I first came to Ireland to hear live Celtic music, which for years I had enjoyed in Irish pubs throughout America. I am drawn to the sound of Celtic instruments as well as the Irish songs that influenced the American folk music revival of the 1960s. I particularly love the poignant ballads — traditional and contemporary — that speak of places dearly missed by those whose circumstances led them to immigrate to foreign shores. It occurred to me that it would be wonderful to visit the land, and even some of the specific locales, that inspired such affecting songs as “Isle of Innisfree,” “The Fields of Athenry,” “The Mountains of Moure,” “The Flight of Earls,” “Reasons to Leave,” “Carrickfergus,” “Green Glens of Antrim,” and hundreds more. The pubs and the music were well worth the trip, but the beauty of Ireland and its intriguing culture are what have kept me coming back year after year.
Prior to my first visit in 2003, I had never traveled with a camera: When I took a vacation from the portrait business that kept both my husband Jim and me working more hours than we should, the last thing I wanted to do was to lug around my 6×7-format work camera . . . or even a 35mm one for that matter.
Ireland . . . and the digital revolution . . . changed everything.
In a happy twist of fate, my first digital camera arrived the day before Jim and I left for that 2003 Irish vacation. Because I loved working with film, I had been reluctant to switch to digital capture, but I knew I needed to at least learn about the capability of digital cameras. So I decided to study the manual and acquaint myself with the Canon 10D camera on the flight to Ireland. I started to shoot as soon as we landed in Shannon, and by the next day Jim and I had developed a working rhythm: Park and walk through a village or a scenic area, shoot 50 images, then find a pub where I could upload the images to my laptop. This “workflow” allowed Jim to learn a lot about Guinness while I learned a lot about the camera. After seven days spent working our way around the Beara and Dingle Peninsulas, I was happy with the camera and hooked on the joy of creating images in Ireland. I could hardly wait to return.
About the website
My favorite aspect of Irish culture is the friendliness of Irish people. Over the years we have made wonderful friendships with Irish photographers and with several hosts of B&B establishments where we felt especially at home. We’ve enjoyed delightful encounters with lovely folks we’ve met along the way, some of whom we have photographed. Many have inquired about where they might see the images I made in their town, so I created the website to make this possible and to help friends who are planning trips to Ireland decide on an itinerary.
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