in Peacham, there was a fall festival going on and people were parked all over the village. Fortunately for me, the view from the hillside didn’t include most of the activity going on that day.

I hope you enjoy the image. You definitely should visit Peacham if you find yourself in north central Vermont. It’s a lovely little town and a slice of rural New England that is quickly vanishing. Enjoy.