Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New Images

Just recently I spent some time looking round the Pontoon area and in particular around lough Conn here in Mayo for potential images. Though an early morning start did yield some useful images this colour image was taken in the middle of the day. Contrary to summer, at this time of year the light can be good enough for worthwhile landscape photographs throughout daylight hours. The colour photo above was taken around noon on a very calm day which made it perfect for reflections. The hill is Nephin and this and its reflection were my subject that i constructed the image around. Though it is said rules are there to be broken, I would hasten to add that using some will always yield a better image than not using any. One of these with landscape photography and a subject like this is to use a wide-angle lens and find some foreground interest, in this case the small shrubs and rocks. If possible fill the frame with interest and arrange items so that the vieweres eye is led on a journey to your main subject. Here the eye travels from the foreground along the curve to the right and on to the distant hill and reflection. It is a composition that aesthetically pleases, nothing jars on the eye.
The other image was taken in the evening with the sun low near Mulranny, a lovely south facing village in County Mayo that has varied scenery from sea and sand, to estuary, hill and village. What this means is that a photographer's time is never wasted here. On this particular evening the low sun and backlit sheep were what attracted me. It was all about the light and I always feel these images work best in black and white which allows the viewer to appreciate the strong contrast without the distractions of colour. The main consideration was to prevent flare from ruining the image. A lenshood was used and this allowed just enough flare to complement the dramatic nature of the light without compromising the image.
Take care and happy shooting!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Scoil Acla 'Battle of The Trad Bands'.

Last evening 'The Battle of the Trad Bands' event, part of Scoil Acla's centenary celebrations was held at the Wavecrest Hotel, Dooagh, Achill. Here is a short clip of some local pipers at the opening. A 3 man band all the way from Ennis, Co. Clare, 'The Socks in The Frying pan', won the event and the E1000 prize. It was an excellent evening and a good time was had by all.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Rivers & Mountains

I thought I would show you this strange cloud photographed from my front door early one morning in January.
Achill Open Mic Night continues to go from strength to strength. For more info see 'Friends of Achill Open Mic' on facebook.
I did a residency at Heinrich Boll Cottage (thank you to Achill Heinrich Boll Association)here on Achill island in early February which allowed me to concentrate on my current poetry manuscripts. I am now looking for a publisher for this my 2nd full collection, though may publish under my own small press, 'Sea Eagle Poetry'.
Here are a couple of my most recent draft poems from my 'Rivers & Mountains series:

Spring Day

Saffron gorse paints the river's banks with joy,
mist filling valleys between faraway mountains.

Buds swell and birds travel in pairs singing from
garden trees and bushes. Daffodil, primrose

and blue starry flowers crowd about my door.
Miracles and bliss! Life unfolds from sleep!

(c) Mark F Chaddock


Last evening after unceasing rains
croaking and cavorting in flooded drains.

Now, still and silent, spawn clumps
gleam in morning sunlight.

Only me to see them - and this parade
of yellow trumpet flowers greeting the day.

Live long and die well my little friends!

(c) Mark F Chaddock

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Morning Mist

The year has got off to a good start despite the bad winter. I am currently working on three poetry collections. One is based on the ancient Chinese style of 'Rivers and Mountains' tradition of nature poetry. I live in a semi-retreat type way and there is no shortage of wilderness in the views from my cottage, so it's ideal for writing in the austere style that typifies 'Shan-Shui'. Here is an example:

Morning Mist

Morning mist clings like silk to the mountain's flanks.
Sky becomes wondrous yellow and pink.

No end to these marvels from my retreat. Inside
and out, it's just the same lately.

Sat still and mindful with my gate closed, moonrise
is magical. And heaven's river sparkles away forever.

(c) Mark F Chaddock 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010


Winter afternoon. Half-lit alder trunks close by.
Rose-tinted, white clouds sail across the sky.

Difficult to convey such fleeting beauty, even
gilded grass-blades seem touched by a mystery.

A ragged ram feeds among willow-copse shadows.
A few short Buddha steps he’d be clothed in gold.

16th January 2010
© Mark F Chaddock

New Pen

You have the feel of a beautiful woman’s skin,
slippy and sensuous, my hands gliding

effortlessly as though, beyond lust or reason, this
were always their destination.

But it’s when I lift your small compact body
and undo you that you reveal your unmarred

perfection, so that I gaze upon your fine lines
and curves as if you were the beginning of the world.

Now, I come to use you for the purpose you
were made, your blood spilling my clumsy

inadequate words onto virginal white vellum.

24 Jan. 10
© Mark F Chaddock

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Scoil Acla Centenary Opening

Images from Achill island's Scoil Acla Centenary Summerschool opening last evening (20th Feb) in Teddy lavelle's, cashel, Achill. I was fortunate to have a landscape image of mine selected for the front cover of the commemorative brochure - an image of Trawmore (Keel) strand and Innishgaloon island.

Morning Mist

Spectacular mist and cloud today. Clare island thrusts through mist moving from Clew bay into the Atlantic. Photographed with a Kodak compact digital on my lunchtime walk.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

New Images

I've been busy shooting a few landscapes when time has allowed recently. Here are a couple of my more recent images. Both were taken on Achill island, the second looking to Croaghaun mountain after snowfall in february, the first looking south over the Atlantic on 1st Feb, the first day of Spring, St. Bridget's day, patron saint of animals.