Architecture, interiors, Ireland, Leica, Photography, Uncategorized

Powerscourt Townhouse, Dublin

Recently, I have been looking back through some photos from 2013. I splashed out on a Voigtlander 15mm f/4.5 Super-Wide Heliar lens for the Leica M9. I should have also bought an external viewfinder but they didn’t have one in-store at the time.

Anyway, the lens was very small, well built, and produced pin-sharp images with near zero distortion.

I ended up selling it on after a while as I found I just didn’t use it enough to justify keeping. Other reasons included:

colour casts/shifts in the corners of images, and no external viewfinder (my bad).

Voigtlander are now producing a newer version (III) of this great lens that has improved colour performance in the corners. I know what is on my wish list for Santa this year….

Here is an interior shot I took that required no perspective correction.

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Architecture, art, Design, Ireland, Landscapes, Photography, Uncategorized

The First Faint Noise of Gently Moving Water….

This scene caught my eye on a recent visit to Dun Laoghaire: The words of James Joyce in the foreground, and in the background, right of centre,  the controversial new library.

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Architecture, art, Ireland, Landscapes, Leica, Photography, photojournalism

Poolbeg Power Station Chimney Stacks: Should They Stay or Go?

There has been some debate lately as to whether the, now closed, Poolbeg Power Station chimney stacks should be demolished.

The stacks are a landmark of Dublin city, but would resources be better spent elsewhere rather than on the structural repair and upkeep of these icons? Only a few years a go Dublin’s iconic Ballymun towers were demolished. Should all iconic buildings / architectural features be preserved? One designer suggested making a skybridge, turning the stacks into a tourist attraction similar to the London Eye or Sydney Opera House. Personally, I think they should be turned into launch towers, somewhere we can fire or catapult all the corrupt politicians into outer space – which is where many of them seem to already inhabit!

What do you think?

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This photo was taken in 2010, on another icon; a Leica M6 loaded with 17yrs out of date Kodachrome.

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Architecture, art, Ireland, Landscapes, Photography, Vernacular architecture

Architecture Without Architects: Sand Martins

Beautiful work by these amazing little birds. They are a joy to watch. Check out the excavated dust at the bottom of the picture.SB_iphone5s_20140622_0002_web

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Architecture, art, Design, Ireland, Leica, Photography

Architectural Photography: House Renovation, Dublin.

I recently photographed a completed architectural project by David Shannon Architects. The project comprised the renovation of an old coach house which originally formed part of a larger estate.

It was a beautiful day; we got lucky with the blue skies. And the low sun really helped to animate the external facade. Pity the cherry tree wasn’t in blossom!

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SB_20140310_0438_mix_web SB_20140310_0444_web SB_20140310_0469_mix_webI was originally going to pass on the project as I am not currently set up to shoot architectural photography. All of the above photos were shot on a Leica M9 rangefinder with 24, 35, and 50mm lens. Perspective correction was carried out in photoshop.

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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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Designed by Nord Architecture (now renamed Robin Lee Architecture) as part of a 2-stage international design competition. Completed in 2011. Read more about it here.

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Architecture, art, Design, Ireland, Photography

Architecture: Wexford County Council Headquarters

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Architecture, Photography, travel, Uncategorized

Montevecchia, Italy

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Entrance to the small hillside village is framed with an arch. Good start!

Montevecchia is a small village north of Milan in the (aristocratic) region of Brianza. It is located on a hilside approximately 500m above sea level, with panoramic views of the Plain of Lombardy to the South, and the Foothills of the impressive Alps to the North. Apparently there are some ancient pyramids in the mountains here.

We visited the place on a Monday morning  and the main street was empty; the place was deserted, and everything was closed. Apparently Italians like to go out Sunday nights. Luckily we stopped at a pasticceria (patisserie or bakery) and brought our own fresh pastries and focaccias – which were amazing.

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View from the cobblestoned main st. looking back towards the slightly dominating church.

We originally planned to go shopping in Milan but the thermometer was due to hit 27C that day and we had four small kids in tow, so a relaxed walk along the shaded cobblestone streets of an historic hillside settlement seemed a better idea. Northern Italy in September is beautiful. Warm enough for shorts and T-shirts and swims in the lakes.

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Amazing panoramic view over the plain of Lombardy, with the towers of Milan just visible on the horizon.

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There was a wedding ceremony in the village that morning. At the bottom of the 178 steps that lead to the hilltop church, there was this classic little Italian beauty. What a wedding gift!

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Looking North towards the foothills of the Alps.

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Looking back towards the village one couldn’t help but admire the beautiful Italian architecture., and lush landscape.

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One of many vineyards in the region of Brianza.

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Some Italian aristocrats humble abode I presume.

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Streetscape.

I would love to go back to Montevecchia someday, but only when the cafes/restaurants are open. One can imagine dining al fresco on the terrace looking out over the twinkling twilight landscape, sipping on beautiful Italian red wine, eating the finest fresh food (real Italian food is absolutely amazing) – and getting lost in the magic of Bella Italia.

I will post more soon on our trip to Italy. A visit to Beautiful Bellagio – The Pearl of The Lake, Shopping in Monza, and more….

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