24X36 on Aluminized Metal
Juried into "Global Connections" exhibit at Broward Art Guild that opens tonight, 6 - 9pm. Show runs through June 16.
Life is magical, even though most of us, including myself, often overlook it. It's so easy to get caught-up in what's not going right (i.e. as we expected it, our way), the noise from so many outside of us (news of the day, others' complaints) and our own negative mind talk. However, during my artist residency at Olive Stack Gallery in Listowel, Ireland this past October the magic was difficult to miss. My first visit to Ballybunion, a coastal town and seaside resort in County Kerry, Ireland, is a great illustration.
Not brave enough, or was it good common sense, I chose not to rent a car while there. Between driving on the "wrong" side of the street, narrow roads that are mostly unlit, and driving in the dark for sunrise and sunset photographs, I chose to hire the amazing Damian and/or rely on the goodness of others to get to places beyond walking distance.
The first day I arrived, Olive asked me what I hoped to do while there. Among other places, I wanted to photographs sunrise and sunset landscapes. Everything unfolded from that moment. Olive was busy getting ready for an exhibit in America that she was leaving for in about one-and-a-half weeks; although, she didn't forget our conversation. Day 6 of my trip she let me know that she asked her son to drive me to Ballybunion as soon as the gallery closed at 6pm.
It was a perfect day and turned out to be an equally perfect night. Perfect to me while there meant weather was a little chilly and skies were clear. Of course, I loved it all, cold days, overcast days, soft rain days, early morning fog days. A resort town, Ballybunion was about a 10 minute drive away and 40 minutes to sunset that night. Unlike what most photogs profess to do, I did little preparation for the photo shoot. I was in a carefree, let's see where the universe leads space. Where ever John dropped me off was fine. I had two hours to explore until Olive was going to pick me up somewhere near the beach.
With the summer over, the Seaweed Baths and many of the beach side restaurants were mostly closed. No problem, there were three beaches to explore. I started walking from where he dropped me off to what I learned was called "the women's beach" where I saw a young girl riding her horse. Looking up I couldn't miss the remnants of the castle overlooking the ocean. The castle called; I followed walking up a steep hill to the "men's beach" overlook. I set up my tripod in first one place and then moved to another until I found the best position for the photograph I envisioned. I like to compose photographs in the camera rather than do extensive cropping afterwards. This ensure I get the highest resolution for the largest image later. To me it was aligning the castle so that the little light from the lighthouse across the water in County Claire showed along with the cliffs to the right of the "women's beach". I loved the natural curve.
And, then I simply enjoyed the sunset. Sunset actually comes in many phases. Most people, including photographers, leave once the golden light show disappears. I kept clicking my camera every few minutes even after the sun went below the horizon. New colors often light-up the sky. I felt like a child playing in the sandbox only my sandbox was standing behind the camera and clicking away with joy. I waited longer for the special blue light phase. Of course, every sunset is different; not all are equally spectacular. And, if you don't show up you never know.
This night magic was in the air; I wasn't disappointed. By now it's almost pitch black and I had to find my way to the road. And, along the path I met a lovely lady who just happened to be the sister of the woman who owns the Seaweed Bath House and restaurant. We had a nice little chat as she showed me the way. And, when we arrived at the top of the hill street-side, Olive had just driven up.
Feeling led the entire evening, I am so grateful for all who "conspired" so the magic came out to play this night. Hope you feel it in the photograph too.