Posts tagged ‘16-85mm DX VR’

August 13, 2015

“Imprints of Light” Exhibition

Soon we will be leaving Cork to move to Dublin, where I will take on a new role as a school chaplain (more on that another day). We have greatly enjoyed our twelve years in this wonderful part of Ireland and God-willing we will return for holidays and other adventures in the future.

One of the things I have been asked to do before we go is to have an exhibition of photographs for the Timoleague Festival. I feel very honoured to have been asked and a little daunted by the whole undertaking. Thankfully I have some excellent help from a parishioner who is also a very accomplished and gifted photographer and who knows a good deal about this sort of thing. The photos will go up later today and the display will be open to the public from Saturday for a week.

Here is a gallery of the photos that have been printed for the exhibition; some of them have appeared on this blog before and others are new:

October 12, 2012

Around Wastwater part 2

Here are some colour photos as a follow up to the earlier black and whites (which you can find here).

Mountain Light, larger version here.

Fern detail, larger version here.

Expecting ‘Postman Pat’, larger version here.

Last of the Sun on Great Gable, larger version here.

View from Scafell Pike Summit, larger version here.

Walking towards Wasdale Head, larger version here.

October 7, 2012

Around Wastwater

Here are some landscape photos which I took back in August when we were in the wonderfully rugged terrain around Wastwater in Cumbria, England. I’ll put up some colour ones next time but for now here are four Black & Whites from the hundred or so pictures that I took. By the way if you are wondering about the sky in the second picture and whether it’s real or not – yes it is – the trick is to use a polarizing filter and stand at 90 degrees to the sun…

October 4, 2012

“Micheáls Corner”

I never met him but I can imagine what he might have been like.  Perhaps Micheál was a great talker, a real personality, always with an opinion to share on any issue you would care to mention, (but especially if it involved politics or sport).  At the same time he seems to have liked to have his back to the wall, to sit in the corner and survey the room; perhaps to watch and weigh-up those coming in or going out.  For those that knew him this corner must seem very empty now.  But as they look up at his painting they can remember him, the laughter and the good times.  ‘Where did the time go?’ His old friends might say.  ‘One minute he was here, the next he was gone.  We thought he would always be there … but I suppose in a way he still is.’

October 3, 2012



As I came around the corner the Labrador looked up expectantly at me, then realising that I was not the human he was hoping for, his ears dropped and he resumed his quiet and patient vigil.

When I was growing up we had a dog similar to this one.  He used to be my alarm clock in the morning, bounding up the stairs, and jumping on my bed as if to say ‘get up, do you know what time it is?’  When I came home on visits from boarding school he would practically knock me over with canine exuberance.  He was like a member of the family and even though I had long left home when he died, I missed him very much.  My experience this morning makes me realise that I still do miss him at times…

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog.  You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.

(Author Unknown)

September 17, 2012

Give us this day our daily bread

Photo:  ‘The Alternative Bread Company’, English Market, Cork.  (Photo on Flickr here.)

It all started with a trip to the dentist. The week before he had warned me that for my next visit I was going to be sat in the chair for about an hour and a half.  With this not particularly welcome bit of news there was an up side – I had a few days to think about what I could do with my time in that chair.  My first thought was to listen to music via headphones but I needed to be able to hear what the dentist had to say so that was not an option. I eventually decided to try and (silently!) pray the Lord’s prayer instead, not just say it through a hundred times, but to pray it through once, spending time on each line, mulling the words over, what they meant, their implications and so on. Well I have to say that it was the best time I have ever spent in the dentists chair! With my mouth numbed because of the anesthetic and my eyes closed, I hardly noticed the horrendous drilling, filing and general carpentry going on in the workshop that was my mouth. Instead I found myself marveling at God ‘our Father’, with a name that was very ‘hallowed’, and so on. When I got to ‘thy kingdom come’, I felt like I could have gone on and on indefinitely; ‘thy kingdom come… into my life, Sonja’s life, our boys, then wider and wider outwards to, family, friends, neighbours, strangers, events and people in the news, even the dentist and his assistant!

Of all the lines, it was ‘give us this day our daily bread’, that I mulled over the most.  For so many people, poverty is a gruelling, grinding, daily reality; they do not have enough daily bread because people in wealthy countries (like me) have too much and hoard too much rather than give it away. I think it all ties in well with ‘thy kingdom come’; in many ways the advancement (or not) of God’s kingdom is in some ways entirely up to us (a scary thought).

When I got home I was looking for a book on the shelves in the study when my eyes caught another book altogether – I had completely forgotten about it and it is one that I have never read since picking it up at a second-hand stall a number of years ago.  It’s called “Praying the Lord’s Prayer” by Terry Virgo.  In the chapter entitled Give us today our daily bread, he writes:

If God’s highest gift is his Son, what’s his most basic gift?  Couldn’t it be ‘our daily bread’?  The two are extremes.  Surely God is telling us that if he’s willing to give us both the most precious and the most common things, he is more than wiling to supply us with everything in between.

Perhaps I realise now more than I ever did previously that EVERYTHING is a gift from God.  It is easy to see eternal life as a gift (for what else could it be?) But what about every breath, every heartbeat, every person with whom we come into contact, each and every day, each meal, indeed everything in this world and in this life that is good being a gift from God?  It is wonderful and liberating to know that none of the things I have are really mine anyway, they all belong to God, and I am learning (albeit slowly) that that really is the best way for it to be…

September 5, 2012

Walking at the edge of the world

Last Saturday we joined with a sizeable number of others taking part in the annual Sheep’s Head walk for Christian Aid. The “Sheep’s Head” is a peninsula in West Cork jutting out twenty one kilometres into the Atlantic Ocean and is only four kilometres across at its widest point. It is a truly spectacular location. We started from and finished at Kilcrohane Community Centre, with a very enjoyable walk along the way.

We soon found ourselves up at about 300m above sea level and the views were spectacular. Then what so often happens anywhere along the West coast of Ireland happened – the clouds and mist started to roll in off the sea.

But the light remained bright, so even though we were walking in cloud and fog, the visibility remained good. Just occasionally the veil was lifted and a swirling gap of light presented the opportunity to take a picture of the wonderful and vast scape of land and sea. At times it was hard to see where the sky, sea and land met each other, such was the wonderful array and trickery of the light.

Of course the whole point of the walk was to raise money for Christian Aid. Andrew Coleman and his team of volunteers had (as they always do) done an excellent job of organising the day and making it enjoyable for all ages and walking abilities. In brief but powerful words, Canon Patrick Hewitt reminded us that the distance we had walked that day would be a daily necessity for many, whether to collect water, medicines or simply to go to school. In some small yet not insignificant way the money raised by this event would go to help people a long way from this place, that at that moment we somehow felt a little closer to even though in many ways in comparison with them it felt like we were walking at the edge of the world…


Link to photos on Flickr:


August 31, 2012

St. Olaf’s Church

For our family holiday this year we returned to Wasdale Head in the English Lake District.  It is such a wonderful place to stay, with the benefit of being much quieter than other parts of the Lake District (because of its inaccessibility and because there is nothing to do here other than go walking in the hills or swim in the lake)!

St. Olaf’s Church is one of, if not the smallest church buildings in England.  In the picture above it is all but hidden amongst a circle of Yew trees, with Kirk Fell and Great Gable in the background (larger version on Flickr here).  The church has been there for at least a thousand years, some of the original timbers apparently being those from a Viking Longship.

The four of us bundled into one of the pews for a Sunday evening celebration of Holy Communion.  It was one of the highlights of our holiday, the visiting clergyman gave an excellent sermon and it was wonderful to share the bread and the wine with such a variety of people, locals and fellow hill-walkers alike.  (Photo on Flickr here.)
This window, with the quote from Psalm 121 is dedicated to the members of the Fell and Rock Climbing club who lost their lives in the First World War.  It looks out on to the church yard and the graves of numerous climbers who died in the surrounding hills and of those who simply wanted to be buried here in such beautiful surroundings.  In the background you can just about make out the north facing slope of Lingmell. (Photo on Flickr here.)

The origin of our word ‘holiday’ comes of course from ‘holy day’, a day set apart for God.  There really is something special, spiritual and holy about walking among and being in these hills and I cannot think of any better way of expressing it than in those words of the Psalmist quoted above.  St. Olaf’s may be the smallest church, near the highest mountain and the deepest lake in England, but perhaps here more than most other places, it is not necessary to confine one’s worship to a building because praise, worship and thanksgiving come so naturally in these most beautiful surroundings, just as much today as they did to those original Viking settlers over a thousand years ago.


July 28, 2012

Rosses Point

The two headlands of Sligo bay are Strandhill to the south and Rosses Point to the north.  Strandhill is arguably the more ‘happening’ place, with a strong surfing community, more noise, bigger waves, and lots more seaweed!  Rosses Point is more genteel, more Jazz or Folk to Strandhill’s Rock ‘n Roll.  Both are great places and depending upon one’s mood one will be preferable to the other…

For the few days that we stayed at Rosses Point campsite, the weather followed a regular pattern; during the day it would be cloudy with a bit of rain here and there and then in the evening the clouds would scatter and the sun would apologise for its lack of visibility during the day by putting on a spectacular sunset.  On the occasion of the above photo, I was very grateful to the local yacht club for sending out a few boats to make the photo more interesting!  I can’t think of a more beautiful evening to learn how to sail.  The Sun cast a golden glow over everything so that it was hard at times to distinguish where the sea ended and the sky began… (See photo on Flickr here).

This statue, entitled “Waiting on Shore”, is one of the more famous landmarks of the area.  (See photo on Flickr here).  A plaque at the base reads:

This sculpture reflects the age-old anguish of a seafaring people who watched and waited for the safe return of loved ones.  The men and women of Rosses Point Parish have a proud history of courage and survival of loss and grief that should not be forgotten by future generations.

It is to honour the memory of these brave people who once lived, sailed, or were lost at sea, that this woman, cast in bronze, stands today on our headland.

Lost at sea, lost at sea or in the evening tide, we loved you, we miss you may God with you abide.

A front row seat for this evening’s performance… (See photo on Flickr here).

July 19, 2012

Glencar Waterfall

Glencar Waterfall, perhaps best described by W.B. Yeats in his poem “The Stolen Child”:

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star…

I remember years ago some of the instructors from the Activity Centre where Sonja and I worked abseiling down this waterfall – to me it looked like sheer madness but to them merely an afternoons entertainment!

Last week, we were up in Sligo for the New Wine Summer Conference – a truly remarkable, wonderful (and at times overwhelming experience).  As well as the conference it was good to catch up with old friends and to take a few photos…

Photo Notes:
The picture above was a thirteen second exposure.  I wanted as long an exposure as possible to get the water to look like a veil, unfortunately though I had left my tripod behind in the boot of the car.  Thankfully there was a fence on which to rest the camera but the disadvantage of this was that I could not take the photo from the angle I wanted (hence some of the ‘plunge pool’ is missing) and it simply was not possible to hold the camera steady enough to get a high level of sharpness – all lessons learned for another time – oh and I needed a polarizing filter also, to cut down on the glare.

Larger version on Flickr here.