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This blog is intended to showcase my pictures or those of other photographers who have moved beyond the pretty picture and for whom photography is more than entertainment - photography that aims at being true, not at being beautiful because what is true is most often beautiful..

>>>> Comments, commentary and lively discussions, re: my writings or any topic germane to the medium and its apparatus, are vigorously encouraged.

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In Situ ~ la, la, how the life goes onLife without the APADoorsKitchen SinkRain2014 • Year in ReviewPlace To SitART ~ conveys / transports / reflectsDecay & DisgustSingle WomenPicture WindowsTangles ~ fields of visual energy (10 picture preview) • The Light + BW mini-galleryKitchen Life (gallery) • The Forks ~ there's no place like home (gallery)


Ireland / Scotland # 33-35 (diptych # 214) / picture windows # 70 ~ touch not the cat

Cragganmore Distillery ~ Ballindalloch, Banffshire, Scotland • click to embiggen
Coat of Arms / Cragganmore Distillery ~ Ballindalloch, Banffshire, Scotland • click to embiggen
Gents / Laddies • Conway's ~ Ramelton, Donegal, Ireland • click to embiggen

The first distillery we visited in Scotland was Cragganmore, one of many distilleries in the Speyside region - hence the name Speyside Malts. At the finish of the tour, one is treated, in the office of the founder John Smith, to tastings of various expressions of Cragganmore Malts. And it was in that office that I pictured the Coat of Arms which adorned a wooden cabinet. I was drawn to the weird, to me, motto of "Touch not the cat but a glove" not to mention the wreath-clad guy with a club.

They say that curiosity killed the cat but, since I am not a cat, my curiosity about the Coat of Arms and the motto therein caused me no harm. What I discovered was that the motto is, according to the curator of the Clan Macpherson Museum, that of Clan Macpherson which in turn was a member of Clan Chattan along with Clan Macintosh, et al. Furthermore, an "ungloved" cat - in this case, a Scottish Wildcat, the mascot of Clan Chattan - is one that has its claws extended. Therefore, be forewarned and "Don't mess with us".

Alternately, according to other sources, the motto could be interpreted to mean. "Touch not the cat without a glove." Either way, it would seem that it is best not to mess with the cat.

That settled, the Gents / Ladies signs in the diptych, while not a Coat of Arms, is one of many like-minded (potty humor?) gents / ladies signs found on many Irish pub restroom doors. I like them. I wish I had pictured more of them.

Ireland / Scotland # 32 ~ watching / being watched

watching the street ~ Ramelton, Donegal, Ireland • click to embiggen

Ireland, Scotland and I assume the entire UK are loaded with the eyes of Big Brother.

PS - Jimmi Nuffin - that's not a complaint, it's just an observation.

Ireland / Scotland # 30-31 ~ cemeteries 

tombstone detail ~ near Inverness, Scotland • click to embiggen
OUR BABIES ~Ardara, Donegal, Ireland • click to embiggen


Ireland / Scotland # 26-29 ~ brown Ireland

rugged ridge / on the road to Port ~ Donegal, Ireland • click to embiggen
road / rugged mountain / on the road to Port ~ Donegal, Ireland • click to embiggen
The Poisoned Glen ~ Dunlewey, Donegal, Ireland • click to embiggen
sheep / Atlantic Ocean ~ Port, Donegal, Ireland • click to embiggen
countryside / on the road to Glencolmcille ~ Donegal, Ireland • click to embiggen

Relative to not-what-I-thought Ireland would look like in yesterday's entry, I submit, as evidence, the below pictures. Although, I have included another picture, re; the green, green and more green of Ireland.

Read about The Poisoned Glen HERE.

Ireland / Scotland # 23-25 ~ unexpected surprises

Irish landscape ~ Dunlewey, Donegal, Ireland • click to embiggen
Irish landscape / Benbulben Mountain ~ Cashelgarron, Co. Sligo, Ireland Ireland • click to embiggen
sheep overlooking Atlantic Ocean ~ near Glencolmcille, Donegal, Ireland • click to embiggen

While in Ireland, I encountered a number of unexpected surprises. Prominent amongst them were a handful of not-what-I-thought Ireland would look like landscapes. Most notable in that surprise category are the top 2 landscape pictures in this entry.

Each of those landscapes truly messed with my (apparently) cliched expectations of what I would see, landscape wise, in Ireland. You probably know what I mean - green, green and more green. Not that green, green and more green was not in evidence. In some parts of Ireland that we passed through on our drive from Dublin to our chosen designation - County Donegal - were indeed green, green and more green.

However, large swaths of County Donegal featured quite bit of brown / dirty green - if not more than actual green - and rugged stone hills / mountains. A landscape which I found to be very much to my liking. In fact, a landscape in which I would be happy to live for the rest of my life.

As for the sheep in the bottom picture, all I can write is, what a life.

FYI, I have changed the Landscapist theme once again. The simple reason for the change is that the previous theme mangled posts - image and text alignment - on post made prior to the implementation of that theme. This change represents my last attempt at salvaging a working relationship with the 'old' Squarespace platform.

As of this entry, the resize thing is working. This is a good thing because: 1. I can control the size of the popup window, and, 2. the resize function creates a main page thumbnail image without resizing or messing with the original popup sized file. Not so the previous workaround method which resized the original image resulting in a significant loss of image sharpness for the popup image.

If the resize function continues to work, this is the theme / format I will stick with for now. Although I am experimenting with the new Squarespace platform which allows me to have a bodies-of-work gallery website together with a blog. That platform and theme has a much cleaner look than this platform and theme. So, if I like how the new one functions, I will change to that platform and theme in the near future.

Ireland / Scotland # 19-22 ~ as easy as 1 2 3

Poisoned Glen ruin ~ Dunlewey, Donegal, Ireland • click to embiggen

figure in dunes ~ Tramore Beach, Donegal, Ireland • click to embiggen

roadside Lady Liberty ~ somewhere in County Donegal, Ireland • click top embiggen

rusty shed roof ~ Ardara, Donegal, Ireland • click to embiggen

On yesterday's entry, it all depends upon how you look at it, John Linn wrote:

"And so, how would you categorize the three included pictures?"(in yesterday's entry)

In reply I would categorize them as follows:

TOP picture (grave yard) - while this picture is not without its merits, framing, organization and visual energy wise - as well as its interesting referent (especially of you like cemeteries) - I would consider it to be more a 'holiday' type picture. However, that written, there is little doubt about what the picture is about.

Middle picture (Whatcha Mc Collum's) - I kind of think of this picture as a transition picture hovering somewhere between 'holiday' and 'fine art'. While there is no doubt what the picture is about, it can raise some interesting questions such as: how can a thing on wheels be home to anything? Then the name itself says or at least tells the viewer something about the owner / proprietor. And, of course, it does exhibit a sense of humor. Is that enough to elevate it to 'fine art'? iMo, I think not.?

Bottom picture (milling around) - to my eye and sensibilities, this picture is knocking quite loudly on the door 'fine art'. Because of all of the disparate visual elements the most certainly uncertainty regarding exactly what the picture is about. An uncertainty most often expressed by viewers of many of my pictures, "Why did you take that picture?" Is it about the tree, the ruin, the stone walls, the people? And what about those people? Are they strangers to one another? Are they together? are they wiring for something to happen? Is there something behind the mound about which we are not privy?

In addition, once again to my eye and sensibilities, there is visual energy all over the place. The eye keeps in motion, careening around from one visual element to another within the frame and where it stops nobody knows. Yet somehow, it all hangs together and I could live with picture on a wall in my house for quite an extended period of time.

And so, to my eye and sensibilities, to be in contention as a 'fine art' picture (mine or those made by others) a picture must pose three questions:

1. Why did the picture maker make this picture? FYI, there may be no easy answer to this question. There even be no answer at all.

2. Is there visual energy in evidence? Does my eye move around within the frame with no obvious place to land?

3. Can I live with it on one of my walls for an very extended period of time and will it still draw me in and still hold my interest over that time (if not forever)?

That's it in a nutshell. No mystery and no arcane / obtuse artspeak. It's as simple as that (according to my eye and sensibilities).

Ireland / Scotland # 16-18 ~ it all depends upon how you look at it

grave yard ~ Ardara, County Donegal, Ireland • click to embiggen

Whatchta Mc Collum's ~ Ardara, County Donegal, Ireland • click to embiggen

milling around ~ on the road to Glencolmcille, County Donegal, Ireland • click to embiggen


When I am finished making final pictures from Ireland and Scotland, I will have over 225 'final' pictures. Some of which are holiday pictures, some of which are more than that. My intent is to edit the pictures down to 60 selects to be printed in a book. Although, I am also giving thought to creating 2 books - one comprised of 'holiday' type pictures, one comprised of (dare I write?) 'fine art' type pictures.


What, you might ask, is the difference between the two types? Good question and one about which I have been pondering.

To my eye and sensibilities, the difference is along the lines of what one chooses to put within the frame of a picture. In the case of 'holiday' pictures, the content is about an specific object (people, places, things) - the replication / representation of a singular referent and everything about those pictures is aimed at drawing the viewers attention directly to, as Joel Meyerwitz states, "the copy of an object in space."

Hopefully, in the making of a 'holiday' picture, the picture maker is attuned to light, framing, et al in the cause of making a visually pleasing picture. If that attention to picture making detail is linked to an object of some interest, the picture maker will have a pleasing 'holiday' picture which can hold the viewer's eye for for more than just a passing glance. I have made my fair share of such pictures.

When I attempt to make 'fine art' pictures, while there is usually a singular object which has prick my eye and sensibilities but I am also drawn to its tenuous relationship to other unrelated things. Relationships which create a visual tension - I think of it as visual energy - which can cause 'vibrations' in the viewer's eye and sensibilities.

In other words, my pictures are about more than the singular object of my attention. They are also about light, color, shapes, and tonal qualities and the visual energy created by their tacit yet tenuous interaction / relationship. I want the viewer's eye and thought to careen around the 2-dimensional surface of the print, held in check only by the frame I have imposed upon the scene. Although, that written, the viewer's thoughts may try to break out of the frame in order to consider what might lie beyond.

For certain, a 'holiday' type picture is a much easier 'read' that is a 'fine art' type picture. Especially so if the viewer's sensibilities are not attuned - consciously or not - to those qualities which cause a picture to 'sing'.

civilized ku # 4004-06 (ku-ish) ~ hockey trip with a twist

Kingston Bay / looking toward Plymouth ~ Duxbury, MA. click to embiggen

shoreline foliage ~ Kingston Bay / Duxbury, MA. click to embiggen

Hugo / striped bass ~ Kingston Bay / off Duxbury, MA.


Our own cottage. Salt Water fishing. Neither are normally part of a hockey tournament trip.


However, on this trip to Kingston, MA. - Cape Cod / 35 miles south of Boston - thanks to one wing of the wife's extended family, we have own cottage (some might call it a house) next to the that family's house on Cape Cod and Hugo's gets to take an early AM fishing expedition, with our host as as fishing guide, aboard the family's boat. Add to that the fact that all our meals are prepared by our hostess and all I can ask is, "Why aren't all hockey trips like this?"
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