Friday, October 10, 2014

Fáilte go gConga...

Just like someone waking up from a dream, I can't believe that I'm already on my 10th day in here and only 3 days are left till I move out and head to Dublin.
I'm checking things right now for a possibility to visit Inchagoil island, which might take place on Sunday or Monday. Because of the pressure somewhat here, I've canceled my plans to visit Brigit Gardens. It is a nice place but I do need some time to enjoy the nature around the Waterfront B&B too. I do need time too to put my tools down and arrange them in order to fit it all inside my suitcase before heading to the station.

Today, I've headed to Cong town, in Co. Mayo, to the north of Oughterard (which lies in Co. Galway itself). The town is the location of Ashford castle, which is now a 5-star hotel, and Cong Abbey. Thus, in the beginning we headed to the castle.

On the way to Cong

Things had changed a bit since 2009. Apparently, there is now a gate before the golf course and to cross it there is supposed to be some sort of payment. Anyway, we passed the gate without paying anything. My first target was the main fountain in front of the castle, and there I've placed my stuff to do a panorama. It was a fast rhyming panorama because the sun was shining today. After that I've started to search for that mysterious pathway around the premises which I've went through 5 years ago. I remember this path had a name,  a very specific name containing the word "Lady" - but this year I didn't find this sign; it was all entitled as "The Walled Gardens".

On the top of the entrance of the path.
Now, I think this path is supposedly to go around the "monk's fishing hut" or something like that, but I'm just going to call it "the path". This path also leads or circles the Falconry school in the premises. I have to say I kind of got lost there trying to find my way to the old path I've encountered before 5 years ago. I went back and forth until I've encountered a gateway which I remember clearly that it lead to the gardens and the path, and some of the details there which I didn't catch back then are now into my camera! Once I've found the way, I've encountered a shaded path made of tree branches which was the perfect spot for some shots; and specifically IR shots.

After taking few shots for this short pathway with my Rokinon 8mm fisheye, I switched to my 15mm fisheye lens (as it is the lens I can use infrared filter with). Unfortunately I didn't have the time to cut a little piece of the infrared filter slide (which I have in my bag) to fit my Rokinon 8mm. Maybe I would do that any time now or maybe I should leave it till I get back home!

Infrared shot for the shaded path.

Now, to take this infrared shot, I was supposed to expose for around 12 minutes. I was somewhat in a hurry and urging to move forward, specially that this spot was in the midway and I was expecting people passing by (the passage is narrow and I was blocking it). Thus, I've decided to shoot it at ISO400 instead of ISO100, which reduced the time from 12 minutes to 3 minutes only. And, they were really long minutes! Another infrared shot was made later in a different position, but at ISO500 to make it even a bit faster. That one took 6 minutes to be done! Those trees surely do provide a good shade.

Going back to the beginning...

On the way I took various shots for the forest and the path in different lenses (mainly the 8mm Rokinon fisheye). In general though, I think they are quite the normal shots like those I've done 5 years ago. In fact, they are even less in number. And here comes the problem which I will talk about briefly later.
After finishing I've just headed to the cab and since I was tired, I asked the driver to just skip the abbey. Thus, no pictures or panoramas from there, despite the magnificent architecture of that abbey. Even when I got into the car, I've left my camera at the backseat and didn't keep it with me to take pictures on the way. I was so tired, not only physically, but also emotionally.

It seems that I'm pressuring myself just to take pictures because everyone was expecting me to take a lot of pictures. This stress, probably, lead to my brain to switch off and I couldn't notice the beauty that I was hoping for like when I was a freshman to this area 5 years ago! I think I've missed the point big time and it is time for me to just enjoy my vacation without thinking about photography - and this is something I'm planning to do soon, just before I leave this place. As for now I've canceled my plans for Brigit Garden, and maybe I will do one night photography in the coming few nights for me here just before I leave…

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