Category: Ireland

One Future Option

I’m still thinking about a different direction for at least some of my photography.  I’m considering shifting my emphasis from blogging to printing a zine in B&W.  My first thought has been, what subject, pictures, etc.?  I am thinking about maybe first using some images from our travels to see how it all works.

Wanting to see how they worked in B&W, I revisited images (shown above) from our trip to Ireland, but I focused on images that I hadn’t already printed for my walls.  

I’m more interested now in the common things and seeing if I can shift my future photography to the small things I see on a daily basis during 2022.  I’m looking for memory joggers that include different things than the classic iconic images that others make.

I’m also thinking about extending this approach to images I make while walking around Hanover this spring and coming summer.

One problem is that I don’t know how I want to process the images until I see them printed in a zine.  I need to make a test zine using different styles to see what I like best before I decide on camera settings, etc.  

Well, I might or might not go this route.  I’m still dithering on future options.  I figure I have at least two months to continue dithering before spring arrives and we see what the future Covid situation looks like.

The Burren in County Clare in Ireland

I made these in Ireland in May 2011 before moving to Homewood at Plum Creek later that year.  I have been reminiscing about trips and cameras used in the past.  Marcia was showing me the small snail she spotted as we started to walk in the Burrens.  

I used the Olympus E-PL2 with the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 lens to make these.  Micro 4/3 cameras make great travel cameras.

Blissful Ignorance

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“If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”
— Joseph Campbell

This even applies to my photography.  It is my practice, when using prime lenses, to make a judgment before I go out as to what lens I will use and then stick with it.  I rarely take multiple lenses with me or change lenses in the field.  I let the chosen focal length guide me to the composition and images I make.  For the above image I was using a 20 mm lens on a micro 4/3 camera so the effective focal length was 40 mm.  Maybe it is blissful ignorance in that later when I get the image up on my computer screen I don’t remember, or miss, what might have been out of view.

Road to ?

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“It takes some time to understand that life can’t always go your way. People move on and change their minds, and leave you stranded. But you have to remember there’s always a road that will lead you to wonderful places unseen, to people unheard and stories untold.”
― Luisa Henao

Liberation

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“Zen is a liberation from time. For if we open our eyes and see clearly, it becomes obvious that there is no other time than this instant, and that the past and the future are abstractions without any concrete reality.”
― Alan Wilson Watts

Favorite Travel Lenses

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Note the different style/shape/size windows/doors/openings in a very small area in a very old structure in the above image.

While I have gone back through my older pictures taken a few years ago in Ireland, I discovered that all the best images (my preference) were taken with a micro 4/3 camera with one of two prime lenses.  Those lenses were the Panasonic 14 mm or 20 mm pancake lenses.  They had effective focal lengths of 28 and 40 mm.  Looking at the images made with these two lenses brought back memories of how much I loved using these small pancake lenses on a small camera.  If we were in town and walking the streets or touring inside buildings I used the 14 mm lens and if we were out in the country or traveling in the van I used the 20 mm lens.  I found these to be near perfect focal lengths in Ireland.  As I often do, I have decided to go back to the future … get something new & better that replicates one aspect of a previous capability.

I now have the Fuji X-E1 camera which is even better than the micro 4/3 camera that I used in Ireland.  Since it is also small and of the same rangefinder style and since I already have the 27 mm pancake lens with an effective focal length of 40.5 mm, I decided to order the Fuji 18 mm, effective 27 mm focal length, lens.  Using these focal lengths on the streets in Hanover, PA will not be the same and may not work as well, but I will also be able to use my 35 mm prime lens (effective 52.5 mm) here if needed on the wider streets.

Rain

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Many of the pictures that I took in Ireland when it was raining were taken from inside a van which had heavily tinted windows.  They were a very dark green.  If you look, you can often see reflections on the glass as well as the rain drops which sometimes were blown sideways by the wind and moving van.  The most effective way that I found to deal with the green tint was to convert the pictures to B&W.  If you ever end up with similar pictures, try converting them to B&W and then adjusting them to bring back the details, contrast, etc.

Sitting in the Sun in Ireland

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“Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right
Little darlin’ it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darlin’ it feels like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right
Little darlin’ the smiles returning to their faces
Little darlin’ it seems like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Little darlin’ I feel the ice is slowly meltin’
Little darlin’ it seems like years since it’s been clear
Here come the sun, here comes the sun
And I say it’s all right
Here come the sun, here comes the sun
It’s all right, it’s all right”
― George HarrisonThe Beatles Illustrated Lyrics

Reality

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“Zen is not some fancy, special art of living. Our teaching is just to live, always in reality, in its exact sense. To make our effort, moment after moment, is our way. In an exact sense, the only thing we actually can study in our life is that on which we are working in each moment.”
― Shunryu SuzukiZen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice

I have thought a lot about my photography.  It boils down to trying to come to grips with what I will be able to photograph as well as doing it in a manner I enjoy.  My thinking is that if I can better understand these two things, I will be able to develop my techniques and move forward with my photography.  But it isn’t easy.

My problem is that the two factors … available subjects and how I like to photograph, are not independent.  My thought processes keep going around in a circle.  Starting with the premise that I like photography and want to make pictures, I realize that requires scenes or subjects to photograph.  I then start to think about what is at hand to photograph and what kinds of development processes are required as well as what camera and lenses are most suitable.  While doing that, I realize that it might require cameras and lenses that I can’t afford, or can’t handle easily, or even don’t find appealing.  My thinking then wonders off trying to find other things to photograph or to finding different ways to photograph.  So far I have gone around and around, but hopefully it is a spiral that is leading me to an answer … most likely to one that is similar to what, or the way, I have photographed for the last two years.  But maybe not.  Hopefully not.  I thrive on change.