Simply stated. Ireland

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I have settled into that time of the year when I sit back and reflect.  I look over my photos and sigh wondering if I really appreciated what was before me while I was there.  In most cases, I think no, I didn’t due to jet lag and time at locations and the list goes on.  I wonder why I keep doing it, traveling for hours in a plane next to some stranger.   Eating food that I am not quite sure of and hoping to get some sleep the upcoming night.  The hotels are always an adventure and the bathrooms run in many sizes and luxury scales.  Yet, every year I search again for another location to drag my equipment along.

The above frame is from Ireland and the view of a road just between land and sea seems fitting to me.  As a traveler, I always feel just between two worlds.  The world I am from and the world I am traveling to.  I escape my midwestern life for long enough to catch a glimpse of beauty.  A land far away from everything I know and a people with an accent worse than mine. (Of course I really don’t have an accent.)  My favorite all time comment is a Scot commenting on the Irish accent. My mind is thinking they can’t hear themselves can they.  Forever, that comment is planted in my mind and I will smile every time it replays. Ireland 2016-1736

Or maybe it is the people who enjoy being creative and sharing a sunset together after a long day.  Along with a ride in a cramped van with a lunch of something stuffed into a sack.  Rain pouring down overhead and steam clouding up the windows.  Unraveling a ball of yarn that is tangled to pass the time, while your new friend sits knitting next to you in the van.  Worlds and countries colliding with languages trying to communicate only one thing, that moment the sky and the earth lines up to end the glorious day hopefully with some color.  I have stared across the water in hope many times only to have the color disappear.  But when the glory is full on you can’t help but keep trying to get that shot till the light fades.  The sunset above on the same road in Ireland.

So, here I sit in the comfort of my own home, with only the reflection of memories stored on a hard drive.  I can’t explain to you what they mean to me.  It is even harder to explain why all the hassle of packing, loading, standing in line and boarding countless planes is worth it.  I have made friends- good friends of people from these trips.  I would not be the same person without them.  My world has expanded not just because of a photograph but the experience behind the photograph.

The best decision I ever made is to travel.  To pick up a camera and try to do something new, see something new and grow into someone I never expected.  I know I am not the most talented photographer out there.  I have met people who just blow me away.   I wonder where does it come from? However, the more I see and do the better my eye becomes for the wold around me.  But, I don’t mind not being there yet.  I will get there and plan on enjoying every step of the journey until I do.

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Northumberland

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I will admit to be a little slow on the blogs.  However, I did just go to Northumberland in September and at least the follow up is still in this year.  That being said.  The guide book “The Photographers Guide to Northumberland”  is well worth the purchase price.  We had a Garmin and could put in the postal codes listed on the pages which helped tremendously.  Plus, on a photography trip adventure is always the key to the exploration.

The Duddo Stone Circle has a fantastic view of the country side.  One of those big, wide open views that makes you just want to stand and look for awhile.  Normally, I have flown a long way to get to this spot and stand and see a world thousands of years older than me.  I just like to soak in the views and place them in my memory.  That is what Duddo did for me.  Maybe not a world shattering shot but a step back in time and slowing down of my world._DSF6258

Next, a memory maker was the the Edlingham over look.  This spot is right on the road and quite a view indeed.  Luckily, we caught just enough light to add some drama to the moody day.  The weather was changeable as always and the view better than you see a lot of places in the world.  Plus, that streak of Heather with the remaining color pops in the sea of green.  I just feel my heart expand as it looks over the field.  I feel the freedom can you?_DSF6350

The list goes on and on.  Church Hill is harder for us to find at first but when we find the right road it made sense.  We had a 4 wheel drive vehicle so driving to it isn’t to bad.  If you don’t I wouldn’t recommend it because the road is pretty bumpy.  The view again spectacular with the town across the bay, boats in the harbor, sand and grass dunes.  It doesn’t disappoint.  Was the sky perfect-no but on trips like this you only get one day to go somewhere and maybe less than an hour in one place.  Just take the shot._DSF6618-2

Lindisfarne Castle is an imposing figure along the water and we stayed in Seacastles so we could take advantage of a central location.  Dogs were everywhere with their owners- I mean everywhere, there wasn’t a day we didn’t see at least a dozen happily taking their owners out for a walk.  I think for an easy, rambling kind of vacation Northumberland suits me just fine.  So much to do for photography it is more of a matter of what do I want to do today.

I used my Fuji Xt2 on this trip because I wanted something easy to carry.  Overall the camera didn’t disappoint and I am happy with the photos I took.  I packed light so I could get in and get out of each location without a fuss.  I even brought the Manfroto be free tripod with me to save weight.  All the equipment worked well.

So, yes the guide book for me was a success.  The drives in the countryside and the views of life an 8 hour flight away from mine were priceless.