Set Aside

I can spend hours playing with my photos – arbitrarily adjusting hues, contrast, and saturation. Converting from color to black & white and then back again. Oftentimes, I dodge and burn all my interest right out of the photo and then toss it aside in frustration. And it’s not like anything was wrong with the original. Photoshop and Lightroom just have too many editing options, and I find myself wanting to try them all. And I wonder why. Am I trying to enhance a mood? Make some point? Why wasn’t the original good enough for me?

Sometimes the best thing to do is just set aside the photo for a while and come back to it later. Ultimately, your photographs are your ART. Whether you choose to share them unedited or alter them beyond recognition, the final images should resonate with you. Don’t worry about how others might judge your work. The question is, do you like it?

When I rediscovered this photo today, I was instantly struck by the mood I had created by converting it to B&W. I also liked how the arch in this old doorway created a natural frame for the sky. I accept this as my art, and today, I share it with you.

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A Trim Ending

My Ireland blog posts will be a little out of order. This is because when I arrived in Clifden, an electrical surge destroyed the transformer on my laptop’s power cord, and after that I had no way to charge my computer – so no uploading photos, blogging, etc. I had a spare cord at home from an old laptop, so the first thing I did when I got home last night was plug in and start pouring through photos. What a daunting task!

I decided I would start with Trim, Ireland – the last stop on my latest Ireland adventure.

I checked into Highfield House, a bed and breakfast just across the street from Trim Castle, on Saturday. Immediately, I was captivated by the high ceilings, antique furnishings and lush decor. I wanted to ask owner Geraldine Duignan, who wins the award for most hospitable hostess on my trip, if I could just move in. (She must get that a lot!) Geraldine prepared tea and scones upon my arrival, set me up with all the information I needed to explore the town, and made me feel truly welcome to be staying in her home. This is a great place to spend either your first full or last day in Ireland if you have flown into Dublin. I was tempted not to leave Highfield at all while in Trim, but the castle was literally just outside the door…

Along the River Boyne, the ruins of Trim Castle, the largest Anglo-Norman Castle in Ireland, still stand after over 800 years. (You may recognize it from the movie Braveheart!) A lovely walking path runs from the castle, along the river, and past the ruins of the 13th century town of Newton.

I crossed the River Boyne at Ring Road, and initially took the Castle River Walk that way, which first led me to Sheeps Gate. According to the County Meath tourist guide, “Sheeps Gate is the only surviving gateway of the Medieval town of Trim. In olden times tolls were exacted but today you can pass through…as freely and as often as you wish.”

Yellow Steeple

Next, I came upon The Yellow Steeple. Who could miss it? This used to be part of the Abbey of St. Mary, and it could be seen from most any point along the Castle River Walk. I wasn’t sure what I liked better – the steeple or the sky behind it. I was really blessed with good weather.

Inside the walls of Trim Castle

I paid 3 euro to get inside the castle walls. I could have paid a little more to do the tour of the main tower but wasn’t willing to commit an hour of my time for information I would probably forget anyway. (I always buy a book or take brochures to remember the details my terrible memory can’t retain through tours.)

Outside the walls of Trim Castle

After leaving the castle, I back-tracked and crossed over to the other side of Ring Road to follow the Castle River Walk as far as it would go to Newton. You would not believe how many women and children I had to PhotoShop out of some of my photos. I swear, Trim must be having a baby boom. I have not seen so many babies in one place in all of Ireland!

St Peter and Paul Cathedral

Legend has it that the tomb of the “jealous man and woman”, found in St. Peter and Paul Cathedral can cure warts. I was not able to personally verify that. Ha.

The Priory of St. John the Baptist – just beyond the ruins of Newton

The Priory of St. John was past the official walk, but it was just sitting by river, begging to be photographed.

So, now I will be slowly going through my remaining 1,000 plus photos. I have so many stories to share! I can’t wait to blog about all of them. In the back of my mind, I know there are probably hundreds of emails waiting for me back at work and lots to catch up on. Can’t I just stay on vacation forever??