Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1996/02/17

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To: (C.M. Fortunko)
Subject: Photography in the Emerald Isle
From: (Alex Hurst)
Date: Sat, 17 Feb 1996 16:06:25 +0000

C M Fortunko wrote:
>You may wish to write us about photography in Ireland. It is probably much
>different then here.
Wow! It's an honour to be asked to blather on about my adopted country -
I'm English (tho' mostly Scots), but married a charming Cork girl.
Something about Celtic synergy......

We only moved over permanently here three years ago, so I'm still learning
the ropes.

You learn very fast that Ireland is not England with a different accent.
It's an entirely different culture. The pace of life moves a little more
slowly, but that's because almost everyone's a lot more relaxed and

Against that, the country's made great strides in modernising itself over
the last 20 years. It leapt straight from dolls-eye country switchboards to
a fully digital phone system - which, as you can see, works very
efficiently. The Mac I'm typing this on was made just up the road in Cork.
Apple supply the whole of the European market from here, and boast that
they can have a specified machine anywhere in Europe within 24 hours
through Cork Airport. Not bad for a country with only three and half
million people.

I've yet to come across any fellow Leica enthusiasts over here. In fact,
apart from my own, I haven't even seen another Leica. The photoshops in
Cork are full of hi-tech AF SLRs and compacts, and there are certainly
plenty of photographers about.

The beauty of the country is that despite the fact the infrastructure's
very modern (apart from the roads, which you learn to live with), the
countryside itself is some of the most spectacular and unspoilt in Europe.
Great photo-opportunities for landscape photographers, tho' I tend to
picture people as much as places because they're so interesting. Cork and
Kerry down in the extreme south and west have some of the best scenery of
all, but the whole west coast is also worth seeing. Great golf courses too
- my wife and I have hacked our way round most of them.

We also spend a week cruising on the River Shannon every year, which runs
more or less up the centre of Ireland. Seeing the country from a boat gives
you an entirely different perspective, and the wildlife is also amazing
(that's the animals, not the pubs). Some of the shots I like best were
taken on these annual trips.

The final thing is the quality of light over here. There's little
pollution, so the air is very clear. Some German friends of ours who live
in Cologne came over and couldn't get over how many stars they could see at
night. Because we're so far west, we also get very light evenings in the
summer. It's often light till 11 p.m., and the sunsets are something to

So grab your cameras and get over here. A couple of forum members have been
over already and seem quite taken with the place. If you need any advice on
where to go and what to see, just get in touch.



Alex Hurst
Cork Florists
19 Winthrop St, Cork
Republic of Ireland
Tel: +353 21 270 907
Fax: +353 21 271 248