Decaying boats

Building a wooden boat is the most amazing human endeavour that we can so easily take for granted. The skills involved are profound and generations of knowledge go into the process. Once construction is finished these vessels embark on a life of work in, often, arduous conditions. Some perish at sea, others reach a point where it becomes impractical to continue to maintain them in seaworthy condition. Many end up beached somewhere that useful parts can be easily salvaged and then they are left to the elements to finish the job.

Brittany, France.

These first four photos are scanned from old negatives from 2003 which were not in the best condition! The abandoned vessels were drawn up on a beach where the various stages of decay can be seen.

Today I was taken to a little inlet on the River Ilen where a similar process is taking place. The construction principles are the same if the styles are slightly different.

Beautiful in life and, strangely, beautiful in death as well. These images are added to the Boats and Wrecks album in the portfolio,

Woodlands through the seasons

This week’s images will be added to the Landscapes section in the portfolio. They feature woodland scenes through the four seasons.

This springtime photo is on one of our favourite walks in the New Forest, close to where we used to live. The fresh young beech foliage really lifts the spirit and has a special feeling of purity.

This was taken on a summer walk through the woodland on the steep slope above Lough Hyne in County Cork. The rich mosses on the trunks of the trees (an indicator of the cleanliness of the air) add to the overwhelming verdancy of the scene.

The end of the growing season approaches and the trees give a final glorious display of colour before settling down for the winter. This is also in the New Forest, close to the High Corner Inn which is one of the more remote pubs in the forest.

I love these two magnificent oaks standing so proudly, like battle-scarred warriors, in spite of their age. They are in the Glengarriff Nature reserve, Co Cork, and I hope they survive many more years.

Rust

This week I am looking at textures and rusty metal specifically. The oxidisation of iron and steel can not only throw up some extraordinary colours but also add a new kind of beauty to man made objects. These images are all added to the “Textures” section of the Portfolio.

This is a detail from some armour plating on the fortifications at Hurst Castle on the Solent in Hampshire. If the metal hadn’t been a few inches thick the salty air would have rusted it away completely by now.
This is a part of the sea defences on Barton Beach in Hampshire.
We found this trident at the end of the Long Strand in Co Cork. For this photo it is sitting on top of a wooden block that had been used to support a boat while it was being painted in a Welsh boatyard.
Sometimes the rusting item adds texture to another object.

The first post

I have several folders in my portfolio, representing different categories of images. My intention is to add a few each week and introduce them through this blog This first post will be larger than usual in order to get at least two images in each category….

We are very fortunate to have a pair of choughs who nest in a box in our barn and raise three chicks each year. This triggered membership of Birdwatch Ireland and the acquisition of a telephoto lens. Hence, a section on birds and other wildlife.

This is one of our choughs on a rock outside our front door.
And an elusive wren who came out onto the wall on our terrace.

The streets and pavements beneath our feet have many manhole covers and other ironmongery. These functional items are often very stylishly designed yet are passed over, often un-noticed. I have started quite a collection of them. Here are some first examples:

In Prague, Czech Republic. Spotting this example was the starting point of my obsession…..
This is another from the same trip to Prague.
A modern example from Skibbereen, Co Cork.

I like to see textures and patterns in nature as well as man made objects.

We were scrambling down to a little beach in Corfu when we came across this. A spring just above the beach had carved out this shape in the rock and whether the colours were in the rock or stains from minerals in the spring water we have no idea but the shapes and hues are extraordinary.
This tuft of dead seagrass was washing around just below the surface of the water on a beach in Hampshire, UK.

My wife, Susie, is a musician. Before we moved to West Cork we used to participate in a “free improvisation” group. Musicians would simply play whatever came to them, no score or preparation. It was all about listening to one another and responding. At times it could be a bit chaotic but mostly the results were quite sublime and unique. As well as musicians there were artists who would respond to the music in their own ways. I would take my camera along to record the occasion and it wasn’t long before I found myself wanting to find ways to encapsulate the music itself in the images. I used long exposures and camera movements and, sometimes, some work in Photoshop afterwards.

This photo of Susie playing her flute has been inverted into a colour negative.
Here I’m trying to capture the music flowing from the keyboard.

The sun and moon illuminate our landscapes in so many ways. In this category I have sunsets, sunrises and moon shots.

This was at Dell Quay in Hampshire.
A moon ring at the farm we used to live on in Dorset, UK.

I have a few portraits to share – I hope they speak for themselves….

Machinery can have quite a visual impact, even long after it has served it original purpose.

On the Butter Road between Schull and Ballydehob.
Sadly, perhaps, this has now been removed, presumably for scrap…..

A lot of buildings, particularly ruins, have a fascination for me. Possibly it has something to do with the fact that we bought one here in West Cork and restored it.

This was in 2014, before we started work.
On the Sheep’s Head, Co Cork.
Carrigillihy, Co Cork.

The Landscapes section covers a broad range of subjects. Sometimes I like to capture the feeling of being there – sometimes there will be something unusual or quirky.

In the New Forest, Hampshire, UK.
On the Severn Estuary in Wales.

Boats can be beautiful in life and tragic when they have fulfilled their purpose. Wrecks have a strong fascination for me – imagining all the places they would d have been the adventures and perils they experienced.

Rossbrin, Co Cork.
A “tree pot” in Connemara.

That’s probably enough for this first post – there will be plenty more to come over the following weeks.

What this is all about

Over the years I have taken a huge number of photographs, most of which languish unseen on my hard drive. The idea behind this site is to gradually release them from their captivity so that someone, other than myself, gets a chance to see them……