I am coming out of my shell a bit more with each and every day...Or maybe I open and close again like mussels, like an oyster....
Green tyres by the ocean...
Boats by the ocean and those tyres....yummm...
To be honest with you I can go from one mood to another within seconds. And I used to do a lot of self-pitty, just laying in bed and thinking how bad the world is and feeling depressed and not really excited about anything. Recently I started getting more and more motivation.
It was such a beautiful few days, essence of summer in Ireland!
First of all it is due to my brother. He was diagnosed with ALS and he is an example to follow, he has muscle deterioration so can not walk or move on his own and still he would never moan or give out about anything, he gives you a lot of positive energy, if someone complaints around him he will offer positive solution to your problem. This was a wakeup call. So I travel every month now to Poland which keeps me more on my toes and we spend time together there. First of all I like to look after him even though it can be a bit tough at times, but also he is full of ideas and his motto is "Don’t fucking stand around, move your ass, keep fucking moving”. Hey if he can do it anyone can and should! To be honest all last month since I returned from Poland after spending time with him in hospital, where he had to have parts from two of his discs removed I literally can not stop. I returned to Ireland and I wake up early 5, 6 o’clock and like to jog in the morning, when I have day off I plan shoots and when I don’t have a day off I also shoot before or at work. I have camera with me at all times and I decided to do 10 photographs minimum per day. So far so good it’s been very busy but also amazing time and it kind of became second nature to me.
Tomato and courgette soup on first day of my trip in one of the restaurants by the ocean...
Etton Mess with raspberry meringues for dessert...ISO 160, f5, 1/200s shot on top floor of my hotel with abundance of a sunlight and glass ceiling...Loved the light here...
So I am not best in writing posts but I do love photography, it’s the way I express myself. But also it is a daily struggle - here comes moany me - I am a bit full of myself and treat critiques quite seriously, perfectionism is killing me at times and I used to or still often do seek validation - why do I do that it is an interesting question and I do think we all photographers struggle daily with different emotions and tend to get very emotionally attached to our work. For sure leaving social medias did help me to look in a different way at my work as I do shoot more for me to please me first and not overanalysing in my head what other people may like or think about this image, if I like it hopefully other people will too. I think excellent idea is to go out to people and build a bit of thick skin by working and actually being with and around people. Get their honest opinion, not always struggle for perfection and let go a bit, release the pressure - fart if you have to :) Just working in your own bubble can be good for some time but relying just on social media or being locked within four walls does not give you right feedback and in the end it can be emotionally draining even more than actually fighting your fears and going out there to the real world. If you go out there something good or bad will happen!
So anyways coming back to the post this week I travelled to Galway, small town on the west of Ireland and I visited there St-Tola goat’s cheese farm and than I went to Kelly’s Oyster Farm. Both places were truly amazing and I definitely want to plan more trips like this in the future.
Worker and lamb coming out of the darkness....
Goats such beautiful creatures...
In goat’s cheese farm they had a very busy day so I got to hang around the goats for the day mostly and I had the opportunity to see people making cheese but I did not use it - silly me I was just scared to enter the room full of people - never again lesson learned! That is why I think photography is teaching me self-discipline and pushing my boundaries. You have to be brave if you want to take the shot, be confident but not intrusive. You need to interact, be active be involved, but than again you have to be a fly on the wall kind of thing - feel the vibe, adjust. Ok so here are few shots of the goats and lambs, some of them were really cute.
It was a dark sheltered place so I had to bump ISO and shoot handheld at 1/200
This was taken with 17-40mm...ISO 1000, f 5,6, 1/200s
The owner confirmed that you fall in their eyes first...So true...
The ginger coloured dog was keeping an eye on area...And this is how models got the idea of the wind blowing machine...fab!
For more info about the farm check their website: http://www.st-tola.ie
Than next day I visited quickly cow field before heading to oyster farm. It took me a while to get this shot I was trying to be cheeky with my camera, I put it on silence mode so no beeping when auto-focusing (yes I still use auto) and calf was cheeky as it was taking sips from its mother's udder and keeping an eye on me if I was not getting too close :)
I was lucky with the weather as for the two days we had really summery weather here in Ireland. The shoot was sometimes bit of a challenge with direct sunlight but I took the big diffusor with me which did come handy.
Also have to say people in Galway and Kilcolgan where Oyster farm was situated were really friendly. I took the bus from Galway there and ended up in one bar where I had breakfast. Was asking the bar owner for directions when he told me he would actually give me a lift to the place. We got directions that after the turn it would be first house on the left. So I got a lift there and the guy left than I saw the dog and started petting him and one guy came out and asked me what was I doing there so it turned out I was in the wrong house :) Anyways I went back to the road and Diarmud from Oyster farm was just passing by in his van and they saw me with camera so they took me to their farm.
These oysters were on production line. One of the workers was a bit angry cause machine broke down and the only service available for sorting oysters is in France and the guy comes to Ireland once a year in August lol!
Generally it is family business passed from one generation to another for last 60 years. They have been growing and selling oysters to finest restaurants and wholesalers throughout Ireland, Europe and around the world.
ISO 400, f 4,5, 1/200s 100mm macro lens, Canon 5D Mark iii
Now a bit of info about oysters that I took from kellysoysters.com website and modified it a bit. Generally speaking oyster culture is probably one of the most environmentally friendly types of farming as it doesn’t require any entrants to be added from the exterior (neither feed nor medication). Oysters are kind of self-sufficient they feed themselves on elements which are naturally found in the seas where they grow. So the farmers task is to simply accompany the natural growth of oysters by managing stocking densities and thereby naturally influencing shell shape and growth rates. They concentrate efforts on obtaining oysters of high quality by maintaining low stocking densities and choosing clean waters which are rich in phytoplankton resulting in harmonious oyster growth and good growth rates.
FARM OYSTERS are kept in the bags. The ones we saw on the farm were already 2.5 years old. They are washed and filled with water when the tide comes in they level of water can grow up to 5 metres. Than they can be in bags without water again for several hours, Diarmuid told me the day before they had temperature of 30 degrees and it was no problem for the oysters at all. First they grow the edges bigger and bigger kind of like tree trunk and than they also grow the flesh inside by feeding of the water with plankton.
This is how beautiful farm oysters looked like...
So of course I had to try the oyster and it was straight after Irish Breakfast I had in the nearby pub. So as I was instructed first you have to kind of sip in the juice, tale the oyster in your mouth and prepare your pallet, than take a bite which releases the creaminess and than getting the full flavour of it in the end.
The Native Oyster is the gourmet’s favourite, also known as the European Flat Oyster, this is the oyster which is Native to Irish shores. Native Oysters are considered to be a great luxury due to their wonderful flavour and due to the fact that they are a relatively scarce species.
All Native Oysters are sourced from carefully managed wild oyster fisheries along the West Coast of Ireland. They are then relayed in the rich estuarine water of our own oyster beds where they fatten and develop their unique flavour.
They are in season September till April. That is why there is famous Galway Festival in September to celebrate beginning of Native Oyster season.
What a flavour with the Atlantic flushing in twice daily mixing with the rich fresh waters from the Clarinbridge and Kilcolgan rivers giving just the right mix of water. Then the oysters themselves filtering up to 11 litres of this pristine water every hour. Multiply that by the four to five years it takes to grow to edible maturity, and you may indeed believe you hold in your mouth the very essence of the ocean.
Seed is sourced from hatcheries and is inspected and placed into specific, size related, growing bags on trestles and positioned such that the tide will rise and fall over them. This allows the oysters to obtain their required nutrients from the plankton in the sea. At appropriate times the oysters are transferred to larger bags and thinned out to prevent overcrowding. During their growth oyster bags are regularly turned and shacked in order to obtain a good shape. The oysters are harvested when the required quality characteristics have been obtained.
The growing process can take between 24 to 36 months dependent on both growing conditions and the initial size of the seed oysters.
And than there were also mussels..
To make the shot more interesting Diarmud poured water over the mussels, they got a nice shine and aliveness thanks to that...
I spent amazing time in Galway. I recommend it to everyone to go out, visit your local producers and promote them, meet people, shoot, spend time with your camera, work your asses off now is the time, each and every day...let's stay motivated and take inspiration from each other, amen. By the way I do not know how you bloggers do it on regular basis. I had to play Katty Perry Rise and Conchita to finish this post. Ok until next time!