Monday, October 13, 2014

Inis an Ghaill...

Wow! What a day! I'm so tired now that I can barely write this. Worse though, I can't have a nap before I finish everything for tomorrow; mainly packing.
Today I've head to Inchagoill island (Irish: Inis an Ghaill), which happens to mean "island of foreigners". I'm not sure why it is called like that, but surely I was like a stranger there today! As I've jumped on the boat I've got my camera ready already before hopping in, and fitted my Sigma 70-300mm lens and started to shoot as the boat was ravaging through the lake. It would have been good to use a polarizer in such situations but the shake of the boat would absolutely make this addition useless and helpless. However, I did take a number of images, and I won't be filtering them out probably.

Same house on the banks of the lake shot 5 years ago. This time in close up!

Upon reaching the island, of course we docked and headed down. My "guide," named Patrick, told me where to go: just follow the path. And he headed to other side in front of the dock (there was a rocky dock made) and he said he will be waiting there. Sure I said!

Where I landed. The trees (scotch fir trees) were Patrick headed waiting for me.

The entry to the church.
I followed the path, got lost for a while, but then I've found the church "complex"; well, if I can call it so! Anyway, I did take some shots from outside with 50mm (because it has the largest aperture I have already and helps with shallow depths when needed). My main interest was the designed gateway, which was so narrow for my, and my bag to pass through! After snapping those shots, I started right away setting up my tools to do a panorama outside just in front of the gateway. I'm expecting problems in terms of the exposure and showing details in the sky. Also, seems that using Daylight WB was not the proper choice, but that problem can be easily fixed later on. Strangely, this WB made the ground and some areas of the scene a bit bluish instead of yellowish as it usually does. For this reason, after that point, I had to use the Shade WB.

Things went great in the beginning; panorama outside, panorama inside, and then things started to get a bit wicked. Finishing from this location, it was time then to head to the Coffee House. I got lost again, and luckily I got back to the path again, from which I reached the church. Found some workers on the island (they were there when I landed and started my journey on the island). I asked for directions and they just told me to follow straight in that path. Strangely though, when I asked them about the coffee house, they don't really realize it, but when I describe it as "that little building on the top of the hill" they reckon the building and told me where to go. Again, on the way, I was about to get lost, and then found a gentleman who guided me further and turned me back to the church (apparently I was going in circles) and from there, he told me to follow the path and he left me at a certain point. From that point and on, it was one heck of a way to that building!

Strangely, forgot to take a general shot for the coffee house with my Rokinon 8mm fisheye lens. However, I started my work directly with a panorama from the outside. I was thinking of doing a panorama inside this small building, but I neglected the idea for two reasons: One, not much details inside that would make up for an interesting panorama, and two, the buzzing sounds of flies, wasps or even bees. Whatever was there, the buzzing sound was really loud inside! On the top of the coffee house, there was a nice view, but again, it wasn't suitable for a panorama. However, I did take some shots for the stairway with my fisheyes. Now, the adventure is about to begin...

Finishing from the coffee house, now it is time to go back to Patrick. All what I did is just follow the path down the slope (and had a fall on the way). At one point, I reached what seemed to me like a dead point - no way further with trees filling the way. All what was there is a small outlet leading to the beach area, which seemed to be my only way out! So I did.
The beach was really rocky. REALLY. I can almost say, no sand is there but rocks. Rocks filling the shore and I had to walk on them. I didn't know my location but my pace was slow now and hurtful because of the twisting feet. A tripod on my shoulder, a bag on my hand, and backpack on my back, with a camera around my neck. I even used the tripod (with VR-head attached to it) as a cane to help me go through the rocks. At this point, I realized I'm on the wrong side of the island, but it's too late now to go back. I had to continue and "survey" the shores until I reach the dock!

Map of Inchagoill island (from Wikimapia) and the red circle is supposedly where I got lost I presume, but I'm not that sure about it.

After passing through some muddy ground and dipping myself in water to avoid some branches (heck, I've broken some branches with my shoulders even!), I've reached a maximum point of exhaustion. I literally tried to rest a bit on the ground but the weight of my body and my tools didn't help and I almost fell to the water if it wasn't for me catching the ground with my hands. My head started to twist around, and apparently I do need some glucose in my blood for now! In this journey I was so exhausted to take pictures but at certain point (and before I get so dirty in the mud!) I tried to a simple shot here.

On the rocky beach. It was at this point that I've realized I'm on the wrong side, because the dock is opposite to this piece of land of high scotch fir trees (check 2nd picture from the top).

After all, I made it! With all that exhaustion I did reach Patrick and we had a laugh together! It was a little adventure but surely a refreshing one. The amazing thing here is, in the beginning you feel miserable for getting wet, but when you get extremely exhausted, you would really enjoy the feel of water in your shoes! Later on the boat, the cold air and the splashes of water drops against my body did really help me cool down and enjoy the ride, but this time, I had to go on without taking photos on the way back - and that gave liberty for Patrick to speed up with the boat unlike the slow motion in getting to the island form the Waterfront. What a day.

All of that now came down to some loss. I have to get a new tripod as soon as I reach home because my tripod lost one of its rubbers in one of its legs, and my VR-head lost one of the screws; luckily it was the 3/4" screw designed for larger cameras and not the 1/3" screw which fits my camera. Now, I have to post this and start to arrange my things in order to leave the Waterfront tomorrow. Goodbye for now, and probably this might be my last post in Ireland...

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