Grateful to my friends and neighbors who protected my house in south Florida in preparation for Hurricane Matthew, a category 3-4 storm, while I'm exploring this incredibly beautiful and at times rugged land in southwest Ireland. Writing this I'm reminded of a description I first heard from Brendan, a surfer and construction worker, and then again by Damian Stack, my tour director extraordinaire. They both refer to the land and it's sites - cliffs, trees, mountains, ocean, ocean spray, waterfalls - as having either feminine or masculine energy. Thinking of Hurricane Matthew reminded me of one of the places I visited with Olive Stack (no relation to Damian), my creative host and provider of the artist residency at her gallery. I had mentioned that I had an interest in photographing lighthouses. Olive said there was one near by in Co Kerry. We were rushing to catch it at or near sunset.
Little Samphire Island Lighthouse, situated within Tralee Bay, Fenit, may appear feminine, yet the sky and ocean were definitely masculine energy when we visited. Sunny, happy clouds rapidly turned grey, the winds picked up and the ocean churned. All perfect photography weather adding to the drama. That late afternoon it lived-up to the name of this part of Ireland's western coastline, the Wild Atlantic Way. As the water crashed across the rocks at my feet and the winds raged, I had to hold myself and my tripod very steady until the time came when it was better to move on or risk losing one of us. It felt like the power of a hurricane or at least a powerful tropical storm, albeit without the rain, only ocean spray.
It's Photo Edit O'Clock time (to paraphrase my friend and mixed media artist Jen Walls who lead the way for me to be here). And, there's much more to share. I was out last night for the sunset at Ballybunion and up early today for sunrise in Listowel.
As much as I'm enjoying being in lovely Listowel, my personal standards have a hard time not completing something I committed to do. It's the way I am, have always been. And, if not done it kind of weighs on me, if you know what I mean. Of course, there are always good reasons, extenuating circumstances and what not. And, then it's so easy to go on to something new and leave the unfinished behind.
So before I can download the latest images from last night's mini-drive around the Kerry Head area with Damian, tour director extraordinaire, or edit another image from Listowel, it's time to lighten the load, breathe a little deeper and complete my personal promise to me and you.
Today's day three managing the Olive Stack Gallery, part of my agreement for this wonderful artist residency. I'm feeling more settled in. In-between gallery customers, new friends dropping in to day hello and other business, it's my editing and blogging time. Today was the perfect opportunity to call it a wrap to "30 Photos in 30 Days". When I had so many of my painter friends participating in the "30 Paintings in 30 Days" challenge created by Leslie Seata it occurred to me that this would be a perfect motivation to narrow down and edit my top 30 images from the 14,000 mile cross country trip with my friend Liz last August and Fall to some of America's most amazing national parks. So thankful for John Muir and others' vision and persistence on the need to protect and preserve America's natural treasures.
These last four images were taken sitting on the cliff of the east rim of Grand Canyon National Park. We loved it there. We started the day there and returned to it at least two more times throughout the day. Since I'm sharing a photo tip each day with anyone who comes into the gallery, I thought it may be fun to share one here too. When you look at a scene/subject be willing to photograph it from different perspectives, angles. Sometimes that means looking behind and above you. Here are four different ways I saw the Navajo Point. Let me know which is your favorite.
Hope you enjoy the last four, with love from my heart!
Today is day five in Listowel and I'm so conscious that the time seems to be flying by. I'm having that feeling that "there are so many things to see and people to visit". And, I'm loving it all. So grateful to all who have written that you look forward to the blog posts while I'm here. So writing with a few minutes to spare before hopefully taking a couple of hours spin around the vicinity with Damian, head of the Stack clan (don't know what that means yet and will surely find out), local personal tour coordinator and owner of Stack Furniture, right after closing the Olive Stack Gallery at 6pm tonight. Tonight's a good night and the rest of the week is expected to be clear skies. Yesterday I learned a new phrase, "soft day" Olive called it. Actually it's been the past two days. Grey, clouded-in sky and constant drizzle. It was good for editing photos. I'm on the lookout for perfect places near-by for sunrise photographs for my workshop later this month as well as sunset locations that I hope to visit over and over again while here. I never get tired of sunsets. It seems that every night we're given a new painting to inspire our soul.
Pictured above is the River Feale and Bridge taken in late afternoon my first full day here. I loved how the sun's light reflected off the arches. River Feale encircles Listowel's north-northwest boundaries.
Off for a quick bite, close the gallery and photo tour time.
To be continued, with Love! ~Phoenix
Did you ever have one of those moments when you're frantically looking for something that you really want and everywhere you thought it would be turns up nothing? And, then you some how simply give up trying so hard, perhaps tired and frustrated, and then it seems to magically appear. This was one of those moments.
We had just spent an hour driving as fast as we could in the dark to capture the sunrise at the Grand Canyon's east entrance. With lots of cloud coverage, it wasn't one of those picture perfect sunrises. As a photographer I was a little disappointed since who knows when I would return. Personally, I was simply thrilled to be here. Then it was time to find wildlife in the park. For some reason we were stuck on photographing deer that morning. We drove through all the forest areas we through they would be. Over an hour later, nada. A little tired and very hungry we headed to the visitor center. And, you guessed it. There they were. right there in the parking lots. Lots of them. They were totally unfazed by all of us gawking at them in pure delight. Seeming too busy and hungry to notice us, they simply kept on munching on grass and jumping up to eat the leaves of the tree.
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It's a busy day over here. Writing this blog post between uploading images and writing text for a fellowship. Two more work related projects to finish and, yahoo, it's time to pack-up luggage and photography gear for Ireland. Excitement is building.
The change of seasons seems like the prefect time to launch my new website. Although, in south Florida, You can't really tell that there is a change in season. It's more like we have a perpetual season called hot with varying degrees year-round. Even though the meaning of autumn is often misunderstood to imply going into darkness or death; it feels like a most positive turning point to me. Symbolically it is the season between light and dark, summer and winter, outer and inner growth and awareness -- a time of balance.
Traditionally it is associated with a rush of activity in gathering the fruits of one's labor in preparation of a quieter, deep, inner time. Inspired by the radiance of autumn's colors, it's a time to account for and acknowledge our bounty, harvest and blessings. All of this resonates as truth for me.
For the past several months or so I've been in high-gear preparing for my month-long artist residency at Olive Stack Gallery in lovely Listowel. In preparation of what I feel will be a working meditative experience, I've upgraded many things in my life and business. Ironically, reflecting on it now I can't even remember all of them. Some were big, others small and all seemed essential and, in some cases, long overdue. From designing this new website (to this point any ways), to many new purchases including clothes and boots, new laptop, latest photography software upgrade and even new glasses to new front doors. Some things went smoothly and many didn't. It oftentimes felt like moving one step forward and two steps back, perfectly normal since most of this time has been mercury in retrograde. All the while one big item has been droning on for six months now - settling with insurance company over a water leak incident. And, if all goes as promised it may be resolved by tomorrow...just in time for celebration time.
Intuitive Soul Photographer of nature, wildlife and people. Be inspired!