Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #67 – Candid

This week we have some candid shots from Inishmore of the Aran Islands.  Of course, no set of photos from Ireland would be complete without some cows.

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I don’t often post pictures of people here, because I don’t post family photos and I don’t often take pictures of strangers.  But here’s one guy who just really wanted to get the perfect shot, even if it meant getting close to a 100m high cliff edge.

I also spotted this couple that was holding hands the whole way heading down the long slope from the fort on the cliffs.  So sweet!

You can find more candids filled at the original Lens-Artist challenge.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #66: Filling the Frame

On our brief visit to Rome in 2012, we took a bus trip around the city to see the most we could in the short time we had.  Of course, taking photos from a bus is always a dicey prospect, what with the window glare, other passengers, and no way to control the angle or distance of your shots.  But I still always do it anyways!

I took dozens of bad photos, but sometimes the closeness of the subjects, in this case the buildings of Rome, worked to my advantage.  We got to see the Colosseum both from a distance and also a little closer.

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I didn’t even know what this next building was at the time (the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore), but somehow I managed to fill the frame with it so nicely it became one of my favorite photos from this visit.

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You can find more frames filled at the original Lens-Artist challenge.

Lens-Artists Challenge #65 – Pick a Place: Skellig Michael

The highlight of my trip to Ireland in 2015 was a visit to the rugged island Skellig Michael.  I had wanted to visit for three reasons.

First, it is home to many species of birds, including Atlantic puffins, gannets, kittiwakes, and others.  I was able to add some cool species to my life list and get very close and personal with these birds that are not afraid of humans.  It was even puffin breeding season.

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Second, the island is historically and culturally important, being the home of ascetic Christian monks for several centuries.  They built the winding staircases up the rocks and also built stone dwellings.  It is now a UNESCO heritage site.

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Third, the island stood in for the Jedi refuge of Ahch-To in the new Star Wars films.  They had been filming there the year before I went, and even though the movie The Force Awakens hadn’t even come out yet, I was excited to visit a Star Wars filming location.  And I loved seeing and recognizing the footage of Skellig Michael on the big screen later.

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But in the end, the reason that Skellig Michael is most memorable to me is the mental journey I took to get there.  You can read the whole story of my trip here, but I will just say that I will always be proud that I was able to overcome my anxiety to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

You can find more special places at the original Lens-Artist challenge.

Lens Artists Photo Challenge #64: Countryside and/or Small Towns

When I studied abroad in Spain in 2006, we had the opportunity to do a lot of traveling around the country, both with our university group and on our own.  We saw not only the main cities of Spain, but also the beautiful countryside.

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We took a quick day trip to Segovia, a beautiful city with a rich history.  From the castle, we saw this amazing view of the city and the surrounding countryside.

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Our group took a trip through the south of the country later in the fall.  We traveled through the region of Castilla-La Mancha and saw some of the old windmills made famous by Don Quixote.

You can find more countryside and small towns at the original Lens-Artist challenge.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #63 – Magical

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Ireland is one of the most magical places I’ve ever visited, and what could be more magical than a stone circle?  This small circle was on some farmer’s hillside in the Beara Peninsula.  I admit this in kind of cheating because I already used this picture for a similar challenge with WPC: Magic in 2016.  But I just love this photo!  No one from our group went back in time through the circle, though.

Our tour guide actually had to work some magic of his own to get us this close, because there was a herd of cows in this field when we arrived.  We were about to hop the fence into the field (with permission), when he noticed there was a bull in with them!  Luckily he was able to calmly and gently herd them away and we were able to safely approach.

Maybe the cows also appreciate the magic of the stone circle.

You can find more magic at the original Lens-Artist challenge.