02 Feb '15
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Howth Harbour at sunrise

In Italy we have a proverb that says “Non tutte le ciambelle vengono con il buco”, which you can translate with “Not all the doughnuts turn out with a hole” (which is not that uncommon in Italy, as in Italy it’s easier to find a krapfen, which is essentially the same dough of the doughnuts or donuts if you are american, with custard or whipping cream on it), to say that it can’t go always well as expected, and you should not be pissed off if that happens.
I’m telling you this very interesting italian proverb just to introduce you to the fact that this trip didn’t go that well. Okay, now it sounds like an overture to a disaster, where it was not, as it simply didn’t turn as well as it did in the previous times we went out for a very early morning shooting.
The first impression when we arrived in Howth can be summed with the word “Meh”.
I’m not sure why, the place is actually very nice generally, one of the must-see places to go if you visit Dublin and the surrounding area, but maybe was the light in the wrong direction, maybe because the tide was at its very minimum, or maybe because we simply went to the wrong pier to photograph the lighthouse, not sure what’s the real cause of that “Meh”, but myself and my fellows all agreed that it wasn’t that great that morning.
Also, after two good hours spent on the freezing cold, we always go to a local restaurant/cafe’ for breakfast, but unfortunately none of the nice amenities we usually go were open, so we had to go to the only open cafe’ at that our, which was awful. Yeah, a few euro cheaper, but the food quality was simply terrible and it made me sick for the rest of the day. And when I came back home I found out that my lens was superdirty and some photos had a huge white spot in the middle, but it was semi-transparent and I couldn't see it when I was there, and that probably was what marked that day as the famous doughnut without the hole.
Anyway, it’s always fun to go out shooting with good friends, and overall the pictures didn’t turn out that  bad, maybe they are not my favourite shots, but overall they were pretty decent, they just lacked of the “Wow” factor, that’s it. So, down here some of the best, while here on flickr you can find the full set.

Howth

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31 Jan '15
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Hawk Cliff, Dalkey (again)

That was probably the fourth or fifth time I came to this place, I’ve already blogged about Hawk Cliff more than a year and half ago, and it’s definitely one of my favourite places in Dublin metropolitan area, and I’ll never get sick to go there. And when my friends asked me where we could go for another early morning photography session, that’s was my first choice. It’s just an outstanding place to visit everytime, and if you get there at the sunset, it’s just out of this world, where you can see the whole Sorrento Bay (no, I’m not talking about Italy, but the bay from Dalkey to Bray is called the Sorrento Bay as it looks similar to the Italian counterpart). Also you can meet some interesting person, those hardcore irish people that loves to swim in this tiny place, yes even on January at sunset, and some of them don’t even have a swimsuit. I honestly admire these people that despite the cold, despite the weather, despite the fact that the sea is not exactly like the Mauritius, they still come, at the very least a couple of times per week, to swim.
Anyway, there’s nothing else to say about this place, and I better let the pictures talk about Hawk Cliff, so down here some of the best, while you can find the full set on my flickr account as usual.

Hawk Cliff

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19 Jan '15
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White Rock Beach, Dalkey

We all know that if you come to visit Ireland, you don’t come for the beaches, you don’t expect to find a place like Copacabana, or Bondi Beach, and you certainly knows that it’s highly difficult that  you come here to spend a week lying down on the sand while drinking a fresh cocktail under the sun. If you do, you probably need to buy this before you go into any trips you might regret later.

But this doesn’t mean that there are no beaches in Ireland, in fact there are plenty of them, maybe you don’t get a crystal clear water like in the middle of the mediterranean sea, and you might not get a superfine sand, but there are plenty of extremely cool places you can go on the summer, or like me, even on a cold clear day in January.
One of them is a beautiful place called White Rock Beach, which is between Dalkey and Killiney beach, found by accident last summer while walking randomly after I went with a friend of mine to another cool place nearby, Hawk Cliff. But when we went there at that time it was during in the early afternoon, so too bright, and in a very sunny and hot day, so too crowded, it was great for spending some time under the sun, but just the wrong time for any landscape photography, so I decided to come back there during the winter, when the sunrise is very late (in January it’s at around 8.30am) and there’s almost nobody there.

White Rock beach

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16 Jan '15
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Dark Hedges, Giant's Causeway and Derry / Londonderry

Sometimes you plan for a trip months in advance, and other times you decide almost last minute, and this time it was the latter case. And as usual these quick trips always come from a dinner out with some friends, when a friend of mine suggested to go to somewhere in Ireland for a weekend. You always say “why not?!” but until you have the car and the B&Bs booked you tend to think that nothing will happen. But that wasn’t the case thankfully, and we decided to go for 3 days in Northern Ireland, a trip that from Dublin is not that far, it takes less than 2 hours to get to Belfast, and around 3 to get to the very top of this island.

So, me, my lovely girlfriend, and our good friends Giuseppe and his wife Veruska (two photographers and two very supportive girls) we started the trip, heading first to one of the most (not very) hidden gems in County Antrim, the Dark Hedges.
The Dark Hedges is a country road surrounded by dead trees that forms a sort of tunnel. Well said in this way it doesn’t sound very attractive, but if you look this picture down here it’s probably much better as a description of the place. It became a more known place in the past few years, especially after it has been used in an episode of the Games of Thrones, which by the way it has been shot mostly in Northern Ireland.

The Dark Hedges

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29 Dec '14
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A week at home

As every Christmas I came back home for a week. Is the week that you must be at home and nowhere else, especially for italians. New Years Eve can be anywhere, and in fact I’m back in Dublin now, but Xmas has to be at home. And generally I don’t really take that many photos back home, as I don’t travel much there, actually I barely go anywhere. But this time I had a new toy, the new lens I bought on the flight to home, the Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 R, and I wanted to test it well. Also the weather was nice last week with a couple of days where the fog was covering the lands, and the hills looked like islands on a white sea, so I had a good scenery to test my brand new lens, and thanks to these factors at the end I took a rather good quantity of photos, and I have to say that so far I’m very happy with that lens, it might not be a perfect lens, AF speed is not very fast, and I can see some chromatic aberrations in some cases, but overall I really like it, and the center frame is breathtaking even at full aperture, which is pretty impressive. But it’s too early to give a definitive opinion about this lens, so expect a proper review in the near future.
Anyway, down here you can find some of the shots I took back home in Italy, while the full set is on my flickr account.

Fog

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