Home

Home is a unique word. As adults most of us have a home. An actual current home we live in. Often though we talk about other homes from our past. The home we were raised in. The home we lived in after breaking out on our own for the first time. The home we move into with our significant others. The home we spend our final days. The word evokes so much, both good and bad. Earlier tonight, I was looking at this photo I took a few weeks ago on a ferry trip from Brooklyn to Rockaway Beach. The photographer half of me took it because the scene was so inspiring on a beautiful day. The other half of me, the emotional half realized that it was my home in so many ways.

Other than 4 years off for good behavior attending college in Massachusetts, this photo represents all my ‘homes’. On the right of this photo is Brooklyn, where I was born. It also shows Queens, where my wife and I have happily lived for over two years now. On the left is New Jersey, where I grew up and spent all my youth. In the middle of course is Manhattan, where I spent my most crucial years of development. It is where I began taking up photography. It is where I dived deeper into the rich diversity of music that was there for the taking. It is where I met Jennifer, the person who has changed my life the most in so many incredible ways. It is where I learned who I am, though of course that process is ever evolving. Finally, surrounding it all is water, which connects me with my spiritual home of Ireland. Those of you familiar with my posts know that water plays a crucial role in my photography. That ebb and flow feels like life itself, and for me that is a crucial realization. My physical home may change, but for now as I ride the most meager ferry, or sip a beer on a beach, the crucial ingredient to all of them has been a connection to the water. Lakes feed the rivers, which flow to the sea, which carry you away towards home…

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All Photographs By Robert P. Doyle

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Monochrome Mondays

Ireland just seems to be about light and color. Of course the first thing one thinks of is the heavy abundance of green…which is everywhere. But does green always have to be green? As I became more comfortable taking photographs, I started thinking about context, especially in relation to monochrome. I still feel that monochrome is the heart and soul of photography. There is a natural essence to it. Perhaps it is because you need to imagine the colors you see before you in a black and white photo. You obviously know that a variety of colors comprise the shot, but in the best ones, you somehow do not mind. Your see the art and starkness of the scene that color often does not represent as well. You feel the terrain before you in a landscape shot in monochrome. You sense the noise and movement before you in a cityscape shot in monochrome. You feel a connection to the person in a portrait shot in monochrome.

As with a lot of my other photographs, I often take them in both mediums to cover myself. Color photography is still wonderful and I probably take more shots in color than monochrome (though the equation is maybe 60/40 now!) Using this method in time I have figured out certain photos I know will only work best in monochrome. Such was the case with this photo taken last summer in Donegal. A random field in a sloping valley, dotted with the occasional house or sheep. It was an overcast morning when I took this, but at one point the sun started peeking through. Up to that point I had been taking color shots of the lush green fields, but once I turned and saw the light beams shining down, I instinctively adjusted the camera for monochrome, and this is the result.

Do you see ‘the colors’ in a monochrome shot?

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Monochrome Mondays

Normally Mondays are not so happy for most of us. Today however is a good Monday, since I am off today and tomorrow! But I still have some work to do…such as share with you a new Monochrome Mondays. In the case of one thing leading to another, the other day I changed my profile photo on Facebook to one from Ireland last summer. After selecting it, I scanned through some of the other photos I took, when I came across this one again. For all the natural beauty of Ireland, it is also a place where you are easily reminded of it also being a place where people work hard, and the landscape often shows evidence of it. Piles of turf, or hay bales abound. So do little boats, which seem to be everywhere near the coast. I walked one day down to a tiny little pier in Kilcar, Donegal. By no means was it a beautiful scene, and with the tide in it had that not so attractive smell! But the contrast of this little boat, leaning to one side, while looking towards the town was too appealing for me not to take this photo.

Low Tide, Donegal

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Monochrome Mondays

Hello again! Since this week leads into Saint Patrick’s Day, I decided I would share another photo of Ireland today. Readers of this blog from the start will know that I have written about Ireland and Irish music before. Here on Monochrome Mondays I have also featured  some shots of Ireland, but I think those have all been shots along the fabulous coast of Donegal. This one is different though. It is still Donegal, but it is a photo of a wonderful old tree on the land where my mother and her siblings grew up. Seeing it again set against the sky on a beautiful summer day it reminded me not just of the actual tree roots that have kept it alive all these years, but also of family roots. Last year most of us gathered for a special event (which I wrote about here) but one evening a smaller group of the immediate family had a dinner at the old house. Looking around at this gathering I was struck by the contrast between the two. Strength of nature, strength of family. Tree roots, family roots. Irish roots. Nothing else like it!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day all!

Tree On Family Farm, Kilcar Co. Donegal

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Monochrome Mondays

Like most people I have always had a strong dislike for Mondays. That dislike is lessened each week when I realize that it is time to present you all with another Monochrome Mondays. This week is no exception! I took this shot last summer in Ireland. One of my favorite spots in all of Donegal are the dramatic sea cliffs of Slieve League. Its sheer height dominates the landscape for miles around, and once you get up to the cliffs themselves the steep, rocky cliffs stand strong against the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Year in, year out. Timeless.  Do stop by every Monday for a new monochrome photo of the week!

Slieve League, Donegal Ireland
Slieve League, Donegal Ireland

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2016 In Photos

I can’t believe we are approaching the end of the year already! Just like last year I decided once again to feature some of my favorite photographs I have taken this year. Trips to Ireland and Cape Cod provided lots of good photo opportunities, as well as continuing to explore more of my neighborhood in Queens, New York. The rest were taken on various excursions all over the place. All together some have appeared in earlier posts, while others are making their debut here.  I hope you enjoy my choices.  Let me know in the comments what your favorites are! Remember, I have also recently added a new feature here called Monochrome Mondays so be sure to stop by every Monday for a new photo every week.

Click on any photo below to have them open up to a larger size.

What will 2017 bring? Who knows, but to stay up to date, follow me at these places-

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All Photographs By Robert P. Doyle

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Monochrome Mondays

Alright, lets keep the momentum going in Week 2 of Monochrome Mondays! I took this photo this summer in Kilcar, County Donegal Ireland. The local spot known as Muckross Head is one of my favorite places anywhere, a combination of unique cliffs pockmarked by centuries of ocean waves crashing together with a stunning vista of Donegal Bay.

If you are interested in contributing a photograph to Monochrome Mondays, let me know in the comments below. I plan on featuring one guest photo every month.

Ancient Rocks, Donegal
Ancient Rocks, Donegal

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All Photographs By Robert P. Doyle

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