Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hunting Day!

Hunt, hunt, hunt. This is all what I was doing today. Not necessarily for images, but for various stuff. In the beginning, it was the hunt of food. I woke up with a really squeaky tummy. On breakfast, I've pulled out my camera and made it settle on the chair next to mine. I had in mind that I must catch that magpie and eventually, and maybe because it was not a sunny morning (although the rest of the day was wonderful), the magpie didn't show up, just in the beginning.
While I was talking to my host about some stupidity with cars back there in Kuwait, the magpie cut off the conversation and landed on the grass and followed by another. My host told me that there is actually some old song about the magpie (with some variations and versions) that says:
One for a bad luck and two for a good luck...
I don't know the origin of the story, but seemingly this means I'm having a good luck. Anyway, I was not that lucky with catching him with my camera and my simple 55-200mm lens, but, I do have hopes for the future in the few days left for me here.

The magpie fleeding as it appeared from the dining room window.

My host went out in a hurry after that and went to the lounge where the window there overlooks the other side of the garden and called me to check. I went there and the magpie was jumping in a hurry and hid behind some bushes. After that, I really gave up looking after it. I was moving in between the windows in the lounge with the camera hanging around my neck and waiting for a suitable chance to snap that thief! Anyway, no luck at all so I decided to get ready for the cab to pick me up to Cahir.

In Cahir, I've paid a visit again to the castle, and I was surprised at the amount of things that I didn't see in the first time I was there some days ago, when I was about to visit the Swiss Cottage. Many things to be seen and many stands to take and just watch that beautiful part of nature. An, in case you are blind, it is enough for you to step there and listen to the running river, the river Súir, going on and on. In fact there, I decided to be a bad boy. Yes, a bad boy. How? Simply, by using a high ISO value with a fast shutter speed. High ISO is not something you want to use in your photos, unless you are really capable of eliminating the noise coming out of the sensor. Anyway it was a trial, and when I get back home, we'll see if I can do some decent job out of these photos. While I was walking on a path beside the castle walls, the path drove me to some source of "noise" if I should say. Some really loud sound coming from the river. Finally, I reached the point when the water was gushing from no where virtually and crashing on some rocks. On tht spot, I've worked on my camera with various settings really, but all I remember was putting the camera on Tv mode (time value priority) and sitting the speed something between 1000 and 2000 (that is 1/x) and the ISO on 1000 and higher (and even used the highest value available, the 12800, which by the way is denoted by "H").

Water crashing on the water.

I got many shots in these settings and the water was, for the naked eye, beautifully frozen! I tried this as well with other objects, specially birds, but it was harder to make something of them. Anyway, there was some nice chances out there. But maybe one of the weirdest thing in the catch today was, that "memorabilia"...

 Couldn't agree further!

Now, into the castle. In the beginning, I didn't know that that gate which was half closed with some construction sign falling on its side beside it was really the gate to get into the castle and see it from the inside, well, after getting the ticket of course! I thought the location was closed when I saw the castle the first time I came to Cahir and spent one night in it.
I got inside, got the ticket and got into different halls and different chambers and rooms, and the stairs were so so so small. It was so hard climbing up on those stairs with a backpack and my camera bag on the side. In some cases, I was literally going down the stairs backwards because the space was so small to turn around and get down the normal way. After jumping here and there from one corner of the castle to another, I noticed in the main yard of the castle, some stairway tht goes down into the ground. I went down to find myself in a place that I think it would be suitable for a garrison. Of course, everything was made by solid rocks. The stairs were going downstairs and ending to some black gate with bars, exactly like in jails, but in the middle of this stairway, there was a relatively new stair going up and connecting to another side which, as it seems, was connected to this stair I was standing upon but fell down by time.
I climbed up that stair. It was so so narrow even though it was relatively new and made of metal. After that "bridge" to the other side, the stairs became even harder to climb and literally, I had to bend my back in like 90 degrees to go through. Finally, at the end, I was up on one of the towers, as if by magic! You go down and you end up being up!
The view from the tower was simply amazing. With even little waterfalls viewable, some flock of birds were also there and made a nice chance for some hunting again!
General view for Cahir from the top of the tower.

The main thing that captured my eyes is a crane (or a heron). It was so big even though it was so far away from me, but I was greatly disappointed with me lens that I wished I had a larger one with a nicer zooming to make it even bigger in the viewfinder.

 The crane on the edge of the small waterfall.

My 55-200mm was on its max when I shot this but still the crane was not that clear, and with the high ISO and high shutter speed things aren't any better. Anyway, I'm still hoping that when I get back home I will do a better pic out of those.
Beside the crane there were other guests. Swans and ducks. While I was shooting them continuously, the camera needed some time to process the images and hence there were stops in the sequences of images, which made it look like 2 different groups of images. However, this is not a big deal to me. I'm not making a story here!
After finishing from the castle I got into a gift shop and tried my best to pick up something for the family. Most of my shopping was to bring gifts for females rather than males actually. I asked the shop owner about the antiques shop on the other side of the street and he confirmed what I doubted about, and the shop was closed. He said that they have some branch in Dublin, but it is less likely I'm going to check it when I get back there before my final leave. 
Well, I'm still thinking and planning for what to do tomorrow. I'm still not sure. I think I've seen the majority of scenes in Cashel and Cahir, and despite the fact that my fisheye betrayed me today and some images appeared out of focus a little, I don't think I will re-take these images anyway. I guess I will sit down and watch for the magpie!

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