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Taking it to the street. Part 1.

I'm more into landscape, coastal and sea photography but when I'm travelling I enjoy street photography as well. Anonymity is much easier found away from home in bustling cities and towns. What I like is the vibrancy of colour and the pulse of life on the streets. It's a beautiful world. It can be a visual feast and possibly no more so than in Ireland. 

Dublin, Ireland

Dublin, Ireland

I'm often (well, maybe always) looking for a picture and that's not difficult in the Emerald Isle. It's the out of the ordinary scenes like the one below. We all register scenes from different perspectives. To someone living on this street, its just everyday life. For me, its like eye-candy because it is not an urban sight I have ever seen or would expect to see back home. I just loved the colour. 

The colour of Dublin

The colour of Dublin

Photographing people is not easy but in a large city bustling with tourists, it is barely noticed. One of the keys is not to carry around a camera the size of an over the shoulder missile launcher, or large enough to cast a shadow across the street, but to keep it small.

Social justice. Dublin. (I feel there's a bit of a tartan theme going on here). 

Social justice. Dublin. (I feel there's a bit of a tartan theme going on here). 

This year in the travels from Dublin to West Cork in the very south of Ireland the colour in the towns was a visual delight. The streets were invariably clean and there seemed to be a sense of pride maybe engendered by the tidy towns competitions held in Ireland.

Tidy indeed. Eyeries, Beara Peninsula, West Cork.

Tidy indeed. Eyeries, Beara Peninsula, West Cork.

It's pretty rare to see these sort of in your face colour schemes lining the streets at home in New Zealand. Any sort of paintwork like these on a New Zealand home would more likely consign it to being regarded as an eyesore. In Ireland, it just works. Maybe it adds colour to what might be an otherwise monotone streetscape as annual sunshine hours are not that flash. Actually, thinking about our dreary wet weekends this winter a bit of colour like this might lift the spirits.  

Eyeries has often been referred to as the most colourful village in Ireland and has often been honoured in the National Tidy Towns Awards. I can say from experience that someone in one of the homes here makes a mouth-watering lemon drizzle cake. I'll exercise my right to silence as far as the coffee goes though. 

Beautiful Eyeries, Beara Peninsula, West Cork. Who would need street numbers? You'd just say 'I live in the yellow house' or 'I live in the pink house' etc.  

Beautiful Eyeries, Beara Peninsula, West Cork. Who would need street numbers? You'd just say 'I live in the yellow house' or 'I live in the pink house' etc.  

They call West Cork "A Place Apart" based on its striking landscape, community, and culture. Sitting at the head of Bantry Bay is Bantry, an old fishing port and heritage town and once again a happy snapper's delight. The only downside to these beautiful towns is they have more than enough women's shoe shops which meant I kept losing my wife.  

Bantry, West Cork, Ireland.

Bantry, West Cork, Ireland.

It's hard to keep your camera in a restful state when you are confronted by such vibrant streets.

Colour my world. Bantry, West Cork, Ireland.

Colour my world. Bantry, West Cork, Ireland.

There was a conversation outside the bike shop below in Clonakilty between these two that went on and on and on and on. I wouldn't have been surprised if it had still been going the following day. Well, I guess it is Ireland after all.

On ya bike. Clonakilty, Ireland

On ya bike. Clonakilty, Ireland

Its all about the colour of life and it sure abounds in this land including dear old Skibbereen. Skibbereen and surrounds was one of the worst affected areas in the devastating Irish famine 1845-1852. 

Skibbereen, Ireland

Skibbereen, Ireland

Who took the Mickey out of Mick Finn? Clonakilty, West Cork.

Who took the Mickey out of Mick Finn? Clonakilty, West Cork.

The phrase al fresco is borrowed from the Italian language meaning 'in the cool air'. It was anything but cool in seaside Baltimore, West Cork. That vibrant colour on the ground and in the sky once again made for a photo opportunity. This time with an iPhone.

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I see red. Something in the photo below would point to it indeed being a street scene in  Ireland.

It must be Ireland.

It must be Ireland.

So there you have it. The world is your oyster when it comes to street photography. For me it's a nice diversion from my 'normal' photography. I'd be reluctant to get into it in a big way at home, but when away, its a different story.  

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......and street photography so often tells a story.

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Next time I have to show a few just as colourful 'shop front' scenes from the UK. Until then, I'll leave you with this main street scene proving not everyone has a cat or a dog. 

Until the cows come home. Eyeries, West Cork, Ireland.

Until the cows come home. Eyeries, West Cork, Ireland.

What's the craic?

Last year I was fortunate enough to visit Ireland for a third time and it looks as though I will be back there again in 2018.

In 2015 I ventured west and got to drive some of 'The Wild Atlantic Way' which traverses the rugged west coast adjacent to the wild Atlantic Ocean. Such a spectacular coast of raw beauty doted with whitewashed houses. A landscape photographers dream.  

Along The Wild Atlantic Way, County Clare, Ireland.

Along The Wild Atlantic Way, County Clare, Ireland.

Remains of a Galway Hooker fishing boat at The Claddagh, an ancient fishing port. View across the River Corrib to Galway City

Remains of a Galway Hooker fishing boat at The Claddagh, an ancient fishing port. View across the River Corrib to Galway City

That trip also took me to the Aran Islands, arguably the most remote place I have visited. As the luck of the Irish wouldn't have it, my wife Margie and I travelled out there by ferry in appalling weather. It rained heavily through the day and it was bitterly cold, yet still a real highlight of the trip. 

Inishmore, Aran Islands. 

Inishmore, Aran Islands. 

Remote desolate living in a tough environment on the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland.

Remote desolate living in a tough environment on the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland.

In 2017 I returned to Ireland primarily to spend time with our family in Dublin including three grandchildren. We stayed pretty much within the environs of Dublin and unlike previous visits, this time I took quite a liking to Dublin. In fact, I'd like to spend an entire summer or longer there one day.  I have a feeling those summers are somewhat shorter than here in the Bay of Plenty. It may well have been the warmer sunnier weather this time around that tugged at my heart, but not as much as my Dublin based part of the family did. Dublin, while of similar population to Auckland, New Zealand, is a city that fair hums, and not just in the traditional Irish bars, but in the streets in general. Proximity to Europe makes it a tourism mecca. For city street photography, its paradise.

Friday afternoon in the streets of Dublin, Ireland.

Friday afternoon in the streets of Dublin, Ireland.

The colour of Dublin, Ireland.

The colour of Dublin, Ireland.

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The truth about leprechauns. I always thought they were real!

One of the most striking things about the streets of Dublin in summer is the riot of colour not only from life in the streets and the in-your-face paint jobs on buildings, but also from the sheer number of hanging flower baskets. 

Afternoon sunshine in the streets of Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland.

Afternoon sunshine in the streets of Temple Bar, Dublin, Ireland.

Pretty in Pink. Exploring the streets and lanes of Dublin City can present scenes just begging for a photograph. 

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Its not far from the hustle and bustle of Dublin to wonderful expansive parks and estates such as Phoenix Park, which is the largest enclosed park in Europe. Its bigger than all of the parks in London combined. 

Phoenix Park, Dublin.

Phoenix Park, Dublin.

Right in the heart of the city of Dublin and a sanctuary from retail indulgence is the beautiful city escape within the city, St Stephen's Green

St. Stephen's Green, Dublin

St. Stephen's Green, Dublin

Just a short drive from Dublin is the affluent coastal suburb of Malahide and nearby Malahide Castle, parts of which date back to the 12th century. It is sited on over 260 acres of beautiful parkland. The castle was home to the Talbot family for almost 800 years between 1185 - 1975. In 1975 Rose Talbot sold the estate to the government of Ireland and it is now a truly wonderful public space.

Malahide Castle & Gardens, Malahide, Dublin.

Malahide Castle & Gardens, Malahide, Dublin.

So in 2017 I really enjoyed photographing Dublin; a colourful city rich in history, culture, vitality and public parks and green space. 

Oh, and yes those world famous fish and chips from Leo Burdock's were well worth the stop. I won't mention the side trip to a camera shop and the new lens I accidentally bought.......

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