Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Oystercatcher Aqua Study - Series

A late evening walk down to the other strand and these arty shots happened on their own due to the low light / long exposure. I just went with it. The only editing done here is a minimal crop, the levels and a slight colour balance to ensure continuity with all four images.

Sometimes simple is best.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

The Henry Girls, De Barras 12.2.15

Another fabulous night out at De Barras in Clonakilty last Thursday for these lovely Donegal ladies - The Henry Girls, fabulously talented musicians singing in beautiful harmony.

Karen, Lorna and Joleen performing an Andrews Sisters number

An impromptu performance with some of the West Cork Ukulele Orchestra

Thanks for a lovely evening of music and chat afterwards. All best wishes for your upcoming tour of The States.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Baltimore Beacon 'Boobiebellion'

When I read the story about the breast cancer sufferer who was told to stay inside until she looked less like a “sick freak” while wearing a booby hat in Saffron Walden, I was shocked enough that along with many of my fellow Waldeners, we joined an online community to show our support for this brave lady. Overnight, the 'Boobiebellion' story went viral and the plan was made to stage a Boobie Flash Mob on 14th February.

Sadly, I realised I wasn't going to be able to take part in this worthy event as I am currently in West Cork, Ireland, preparing for my Spring season of photography workshops for beginners. However, I was determined to show my support in any way I could. I knew I wasn't going to be able to acquire or knit or crochet a 'boobie hat' so I had to find the nearest off-the-shelf boob-like hat. My boobie hat differed from those back in Walden, in that mine was to be a 'Facebook' version i.e. it doesn't show the nipple (another bizarre matter - why FB?) Then I was to choose the location for my singular 'flash mob' to take place.

It didn't take long to choose my location - Baltimore Beacon - an iconic landmark in this far south-west corner of Ireland, and known locally as 'Lot's Wife'
(appropriately), and complete with its very own, if rather unique nipple too!
At 2.30 - the time for the flash-mob back in Saffron Walden, I set off to climb up to the cliff-edge location on a mild, sunny February afternoon. Looking out over the calm Atlantic in this stunningly beautiful corner of Ireland, I thought about the brave lady who had been trying to raise awareness about breast cancer through her own adversity, in the hope of encouraging women, (and indeed men as it can affect them too) to check their breasts regularly. I also took a moment to be grateful for the wonderful Cambridge Breast Unit at Addenbrookes Hospital, which I had unfortunately had reason to visit myself only a couple of months ago, a unit without whom, many women may not have had their condition diagnosed. On this occasion I was able to come home with good news, but for some, it is not so good. And this is why the Boobibellion Flash Mob was playing its part in supporting the  Addenbrookes Breast Cancer Appeal  

So, I may not have been at the Saffron Walden Boobiebellion Flash-mob - and well done to everyone involved there, but I played my part and single-handedly took part in my own Baltimore Beacon 'Boobiebellion' Flash-mob, and my donation will be going in to the Addenbrookes appeal.

I finish by wishing the lady in question a safe and successful recovery. She did help raise awareness for breast cancer but in a way she never imagined.

Saturday, 7 February 2015


How many times have I gone on the watch for murmurations back home in East Anglia?!!!

There's me standing at my sink here in West Cork, and I have the local starling congregation looking back in at me!

It may not be a full blown gathering but still wonderful to watch them fly from wire-gathering to wire-gathering, until finally - poof!

They're gone for another day.

Friday, 6 February 2015

The Villagers, De Barras 5.2.15

So delighted to get along to another gig at DeBarras - it has been a while! This time it was The Villagers - or to be precise Villager, as he, Conor O'Brien, was on his own here, leaving the other four band members at home. Instead, he teamed up with two different musicians, one on drums and trumpet, the other on harp and fiddle. On initial thinking, that particular combo might seem unusual but in fact, this first-time-performing-together group produced a beautiful amalgamation of sound, ahead of the release of the new album 'Darling Arithmatic'


I have to admit, it is the first time I have seen the Villagers, although it is not the first time I have been to a gig, or done a shoot in De Barras but I was there just to listen this time, so I was in off-duty mode with my camera. As can be expected, it is a bit tight shooting in this snug, unique and award nominated venue. However, I was putting my new 'off-duty' camera through its paces, seeing how it would cope with low light levels, and I have to say I am pretty impressed with the results from the Olympus OMD E-M10.

Villager? Yep, I was impressed there too and look forward to getting a copy of the new album when it is released on the 10th April.

...and back to De Barras next week for The Henry Girls...

Monday, 2 February 2015

Little Egret

You looking at me?!!

Yep, I'm a Little Egret or in Latin Egretta garzetta and I live in the tidal lagoon at Rosscarbery in Ireland. The town is right on the Wild Atlantic Way, the world's longest defined coastal touring route, so I'm sort of used to having people stopping and looking at me, although I'm still a bit nervous when the cameras come out.

The tide is just on its way back in but before it reaches this spot, there is just time to pop along to do a bit of fishing - now that I've finished my session of must-do preening in the winter sunshine of course.

Now, there is a bit of a technique to fishing and these big yellow feet of mine come in particularly useful.

You see, I paddle about in the shallow water and as I do, I jiggle my foot about in the mud at the bottom, which hopefully will release some tasty morsels from their secure resting place.

Sometimes I have to go back and forth a bit.

But I'm always keeping my beady eye open for that tell-tale movement, aaaaaaand...


Smart eh?!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

West Cork Arts Centre - Opening

Saturday 31st January 2015 was the landmark opening day for the West Cork Arts Centre in Skibbereen. For many who, like me, have been watching the construction progress of this what can only be described as, a highly unusual building, it was the first opportunity to finally get a glimpse inside the galleries and workspaces.

By the time I arrived, the 'official business' had been completed and with the wine readily flowing, visitors were able to wander through the clean open spaces...

...mingle amongst the art...

...reflect and enjoy the space.


Within this unconventional building, there will be all the familiar aspects of the arts, and whole sectors of the community will become involved.

It was interesting to contrast the colourful work from local school children, displayed on the clean white stairwell at one end of the building, with the unfinished industrial look of the bare concrete and electrical conduit of the main stairwell.
I guess it will ultimately be easy to maintain.

None the less, the new space that has been created in Uillinn will be an asset to the people of West Cork.

The name? My little knowledge of Gaelic has found it is something to do with elbows or angles but I stand to be enlightened on the meaning or significance of it.

As for the rusty water tower look - the jury is still out on that one, and may be for some considerable time yet.