Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Friday, March 17th, 2017


Wherever you are . . . live it up today!

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PPA’s International Print Competition Results

Sunday, January 15th, 2017


I was delighted that I was one of 61 photographers internationally to have all four entries selected to hang at the International Print Competition, with three chosen for the Loan Collection, allowing me to achieve Platinum Photographer of the Year status for the second straight year. The print display was part of Imaging USA, PPA’s annual convention, which was held this year in San Antonio, Texas. For the last several years I’ve entered PPA Print Competition to challenge myself in the field of landscape photography. Years ago, Jim and I entered prints as a way to improve our skills as portrait photographers, which is how we have earned a living. These days, I do landscape photography for the pure joy of it, so it was quite special to have such a good outcome this year. As was the case last year, all four of my images were photographed in County Donegal, Ireland, using my Lumix FZ1000 25mm-400m fixed-lens mirrorless camera . . . my favorite travel camera ever!

Day’s End — Loan Collection

Highland Chapel — Loan Collection

High Tide on Sheephaven Bay — Loan Collection

Ancient Harbour — General Collection

 

Also, I was honored be one of 13 recipients of Professional Photographers of America’s Imaging Excellence Award, a medallion presented “in recognition of dedication to the practice of excellence in photographic competition.”

 

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My Dream Job

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017


If only this place were located in Ireland, I would run away from home and beg them for a job. Maybe in my next life . . .

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Donegal Named “Coolest Place on Earth”

Monday, December 5th, 2016


Last year the UK publication “National Geographic Traveller,” ranked Ireland as fourth on its list of the “Coolest Places on Earth,” so I was delighted to learn that this year the magazine made the specific selection of County Donegal as first on its list of places that readers should visit in 2017.

For the past three years Jim and I have stayed in Donegal for at least one week during our annual three-week trip to Ireland. This year, we spent the entire time in this beguiling county, where the combination of seacoasts, farmland, lakes, mountains, towns, villages and pubs are wonderful to enjoy and to photograph, and where the people who live there are so warmly welcoming. We divided our time between delightful B&Bs in the villages of Kilcar, Dunfanaghy and Greencastle, and they served as great home bases for our travels. In spite of the fact that we covered a lot of ground and were rained out only one day, we left knowing that there is much, much more to see and enjoy in this mesmerizing land.

At breakfast one morning, we chatted with a charming lady and her young daughter who make regular visits to Donegal from their home in London. After discussing the many reasons why we find Donegal to be so compelling, the English lady made this great statement: “I tell my friends in London that you either get Donegal or you don’t.” Jim and I most certainly do “get Donegal,” and it looks like an increasing number of visitors feel the same way.

I’m still working on 2014 and 2015 Donegal images to add to the Ulster galleries on this website, but here are a few that I made on our most recent trip:

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Sheep farm near Glencolmcille

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Bundoran

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Strove Light House

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Mount Errigal

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Off Greencastle Harbour

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Kilcar coast road

Kilcar to Ardara/ 2016 Malaidh Ghleann Gheis (Glengesh Pass) is a high pass with elevated views over Loughros Beg Bay, framed (North and South) between the steep sided Ghleann Gheis and Mulmosog mountains. The landscape is characterised by grassland for the most part broken up only by managed woodland.

Malaidh Ghleann Gheis (Glengesh Pass) near Ardara

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A Chance Encounter at “Grianán of Aileach”

Saturday, November 5th, 2016


During our stay in Greencastle, in the northeast of Donegal’s Inishowen Peninsula, Jim and I set off one morning to visit the ancient ringfort at Grianán of Aileach, a group of historic structures atop a 244-meter hill near the Inishowen village of Burt.

Just before we reached the hilltop, I stopped to photograph the breathtaking autumn fields cascading down to the ocean loughs that define the peninsula.

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The Grianán of Aileach ringfort (Stoney House of the Sun), is thought to be Ireland’s first earthen-wall enclosure. Early ruins on the site date back to 1700 BC and are linked to the Tuatha de Danann, who invaded Ireland before the Celts constructed stone forts on top of strategic hills. It was built by the Daghda, the celebrated king of the Tuatha De Danann and erected around the grave of his son, Aedh, who had been killed by Corrgenn, a Connacht chieftain.

Once we parked alongside the fort, I made a mad dash from the car to the entrance leading into the structure because the hilltop wind was about to knock me off my feet. As I neared the entrance, I was momentarily startled to hear voices coming from inside the fort. Those voices belonged to Gareth Wilkinson, a journalist from UTV, a commercial television station just over the border in Derry, Northern Ireland, and his cameraman, Ian Struthers, who was busy filming.

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After a pleasant chat (shouting above the wind), the two gentlemen obliged me by standing alongside of the structure to provide a sense of scale of the fort that stands as a silent witness to the unfolding of Irish history.

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Some weeks after we returned to Pennsylvania, I received an email from Gareth explaining that he and Ian had to return to the fort to reshoot the video because of the terrible wind that was whipping on the day we met. He also sent a link showing the brief clip that appeared in a perfectly wonderful UTV feature Gareth presented about a living Celtic cross planted years ago by a Donegal forester. It now stands as a tribute to his memory for the gift he has given to all who see it. At this link you can view his feature about the cross that now graces what Gareth so aptly describes as Donegal’s “majestic, mystical landscape.”

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