Monday, October 11, 2010

Gotchya Buddy!

It was a foggy morning. So foggy that you can literally see the fog as a mass hovering over the ground wherever you go. But it is also a morning when I finally got the culprit and my #1 nemesis! The Magpie! YES!
Of course the images were taken with high ISO and hence, got lot of noise in them but I kept on shooting in a mood of a triumphant that I didn't want to stop whatsoever!

Two of the many shots I took for this big bird.

This bird's size is around that of a hen in fact, but of course it is slim and more elegant. It is closely related to the raven or the crow and the beak is almost the same in both going up with the shape of the head, but its colors are significant. The raven is also beautiful when the sunlight gives it a bit of dark blue streak on the side.
However, after the breakfast I went on roaming the garden and taking some simple pictures of some weird stuff (mainly spider webs!), then my host thankfully dropped me by the place that I always wanted to see myself, in close. The ruins that I kept looking at from afar from the graveyard at the back of the castle at Cashel Rock. 

The ruins on the far left.

It turned out that the name of these ruins is Hore Abbey. I don't know much about its history but I think I would be able to find it easily by googling anyway. My host drove me down to the abbey entrance and it lied in the middle of some field. Just like that, forgotten. The weather was foggy as I said in the morning, but eventually, everything became OK and the sun started to shine through and the sky turned blue again just when I started to take my panoramas.

Hore Abbey amid the fog.

The place is almost completely forgotten, and the good point is tourists do not know much about the place I would say. I didn't see any there and could work for almost 2 hours with my panoramas with no distractions. The place is connected to the path I've encountered yesterday, where the sign said "Tipperary Heritage Path." The abbey itself actually was located over the "Bóthar na Marbh", road of the dead. The name refers to the path it was taken to move the dead people for burial, presumably, here, in this spot, in the abbey and around the abbey. I do think that the grounds and this wide field around the abbey is indeed occupied with some unseen friends.
However, I went inside, and on the way to the main yard inside the abbey there were some tourists who were going out themselves, and so I was so HAPPY about it. It was a really busy day with panoramas and for the first time ever, I had to change my memory card from the 16GB CF card to the 8GB one (which I used before for my 350D always). Generally there were 4 panoramas; 3 spherical and one vertical. The vertical panorama here is the first I do with my VR-head, which I believe is better, but also takes a longer time to settle. When I take a vertical panorama, I usually set the camera directly on the tripod without the VR-head because I need the camera, with the fisheye lens, to take a large horizontal field of view. With a vertical stance, the fisheye would take large vertical field of view. Anyway, I was thinking of how to use the VR-head but putting my camera in landscape orientation but seems it is impossible to do, and to compensate for this, I went on taking 3 images from left to right on every elevation. I did a mistake here, I have to confess and I'm worried about the results when I get back home. In this vertical panorama, which was taken from a side walk in the abbey overlooking some graves, I went on elevating the camera up from -30, 0, 30, 60, 90, 60, 30, 0, and -30 to the other side of the scene. Now, my worries is that the sky, do not have much significant features that it might prove insignificant for the view in general. Maybe I should have included the ground I was standing on better. However, this was one vertical panorama, and there is not much harm in it, but my main concern now is the changing conditions of the weather while I was involved and indulged in my work in the panoramas, the major ones. The change from the foggy to sunny day, might prove very problematic in the final composition.
After finishing the major panoramas I wandered about taking pictures here and there from around the abbey, and the view of the castle from there was fantastic as well, just like the view of the abbey itself from the castle!

The castle as viewed from Hore Abbey.

And that was not enough for me as well. After finishing from the inside of the abbey I went around it. It was so hard walking on that wet grass and also some mud and dung were all over the place. However, I did catch some snaps from the sides and the back of the abbey. The structure in general is beautiful and I do really like the inside. I wonder how it was before it became like this. I'm pretty sure the design was amazing. I've captured some coat of arms from the inside and some logos on the walls, while some other features were unknown to me.

 The back of the abbey, with many holes that I presume they were holding 
supprting beams of some kind. Notice the 2nd arch from 
the right. It has been almost closed but not completely. I wonder why?!

I left the place after all, carrying my heavy load of images, which are carried on 2 CF memory cards this time, and started to walk down the bóthar na marbh heading back home. Before I go out I had to settle down my stuff and pack them up, and while doing this, I've lost the back cover of my 18-55mm lens. It is the cap that covers the back of the lens which attaches to the camera. I think it is not a big deal for the time being. I might use an aluminum foil to cover it in the future or might even consider buying a completely new lens. I don't want to bother myself with a cap story right now.

Tomorrow hopefully, I will be heading to the other abbey which lies almost in the center of the town. It was an abbey that I couldn't get into all these days and it lies on the way to the castle. My host tells me that I can find te key some where to the gate to get inside if I like, and she said she will check after it. I really didn't notice any signs of any kind in the previous times. If this proves true, and I can indeed get inside, I need to get prepred for another panorama, or should I say, a set of panoramas maybe!

My clothes are so wet after walking here and there and I'm trying to dry them out with the hair dryer provided for me in the room. Well, it did some job. Few days are left for me here and I need probably to set things straight and prepare the luggage before I head to Cahir. I was planning for a panorama in the main yard of the castle but I think I will leave that to the time when I get there to spend one night before heading to Dublin on the 15th.

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