art, Ireland, Photography, photojournalism

Living Art Project

Wexford Arts Centre recently commissioned me to photograph a workshop as part of the Living Art Project. The class was run by Orla Bates, and took place at St. Ann’s NS, Rathgarogue, New Ross.

Orla is very good with the children, and they were all enthusiastic, creating some great work. SB_LA_20140129_0131_web

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Ireland, Landscapes, Photography, photojournalism

Storm Surges at Kilmore Quay

The fishing village of Kilmore Quay is taking a real hammering lately. In fact, coastal towns all along the South and West coast of Ireland are suffering the effects of winter storms and huge swells that seem to be timing their arrival in synchronisation with spring tides. The result: Amazing display of the power of mother nature.

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I knew a set of big waves was coming in but I was too busy trying to get a good photograph. This one gave me a good soaking.

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SB_20140205_0060_webThe surges were so powerful that I couldn’t help but think of the Tsunami footage from Thailand in 2006.

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A local fisherman watches, and waits.SB_20140205_0094_web

Never before have I seen such powerful torrents inside the harbour. Huge amounts of water swirled and flowed, while the boats and ropes heaved and groaned.

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SB_20140205_0187_cropThe image above is a 100% crop of the previous image. The small Saltee Island lies approximately 4km offshore. I don’t know the height of its peak, but the breaking wave looks to be at least equal to the height of the Island, which I’m guessing is around 50-100m high. The wave in the foreground is probably around 5m high.

We are due another storm this weekend. Batten down the hatches….

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Ireland, Landscapes, Photography, photojournalism

Moon Halo

Spotted late Friday night while waiting for the dog to empty its bladder! A Moon halo, also known as a 22 degrees halo. Took a few photos, but by the fourth, the halo had pretty much disappeared.

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Architecture, Landscapes, Photography, photojournalism, travel, Uncategorized

Bellagio, Italy: Pearl of Lake Como

Bellagio is a beautiful picturesque village in Northern Italy. Surrounded by amazing panoramic views of Lake Como and the Alps, it is has to be one of the most romantic places to visit when in Italy. Beautiful old buildings, narrow cobblestone streets, wonderful cafes and restaurants all make up a wonderful experience. 

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Ireland, Photography, photojournalism

Stormy Start to 2014 at Kilmore Quay

Irish coastal towns and villages have been feeling the full force of mother nature in recent days. High tides, high winds, and huge swells combined to create treacherous conditions just about everywhere.

Kilmore Quay is a small fishing village in the South East of Ireland, and it too has been feeling the brunt of the storm.

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The small strand in Kilmore Quay is normally a haven of calm.

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Kilmore Quay harbour getting pounded by giant waves.

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Dunes disappearing into the sea at the Burrow.

The sea surges inland where it would normally not.

Powerful surges at the small strand.

SB_20140106_0011_web Waves batter the harbour and promenade at Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford. Storm waves batter the harbour of Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford. SB_20140106_0139_web

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The harbour was pretty much a no-go area, with large rocks being hurled over the fortified harbour walls.

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Collapsed access road at nearby Seaview.

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fashion, Ireland, Photography, photojournalism

Last Sunset of 2013

As the sun sets on 2013, I would like to thank everyone who visited my blog and took the time to comment, like, follow, etc. Thank you very much for your time. Wishing you all a very Happy, Healthy New Year.

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A small gathering of people watch the last sunset of 2013.

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Photography, photojournalism

Summer Finally Arrives

After one of the coldest springs on record, It seems summer has finally arrived. Temperatures today hit 22.9 C. Pretty good for Ireland in early June.

The last decent Summer I remember was 2006, seven years ago! Hanna (wife) was heavily pregnant at the time and we had just moved back to rural seaside Ireland after a two year spell in lovely Liverpool! Since then, summer weather has been lousy, at best we might get a few days blue skies and then the rain and wind would kick off again. 2007 was particularly bad and Rihanna’s Umbrella made an apt soundtrack.

Hanna’s brother, who lives in south Finland, visited us last August.  I remember one day during swim week – the week we bully coerce our young kids into the sea to learn how to swim regardless of temps or weather conditions – we huddled on the sand in our winter coats under grey skies, backs to the wind, and Kalle (hanna’s brother) said that if those kids were animals, swim week would be called animal cruelty!

So here’s to a long overdue proper summer; may it be filled with warm days and nights, clear blue skies, fun BBQ’s, and hopefully a little bit of surf!SB_20130604_0501_web

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Photography, photojournalism, travel, Uncategorized

Christmas, Scandinavian Style: part 1

Arlanda airport, Stockholm, Sweden.

Arlanda airport, Stockholm, Sweden.

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Delays expected.

I realise this post is coming a few months late. Better late then never, right?

I love traveling and experiencing new and different cultures, and Scandinavia is no exception. I hadn’t been to Finland – home of my lovely wife – for over two years. I hadn’t been outside of Ireland for over two years, so I was pretty excited to be heading off for two weeks to experience Christmas Scandinavian style.

Our journey would take us from Dublin to Helsinki, from there we would take the night train 700km north to Kemi and across the border to visit Hanna’s dad in Haparanda, Sweden.

Exiting Helsinki terminal the cold hit me like a block of ice. I fumbled round in my rucksack for a thick woolly hat, and then thrust my aching hands deep in to my pockets. The decision to purchase winter boots and a winter coat after we arrived at our destination now seemed foolish.

At Helsinki Central station we bought some greasy chips, hotdogs, shared a beer, and waited until our train was ready to board.

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Night train from Helsinki to Kemi, Finland.

Twelve hours and a restless sleep later, we arrived at Kemi – northern Finland. The thermometer at Kemi train station read -28C. Luckily, Hanna’s Dad was waiting for us and had the inside of the Volvo nice and warm.

First port of call – after dumping luggage at the house – was the shops to get myself some proper winter clothing. Ankle-less socks and trail runners just don’t cut it in these conditions. Luckily, christmas sales were in full swing and (many) bargains were purchased.

Upon returning to the house we took some coffee (one of many obligatory daily cups), spent the best part of 15mins putting on our winter gear – long johns, woolly socks, thermal baselayer, t-shirt, heavy sweater, proper winter coat, insulated ski-pants, scarves, hats, gloves, etc, etc – and finally went out for a walk in the crisp winter wonderland.

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Hanna-Mari, Haparanda, Sweden. -26 degrees C

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I thought it was funny!

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Home sweet (temporary) home.

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Tools for work and play.

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Haparanda, Sweden.

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Joulupukki, also known as Santa Claus.

More photos to come in a follow up post. Thanks for looking.

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Architecture, Ireland, Landscapes, Photography, photojournalism

Tintern Abbey & Colclough Gardens, 2012.

Tintern Abbey is located on the Hook Peninsula, Co. Wexford. It’s a beautiful place to visit any time of the year, but late spring / early summer is particularly enjoyable because the air is filled with the aroma of wild garlic growing along the riverbank – and of course the trees and flowers are in full bloom!

The grounds are located away from main roads, and with no traffic noise it’s a great place to ramble away a few hours on or off the beaten tracks.

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The Abbey and surroundings.

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Fairy forest

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Nearby agriculture.

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Estuary beginnings

A recent addition to the location is the opening of Colclough Walled Gardens, which has been under restoration for a number of years.

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Potato drills in the foreground.

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A river – small one – runs through it.

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The impressive brick wall receiving temporary support after subsiding where the stream flows under.

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Archeological findings during excavation and garden clearing.

In the coming days/weeks I will post more images taken in and around the Abbey itself, and along the banks of the forest river….

Here’s a little teaser:

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