Swimming off the beach just beyond Gyles’ Quay is no longer considered safe. The truth is, it never was safe. The moment you enter the water from what appears to be a gentle gradient, the shore drops off steeply into open sea and powerful undercurrents hold sway. When we were kids we sometimes swam here, with no understanding or even awareness of the danger. Unbelievable, I wouldn’t even dip my toe in today……..the wisdom of age.
Gyles’ Quay is an isolated stretch of beach located 1 km south of the R173/R175 road in County Louth, Ireland. It was named after Ross Gyles who built a wood structure there in 1780. It was later rebuilt in stone in 1824 and survives to this day.
I just can’t resist the aesthetic of abandoned buildings. Yes, I know it’s a photographic cliche but there was something about this particular building that caught my attention. This was a house that had surrendered to the inevitable, engulfed by weeds and brambles and sinking beneath a tidal wave of vegetation, yet somehow it remained stoic and dignified. A personification of managed decline and acceptance in stone and slate.
For the photographers amongst you, I agree, I should have used a graduated filter or at least bracketed the exposure for the sky. On the plus side, the bleached out sky emphasises the symmetry and shape of the house.
Gyles’ Quay is an isolated stretch of beach located 1 km south of the R173/R175 road on the Cooley Peninsula in the north of County Louth in Ireland. It was named after Ross Gyles who built a wood structure there in 1780. It was later rebuilt in stone in 1824 and survives to this day.
‘Look Before You Leap’
By Order of
Galway City Council
Swimming in the open sea is an Irish tradition and they clearly relish this encounter with the primal element. On a windswept coast in Galway, precariously balanced on top of a diving platform, I found myself taking photographs. Apparently, people of all ages fearlessly jump off here into the waves far below. I spoke to a very friendly local man in his 40’s who told me that only two years ago he had broken ‘his fecking neck’ jumping off the platform. He seemed to have made a full recovery from the accident. Indeed, this was clearly a significant achievement in his life and a moment of considerable personal pride. I could only agree, mission accomplished… I was ‘fecking’ impressed.
This was taken looking towards the Temple Bar district on the left back of the river.
These photographs were taken yesterday at The Locker Cafe in Cambridge. The exhibition of paintings and photography runs from 19th July – 19th August. If you are in town do come along and take a look. The Locker art cafe is located at 54 King Street, just opposite Tindalls art supplies.
Just completed setting up the exhibition last night at the Locker Cafe. Many thanks to John, the owner of the Locker art cafe for his assistance with the hanging process. I will visit the cafe over the coming weekend when it is busy and full of customers… Maybe take a video to give you an idea of the overall layout and lively atmosphere. Don’t forget, if you are in town, take a break from your shopping, have a coffee, a bite to eat…enjoy the artwork.
The Locker Cafe
18th July – 18th August 2109
Mon – Fri 8:30 am – 5:30 pm, Sat 9:30 am – 5:30 pm, Sun 10am – 4:00pm
If you are in Cambridge between 18th July and 18th August come along to the Locker Cafe, just opposite Tindalls art shop at 54 Kings Street. I will be displaying a range of paintings and photography from the last couple of years so there should be something of interest for everyone. The Locker cafe is a lively ‘arts’ based cafe founded by father and son team John and Adam Hodges in 2017. The paintings are primarily large scale abstract pieces in a variety of media including acrylic, bitumen, cold wax and oil paint. The monochrome photographs are based on the Fenland landscape.
I think late Autumn and Winter are probably the best seasons for landscape photographers living in the Fenlands. I know that Cambridgeshire doesn’t have the dramatic landscapes of the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales or even the Trough of Bowland, but it does have something special.
At this time of year the landscape maintains a gritty and determined resolve. There is a complete absence of pretension and prettiness. The uneven roads and tilted telegraph poles, the isolated columns of tall trees, vast skies with fields stretching to the distant horizon makes me feel as if I have been cast adrift on an open sea.
John Clare: The Fens
There’s not a hill in all the view,
Save that a forked cloud or two
Upon the verge of distance lies
And into mountains cheats the eyes.
And as to trees the willows wear
Lopped heads as high as bushes are;
Some taller things the distance shrouds
That may be trees or stacks or clouds
Or may be nothing; still they wear
A semblance where there’s nought to spare.
The late afternoon sun transforms an ordinary scene. Windows and doorways become dark rectangular shapes and intense sunlight reflects from plaster walls. In these images of geometry and order I see echoes of the surrealist Magritte, the mysterious city streets of the Italian artist Giorgio De Chirico and the cool detachment of the American painter, Joseph Albers.
For those of you also interested in the technical aspects of photography this image was taken on a Fuji X100s using the excellent Fuji Acros film simulation setting.
Please feel free to share your own thoughts and ideas.
These are the vast open landscapes of the Cambridgeshire Fenlands that influence my paintings. This image was taken with a Fuji X100F a couple of days ago when the sky was particularly dramatic. I have carried out some basic editing – mainly tonal adjustments and sharpening – using Silver Efex Pro2. I have to say the Fuji is a great little camera, easy to take with you and it produces really good jpg’s with the Acros settings. You can’t really tell from the photograph but it was an incredibly blustery day out in the Fens….the clouds were racing across the sky. Really should have used a tripod and a long exposure to capture the movement; maybe next time.