Archive for November, 2012

November 26, 2012

South Pole 15,722 km


Patrick Keohane, a native of Courtmacsherry was a member of Scott’s ultimately tragic Terra Nova Expedition of 1910-13.


I really like the monument that has been recently been erected in his honour …

… and the sense of humour that led to this sign being posted!


November 14, 2012

One camera & one lens (for one year)…

I’ve wanted to do this for a while, ever since I read Michael Johnston’s article “The Leica as Teacher”.  The idea is that in restricting yourself to one camera and one fixed focal length lens you begin to ‘see’ better as a photographer.  Also by only using black and white, you learn to look at patterns and textures, light and shade, things which are often forgotten in the splurge of colour.

So the set up is a Nikon D7000, which I have been using for the past year and a Nikon 35mm f1.8 lens, which I got recently for (an early) birthday present.

Really this should be done with a film camera (and ideally a Leica), but I don’t have a working film camera any more so I’m just using what I have.  Part of the challenge is to shoot at least two rolls of film a week (that is at least 72 exposures) – that’s a lot of pictures, but I will give it a go.  I’m looking forward to the challenge very much.  I plan to get the best photo from each month of the year printed so that at the end of the year to have a set of twelve prints to display on a wall somewhere in the house.

The year starts tomorrow 15th November and I’ve decided to do this project in a separate blog (as well as keeping this one going).  The blog can be found at:

November 11, 2012

We will remember them


Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

Winston Churchill.


These famous words come from Churchill’s speech to the House of Commons during the Battle of Britain.  The ‘few’ refers to the pilots of the Royal Air Force, who were so heavily outnumbered and yet prevailed and in so doing provided much needed inspiration to all those involved in holding back and defeating what until that time had seemed an invincible enemy…

They shall grow not old,
as we that are left grow old;
age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun
and in the morning,
we will remember them.

November 8, 2012



He stood there for a long time, lost in thought and completely oblivious to my taking his photo.  What is it about the painting that has so caught the man’s attention?  I would imagine that the artist would be delighted, the painting was achieving the desired affect; the viewer was being drawn in, captivated, connected with.  Art is many things, but as a means of communication it is a very powerful medium.

Last night I read this:

The first thing we learn about [God] in the Scriptures is that He was an artist. … God moved across the chaos and began to imagine.  Colours – blue and green and red and yellow.  All the colours somehow mixed together.  What would green look like alongside blue, with a little thin band of gold to join the two?  Mountains.  Oceans.  Beaches.  Rivers.  Trees. Canyons.  Valleys.  Shapes and textures and smells and taste.  All these things existed in God’s imagination, even before he decided to make them into a reality and create His artistic masterpiece – the world…

(Steve Stockman, “Walk On”, the Spiritual Journey of U2.  Relevant Books, 2005, p.88)

God is the great Artist, He has communicated to us through His great canvas.  Are we drawn in, captivated, connected?

Or do we just walk on by?

November 2, 2012


Autumn is a time of mixed emotions. Perhaps the American term ‘Fall’ is more appropriate; we witness the death of summer, multiple hues of green, life, growth, hope and future are cut short, greens become browns, life becomes death.  Growth is halted, cut short, heat gives way to coldness, the sun lowers its arc across the sky, the light changes becoming more silvery and less intense, shadows become longer, the sweet scents and smells of summer give way to dank and damp, moss and mould.

And yet there is a glory to it all. Perhaps it is rather a sleep than a death. Nature is shedding her skin, her demise only skin deep, yet the resurrection of spring none the less impressive in the burst of new life that arises out of the ashes of winter.

Photographs are stories and these mobile phone snaps like sketches on the page, giving a glimpse of that great saga of the seasons we inhabit year by year our whole life long.

Yet the Autumn chapter in the book-of-the-seasons story is surely a God-given reflection or analogy of that greatest story of all; a tale of a birth like no other, life in all its fullness, a death that was beyond darkness and of a resurrection and spring of new hope that would point us to the glorious future of the summer to come that lies beyond the shores of this life in a greater country and place, where there shall be no more pain, death or dying but only the fullness of joy in the presence of our Lord and Saviour, Master and Friend:

Bring us, O Lord God, at our last awakening into the house and gate of heaven to enter into that gate and dwell in that house, where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light; no noise nor silence, but one equal music; no fears nor hopes, but one equal possession; no ends nor beginnings, but one equal eternity; in the habitations of thy glory and dominion, world without end.

A Prayer of John Donne (1572-1631)