June 30, 2016

Ireland XI (Loughmoe Castle, Ireland)

Loughmoe Castle is the ancient seat of the Purcell family. The Castle comprises of a 15th Century tower house, which was extensively added to in the 17th Century.
When researching places to photograph Ingrid, Loughmoe caught my interest both due to its setting (in the middle of a field, and thus less likely to be "peopled") and because the 15th century tower still had access to the third and fourth floors, which made it ideal to photograph in during wet weather. Unfortunately, we arrived to find the stairway up sealed, leaving just the floor level of the ruin accessible.
Ingrid and I started working at the back of the castle; there was a low entry into a VERY green room, which has some beautiful holes and openings in the walls - perfect for Ingrid to pose within. I worked with both the colour and infrared camera in the space, but ultimately decided to intense green of the space makes the colour images more engaging.
While the stairway to the upper floors of the original tower was sadly blocked, the ground floor of the tower provided some stunning light to work with - small windows on the front and back of the building provided perfect rim lighting when looking into the tower from the main building. The exposure proved a challenge, and in the end I defaulted to the obvious - an exposure blend between an image exposed for the doorway and stone-face of the tower, and a second exposure of Ingrid within the tower.
The sheer size of the ruined tower-house was awe-inspiring, and I tried to capture some sense of it in the above image of Ingrid standing within the 17th century addition. Though stinging nettles presented issues elsewhere in Ireland, for some reason, Loughmoe was devoid of them, which made it much easier to work within the sea of brush that had grown up within the castle. 
The last set of images Ingrid and I made within the castle were made on the interior walls, exploiting the contrast between the rocks and ivy. I worked exclusively with the infrared camera here, preferring the luminous skin tones and foliage that approach provides. By this time, Ingrid was really starting to feel the cold, so about an hour after we made our first image, the session came to a close, and we headed back to the car (and what would turn out to be a rainy drive back to our accommodations...no more photos for today!).

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