July 03, 2016

Ireland XVIII (Loch Mhuiceannach, Ireland)

The first week Ingrid and I spent working together in Ireland was based in the center of the country, and the photography of the first week was focused on working in ruins and architectural remains; for the second week we relocated to just west of Galway, with plans to explore the landscape (and some ruins) in Connemara and other areas of the west coast of Ireland.

Our first full day working on the west coast was focused on exploring Connemara; for all the research I did in advance, the first place we stopped to photograph was on a boggy moorland by the side of the road - the light was lovely (though the temperature was still a little cool for Ingrid) and a small dirt road wound off into the distance, providing us with access to the open landscape.
The first set of images we made were focused on an exposed rock that overlooked Loch na Craoibhe; it proved to be a challenging space to work in, with the large rock forcing my camera position farther back than I would have preferred. I did try working closer to Ingrid, and cropping the rock off, but it felt unbalanced, so I continued working with the more distant view.
After we finished with the rock overlooking the lake, Ingrid and moved into the ferns on the eastern side of the ridge - this had two advantages, first it moved us out of much of the wind, and second, it provided a much more intimate landscape within which to work with portraits. I've always loved Nude portraits, as much for their beauty as for the challenge they can present for some viewers ("Why am I uncomfortable looking at this person when they are obviously comfortable with me looking at them?" being what I hope goes through some people's minds when they view them.
The last images in the session were made with Ingrid set against some piles of cut turf (peat) in the background. As it happened, this was the only time during the entire trip that cut turf played a role in the images of Ingrid, which in some ways is at odds with how important turf is to Irish history and culture; perhaps my only defense is that the places that were best to work with Ingrid didn't lend themselves to harvesting peat!

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