A Trip to Ireland

This month my partner and I took the very early ferry from Holyhead to Dublin. When I say early, I mean 02.40AM! arriving in Dublin at 06.30AM. The only way to travel on this ferry is to book a cabin, that way you can at least get a few hours sleep and have a shower if you wish.
The first thing we want is breakfast and as far as I know ALL hotels in Ireland will sell you breakfast even if you are not a resident.. The only chain I know in the UK where you can do that is Premier Inn, I have not tried any others in the UK. But in Ireland, any hotel will sell you breakfast.
Friends have said why don’t we fly, if you saw the luggage we took with us you’d understand. Probably more than half our luggage is made up of cameras, lenses, tripods binoculars and a spotting scope, plus walking boots and shoes for every eventuality.

Having been fed and watered we made our way to the east side of Lough Owel where there is an unusual statue to The Children of Lir. You will have to search on line for the history.

Because the day was sunny and the majority of the frame was sky I had to ‘dial’ in an exposure compensation of  +1.5 to +2.0.

MY second place to visit was a distillery at Kilbeggan. We opted for the ‘self guided’ tour, where you can wander at will with a paper booklet as a guide plus your entry ticket gives you a free tasting in the bar afterwards. The old distillery has been made into a museum, which you are able to walk around, but the working distillery you can only view through a glass wall. As a photographer I found the old distillery fascinating. So as not to use flash I had to up ISO2500 which gave me 1/25s at f/4 for the regulator balls shot. All other internal images were taken at ISO800, the externals were at ISO400.
I converted most to monochrome in Nikon NX-D as I think they look better.

The next day we ventured past Galway along the Wild Atlantic Road and found CEIBH BHAILE NAhABANN which roughly translated means the Pier at Ballyhowan and beside the pier were these small boats,

We also visited Birr Castle. Unfortunately the castle is a family home so you are only allowed in the grounds. A lovely area of  formal gardens, lakes and woodland and also the home to The Great Telescope and a museum, well worth a visit as is the town of Birr. The last image is of a back street.

The shots of the castle were enhanced by finding a view-point where there was over-hanging trees to cover part of the sky, always a good look and the fountain with the Redwood tree, most people would stand on the path and shot into the enclosure which has a seat at the end. But my thought was, well if they have a seat there that must be a better view, so I walked up the side and stood by the seat and took the view the owners would see.
The last image is of a back street in Birr.

Last but not least we drove 6km up a mountain to the only entrance to Millstream Country Park, not a cheap place for a 2 hour visit, your better off going all day, or visiting Killarney Park which is free! At the gates we then found that we had a 4km drive DOWN the mountain inside the park to the visitor’s centre. A nice place if you have all day and can afford the daily fee. We did find the Fairy Trail though.

The only the beginning of our stay when we had a storm, thankfully at the end of the day though. although by using a (-) minus EV exposure compensation you can make storm clouds look dramatic.

Storm Clouds








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