My Favourite Things

So this #GuruShots challenge is all about my favourite things – the images I submitted are as follows:

  • Mornington Dunes – great area near where I live where I can talk the dogs walking.
  • Poppy Field – the poppies around the Co Meath coast have been unbelievable this year.
  • Trip – no reason required.
  • Coffee – see above.

I’ve another 7 days to go and have reach the Skilled level with a grand total of 274 votes. Let’s see what happens in a week! :-)

#Poppies #MyFavouriteThings #Coffee #Meath

[June 2018]

 

 

 

 

Lazy Pets

My wonderful rescue hound, Trip, is the perfect subject for this #GuruShots Speed Challenge. This is a snap (rather than a great photograph) I took a year or so ago – I’ve had her since January 2016 when she was 2.5 years old. She’s originally from the Cayman Islands (like the rest of my pack – long story) and she made the epic flight from Owen Roberts International Airport to London Heathrow via the Bahamas. After a night in London, she made the short hop to Dublin where she was in a state of shock due to the grey, cold, damp weather which she actually loves. She’s a collie/malamute cross (I think) and I found her via the Cayman Islands Humane Society Facebook page.

I can thoroughly recommend the CIHS who are eager to find great homes anywhere for their four legged buddies. Please click to view more about their work. No better dogs or cats in the world than those you can rescue and my experience with the CIHS has been a joy.

Anyways, I don’t care how my photo gets on in the challenge although for reference it’s currently achieved a Premier level with 377 votes (2 days left). I’m just happy to show off my beautiful girl – gorgeous ain’t she. :-)

Trip Sleeping

As ever, update at the end of the challenge but for reference, the Tripster is and always will be a winner. Even when fast asleep.

#CaymanIslandsHumaneSociety #CIHS #BestBuddy #GoodGirl #LazyPets

Update: This photo gained 503 votes leading to an Elite ranking. Great achievement but Trip will always be an All Star ranking to me :-)

[June 2018]

Simply Orange

I’ve not been feeling very well for the last few days – an extra special cough and respiratory infection has left me confined to barracks. Ive been looking through some of the latest #GuruShots challenges and they don’t particularly inspire. However, there is one challenge which I’ve been able to dig out a few relevant images to submit and it’s called, as the title clearly states, ‘Simply Orange’.

There are 7 days left before the challenge ends. As ever, the quality and skill displayed in the top photos is incredible. There some extraordinarily beautiful photographs of flowers in particular – well worth a peruse.

The images I’ve submitted are as follows – from left to right:

  • My fireglow Duesenberg Double Cat guitar (I also submitted this image in the ‘Musical Instruments’ challenge)
  • A Tiger
  • A snapshot of my commute one early morning in January 2018
  • Koi Carp

Something Orange

None of the images above will rival those in the top half of the challenge but I should hopefully gain a few more Guru points! :-)

These are the widest range of subjects I think I’ve submitted so far in any one challenge and for that reason, I’m going to be really interested to see which type of image is the most popular. I don’t think I’ll have any images to swap out for this one so the next point (in 7 days or so) will be the results! I’ve gained a few more votes since I took the above screen shot and have reached the Popular level – I’m not going to be close to Elite / Premier but I’ll keep voting to maximize my exposure and just wait and see what happens.

#Duesenberg #DoubleCat #Tiger # Mornington #Sunrise #KoiCarp #Orange

Update: So, I’ve found some relevant images for swaps! Seems like a lot of places I’ve visited actually have orange coloured dirt tracks so in many ways, I was spoiled for choice. The two images I swapped out were the tiger (which I do like but the quality wasn’t great) and the sunrise photograph taken during my morning commute. The images I’ve uploaded as (on left) a dirt track at Lake Tonle Sap, near Siem Reap, Cambodia, and (on right) the Red Rock Church in the outskirts of Sedona, Arizona, US. There are still 5 days to go before the challenge closes, so let’s see what happens ….

Simply Orange Swaps

Update: I made another swap: I removed the Cambodian dirt track photograph for the Llama image (also included in another challenge called ‘Start with L’. It seemed like a popular swap as the Llama achieved 153 votes which was a lot more than the other image.

Anyways, I managed an Elite level when the challenge closed. Hurrah for me! ;-)

[May 2018]

 

 

Seeing Textures

To celebrate my new Challenger status and to try to move forward to the Advanced level, I’ve submitted some images I took this evening. These are clockwise from top left:

  • Slippers
  • Guitar Case
  • 1970s Waffle Blanket
  • My dog, Trip – a close up!

GuruShots Textures

There are 11 days from this post until the challenge closes so we’ll wait to see what happens … I’ll try to take some ‘swap’ photos over the weekend. #GuruShots

Update: I decided to swap out the blue fluffy slipper image for one I took over the weekend in Baltray, Co Louth. I focused on the foreground to get clear definition of the straw-like grass. The photograph was taken on my Nikon D3400 (the settings were 1/800 sec | F5.3 | ISO 100) using my Nikkor 18-55 mm kit lens. I don’t think it’s a particularly successful image but hopefully conveys enough texture to be a positive swap in the challenge.

Lone Tree in Baltray

Lone Tree at Baltray

The sky remained a beautiful blue (first I’ve seen in Ireland all year tbh) for all of 45 minutes until a thick sea mist rolled in. I took advantage of the drama however to walk down to the ship wreck on the sands – not sure the photographs were all that successful but it was a great opportunity to practice with my ND grads. I have to remember I’m still learning so will be getting a lot of mixed results but onwards and upwards! If I want to get better, I just have to keep practicing.

Anyhoo, there are still 9 days to go for the ‘Seeing Textiles’ challenge and at this time, I’ve only 73 votes to go to move from Premier to Elite level. Hope this swap does the trick – we’ll see.

Update: So the challenge has ended and the swap did the trick! Managed an Elite ranking which I’m very happy about. Total number of votes were 1195. The images with the most votes (which I was a little surprised about) was the guitar case with 509 votes.  The waffle blanket achieved 252 votes, the tree (swap image) 246 and the close up of Trip 188 votes. I suspect however that this challenge resulted in one of the highest number of All Star ranking images: 5873 entrants managed to achieved this rank. Elite was the most populous ranking with 8795, Premier with 6154, Skilled with 1446 and Popular with 1033. Although the ranking was busy, I ranked # 105 in the Elite level. Amazingly, I need ‘only’ another 4 challenge rankings of Premier or above to move to the Advanced user category. I don’t feel at all ‘advanced’ in terms of my photography skills but this is after all a game and I’m enjoying the taking part!

[April 2018]

Wonderlust 2018

Although I couldn’t describe myself as a globetrotter, I’ve been lucky enough to have to already crossed off a number of items from my bucket list. Unfortunately, I either forgot to take a camera (d’oh) or the images ‘snap shots’ and not particularly good enough for entry to this GuruShots challenge.  Mind you, I have to travel on business to Chicago one February and forgot to pack a warm coat (double d’oh).

I’ve dug out some old iPhone images of  trips including a trip to Skellig Micheal, Co Kerry, Ireland and an island off the coast of Zadar, Croatia. The image below is that of Conway, North Wales which I’ve also included. It’s not particularly exotic but a wonderful place to visit. This is a view of the harbour which is located directly in front of the magnificent castle. To view the other images submitted in this challenge, you can view my GuruShots profile page.

Conway

Conway, North Wales

Two shots I would have liked to have included but for poor image resolution I was unable to submit are:

  • Lama on the Aliplano, Bolivia
  • View from Rum Point, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Neither image is particularly ‘landscapey’ but I really enjoyed the days I took both images.

Alta Plano Peru

Altiplano, Bolivia

The above image was taken in northern Bolivia just south of the Peruvian boarder back in December 2016. It shows the farmer’s home and one of her herd – a wonderfully woolly red bad boy. She had also recently helped to deliver a pure white blue eyed ‘cria’ (baby lama) which has to be one of the cutest beings I’ve ever seen. I was so taken with it, I forgot to take a picture but trust me, he was beautiful. The Altiplano is a stark and imposing part of the world and life there must be tough.

In contrast, Rum Point is probably the most stunning of Grand Cayman’s glorious beaches. Scattered around the beach are hammocks, bars and luxury hotels where people get some rest and relaxation in the Caribbean sun. The water is warm and clear – a little further into the North Sound and you’d bump up against turtles, stingrays and possibly a tiger shark. It’s breathtaking and the colours are stunning but it’s most definitely missing a lama or two.

Rum Point Grand Cayman

Rum Point, Grand Cayman

As usual, I’ll update this post when the ‘Wonderlust 2018’ Challenge has come to a close.

Update: It’s 12 April 2018, and the challenge has just ended. I achieved a Premier level, which  I’m very very please about, collecting 563 votes and 600 GuruShots points.

This is how the voting broke down and the images are (left to right):

  • Skellig Michael, Co Kerry
  • Croatia – if I remember correctly it’s an image taken somewhere around Telašcia Nature Park
  • Mornington, Co Meath
  • Rowing Boats on the Banks of the Boyne, Co Meath

Wonderlust 2018

I’m very happy with the result – onto the next challenge!

#CountyKerry #SkelligMichael #NotGoodWithHeights #Croatia #CountyMeath #RiverBoyne

[April 2018]

Easter Ireland

This Easter, the weather was terrible but we still managed a number of road trips including a morning spent in the local Emergency Dept (but the less said about that the better).

On Good Friday, we took a road trip to Northern Ireland and finally got to see the Dark Hedges. I’m not much of a Game of Thrones fan – in fact, I’ve only seen one episode – but the I know that they’ve filmed in some of the most dramatic locations in the North. The Dark Hedges didn’t disappoint – despite it being a very cold and dull day, they were impressive. Originally, 150 beech trees were planted to make up the avenue and at the current time, around 90 or so are still standing. I suspect the better view is from the other end of the avenue looking down towards Gracehill House and had it been milder, I might have taken a better photograph but a warm car was calling. I’d imagine the place is swarming with tourists in the summer but the #DarkHedges are well worth a visit anytime.

CT Dark Hedges

On Easter Sunday, we drove to Glendalough, Co Wicklow. It’s a real tourist trap – the place was fairly busy even in the rain and sleet. It’s a beautiful location and even though we didn’t see it at its best, we had some wonderful company – at least four deer. #UnderABrokenTree #WildDeer

CT Deer in Wicklow

For further information about wild deer and other wildlife in Ireland, please visit Ireland’s Wildlife.

After a drive through the snowy, desolate but beautiful Sally Gap, a warm lunch at the slightly corny but fun Johnny Fox’s pub was welcome.

#EasterIreland

[April 2018]

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

My dog, Trip, fast asleep on the sofa. She’s too cute not to photograph.

Trip began her life in the Cayman Islands where for reasons unknown, she found herself homeless and wandering around an area called Red Bay. She was taken in by the Cayman Islands Humane Society who do great work.  In Jan 2016, she was put on a plane and flown to Ireland where she’s been living happily since with her dog buddies, Bob & Maggie.

My dog, Trip, asleep on the sofa

Trip Sleeping

For anyone thinking of taking on a pet, please remember adoption from a local humane society is a great option.

[March 2018]