The Irish landscape is made up of magical green rolling hills, rocky cliffs, burnt orange bog land, and grayish limestone – and it’s begging to be photographed . But with great beauty comes…well…a lot of people taking photos of it.
And with that, the gauntlet has been thrown down. One of my eternal personal challenges is being plagued by always wanting to do something different and not fall into step with everyone else. In fact, I rebel against what everyone else is doing typically – this is just one of the silly reasons why I’m not a fan of Oprah and why I’ve probably made a lot of poor business blogging decisions that have held me back. I don’t want to do what everyone else is doing, I want to blaze my own path plain and simple.
Actually, I know that I do a damn good job of blazing my own path in my personal life, but when it comes to business or photography I always find it a challenge. As I looked out across the beautiful and well photographed Irish landscapes, my mind races on how I could take a different look at them and make them ‘mine’ from a photographic perspective.
Like most creative things I had to simply open my eyes and really LOOK at what was around me and see the patterns or oddities. After a couple of days of driving along the Wild Atlantic Way, there was one constant that I found in every county and in every landscape – fences and gates.
Gates didn’t simply mark off driveways; they were perched on cliffs, next to roadways, and were dividing vast valleys and bogs. I find a lot of excitement in the everyday things we overlook, I like to shine an even brighter light on them. So fences and gates became my obsession during my solo road trip.
They were made of wood, metal, and sometimes boulders – all in various states of disrepair. Fences were ultimately there to designate property lines and ownership. Everywhere I looked reminded me of just how important land ownership was to Ireland’s history and culture. In fact I talked to one local woman about the importance of owning property and she told me that she’s more worried about her kids not owning property than not getting married.
Sometimes I thought it was sad and distracting that this vast colorful landscape was fenced off as it took away from the beauty of it. However, as I photographed more and more, I started to find the fencing and gates to be less of a distraction and more of a beautiful frame for Ireland’s topography. The fencing was my creative way to showcase a country’s landscape that is well covered in the photographic world.