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Last week I went one evening with the camera club to the old abbey in Timoleague, a small colourful village in West Cork. It was the first time I did an outing with the camera club, and the first time since early 2020 that I join them outside of screens. I joined the club in November 2019 and had only been to a few meetings when the pandemic came, so I’ve come to know people mainly through Zoom, phone calls, and through being the competition secretary. We were only a few people at the abbey, but I really enjoyed it and will definitely join more outdoor photoshoots.

The Timoleague abbey is quite famous and you can read more about it here. I go to the village quite frequently but haven’t been around the abbey for a long time. It used to be a stunning place – it’s a 13th century building and also has a graveyard, with old gravestones and Celtic crosses, with the bay and the Courtmacsherry bridge in the background. But since a couple of years there are scaffolds all around it, a bit less now but it’s still there. I have no idea if they’re doing restoration work or if it’s something that’s put up to prevent the building from falling. The lights they used to have there are also gone so what the plan is with this building, I don’t know.

I first visited in 2008 and remember taking a photo of my husband among the gravestones. He was wearing a black coat and it was in February with dull weather, so it was a quite creepy-looking photograph! This time, I was sad to see that I will never be able to make such a photograph again – to my great disappointment, they have put up a big black shiny, modern gravestone in the middle of all the old ones. It looks horrible, doesn’t fit in, and I can’t believe it’s even allowed! I thought these kinds of places were protected.

It still is an interesting place to walk around with the camera. I probably would prefer being there during the day to do some detail shots of gravestones and go wild with the macro lens, but being there in the evening invited to a type of photography I don’t usually do, and that was quite exciting. At dusk, even if your eyes think it’s quite light, you have to use a tripod because the camera interprets the light differently and the shutter speeds required makes it impossible to shoot hand-held. This has been annoying to me in the past, but having to use a tripod also opens up new exciting possibilities.

I first took a few photos of the actual graveyard. I actually liked them best in black and white!

When it got darker, I pointed the camera at the other side of the bay, and with a bit of traffic there I saw the possibility to try to make light trails. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time but haven’t known where to do it. This composition isn’t great because I should have used the zoom lens to not include the gravestones. But it’s my first attempt and I still love it!

Light trails is when you take photos of cars moving in the dark, but your shutter speed is so slow that the cars don’t appear in the image, only the lights which appear like lines on the road. I’ve always loved such photos! The next time I’ll do it somewhere where there’s more traffic, and will use the zoom lens for more flexibility with the composition.

Later we went over to the other side to do some night shots of Timoleague village. I’ve attempted some night photography before but never with a tripod and definitely never without having to rush it. It was a lot of fun and I’ll definitely try this again too. I know nothing about night photography, what it should look like, what I should think of, and so on. Should the image be black except the lights and reflections? Should the sky have some blue? What should the histogram look like? Maybe there are no shoulds if I like the end result, and I like both of these. It’s possible I like the first one best because of the smoothness of the water surface (the first one is taken at 30 seconds, the other at 20). And look, more light trails!

The building you see on these photos is not the abbey but the church. The abbey would be stunning at night if the lights were still there. It was actually brought up in a newspaper article recently, so I hope to get more news about it soon. And I definitely hope to be able to do some night photos of the abbey.

Hope you all are doing well and having a good week!


This post is linked with Denyse Whelan’s Life stories link-up & Natalie’s Weekend Coffee Share.

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Comments:

  • 28th April 2022

    Wow! These photographs are absolutely stunning. I agree that the black and whites are particularly effective in the graveyeard setting.

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  • 28th April 2022

    You did a great job on the night shoot. I remember having those lessons ages ago and now I am using the iphone almost exclusively have forgotten the settings…I could try again with my Canon600D.

    The B&W shots are spectacular and more than add extra to the environment.

    Thank you for sharing your blog post with the community at Denyse Whelan Blogs. The link up, each fortnight, called Lifeโ€™s Stories, continues with bloggers such as you linking up and connecting! The next time to do so is Monday 9 May. Warmest wishes, Denyse.

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  • 28th April 2022

    I love your night shots Susanne, well done! What a fun activity that sounds like ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • trent

    30th April 2022

    I see what you mean about the new stone, but not too distracting. You also captured some great shots without it.

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  • 1st May 2022

    Susanne, Beautiful shots, especially the night photos. I hope you’ll be able to do more photo walks this spring. Thank you for linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare

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  • 1st May 2022

    Great photos!

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  • 2nd May 2022

    The age of those gravesites Susanne, and the dusk reflecting the passing of time. Then the lights and reflections – it reminded me of eternity and that the graveyard is not the end for us….

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  • 4th May 2022

    I, too, love the black and white shots of the graveyard. They have more depth, somehow, maybe due to the shades of grey that are not evident in the color versions? It’s an odd juxtaposition to have that very modern stone for Mary Moloney in amongst the ancient stones. Your light trails are fantastic – what a wonderful photographic, well, I’d say “trick” but it’s not really a trick… technique? that works better. ๐Ÿ™‚ I like the contrast between the church and the very modern elements that surround it. That’s one thing we certainly do not have here in the US – our oldest buildings are only a few hundred years old (and there are not many of them left…). Graveyards are such wonderful places for wandering, particularly at sunset on a spring evening… I’m so glad it was an enjoyable and fun excursion. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • 5th May 2022

    How fun! I’d love to do something like that. I was scheduled to do a photography meet up and it got canceled. So bummed. Your night shots turned out great.

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